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Provenance Research

Since November 2019 I am member of the NIOD Expert Centre Restitution. The Expert Centre conducts research into the history and topicality of looted art and restitution, particularly in relation to the Nazi regime.

Until March 2022 I was involved in the NIOD-ECR project PPROCE: Pilot Project Provenance Research on Objects of the Colonial Era. In this project, which was a collaboration between NIOD, the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam and the National Museum of World Cultures, I conducted provenance research on a large selection of museum objects from colonial Indonesia.




2022. With Jona Mooren and Frank van Vree, 'Clues Research into provenance history and significance of cultural objects and collections acquired in colonial situations', Final report PPROCE.

2022. More than a dozen provenance reports about objects from the collections of Rijksmuseum and National Museum of World Cultures. Amongst others a report about the Banjarmasin diamond and about a battle flag from Kalimantan in Rijksmuseum.

2022. With Jona Mooren, ‘Clues of Provenance: Tracing Colonialism and Imperialism through Museum Objects’, IIAS The Newsletter 92 (Summer 2022).

2021. Presentation at meeting KVVAK (from min. 16.30)


'Javanese man and 4 children in front of Buddhist idol at Borobudur', W.H. Jackson (1895) US Library of Congress, LC-W7- 610 [P&P] (CC BY 4.0)

Final report PPROCE

Available in Dutch, English and Bahasa Indonesia

Prisons and convict labour colonial Indonesia

From 2016 to 2019, I was a postdoctoral researcher at the International Instituut of Social History in Amsterdam on a project about labour camps and penal labour in colonial Indonesia.



2022. 'Nusakambangan in context: Life and labour conditions in a late-colonial penal plantation in the Netherlands Indies, 1905-1942', Journal of Southeast Asian Studies.

2019. ‘From Across the Water: Nusakambangan and the Making of a Notorious Prison Island’, International Review of Social History 64, pp.1-21.

2017. (review) ‘Christian G. De Vito and Alex Lichtenstein, Global Convict Labour’, review in: Tijdschrift voor Sociale en Economische Geschiedenis 14-1, pp. 120-122.


2017. (review) ‘Marc Buggeln: Slave Labor in Nazi Concentration Camps’, review in: International Review of Social History 62-1, pp. 164-167.


Convicts and guards at Nusakambangan. Collectie Stichting Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen. TM-10016323. (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Political history of colonial Indonesia

Over the years I have published extensively about late colonial Indonesian political history, in particular about Indonesian anticolonial networks, the history of Indonesian communism, migrant communities in the Netherlands and interwar anti-imperialism in Europe.





2019. Campaigning in Europe for a Free Indonesia: Indonesian Nationalists and the Worldwide Anticolonial Movement, 1917–1931 (Copenhagen: NIAS Press).



2016. 'Behind the Banner of Unity: Nationalism and Anticolonialism among Indonesian Students in Europe, 1917-1931' (dissertation University of Amsterdam).


Articles and bookchapters

2020. ‘Herald of a Failed Revolt: Mohammad Hatta in Brussels, 1927’, in: Michele Louro, Carolien Stolte (a.o. eds), The League Against Imperialism, Lives and Afterlives (Leiden: Leiden University Press, 2020) 309-324.


2020. ‘Un rumbo independiente. El nacionalismo indonesio de entreguerras y el comunismo internacional en el escenario euro-holandés’, in: Enric Ucelay-Da Cal, Xosé M. Núñez Seixas, Arnau Gonzàlez i Vilalta (eds.), Patrias diversas, ¿misma lucha?: Alianzas transnacionalistas en el mundo de entreguerras (1912-1939) (Barcelona: Edicions Bellaterra 2020) 151-170.

2020. (review) ‘Kris Alexanderson, Subversive Seas: Anticolonial Networks across the Twentieth-Century Dutch Empire’, BMGN - Low Countries Historical Review 135, review 66.


2018. ‘1908, Indonesische studenten leggen basis voor internationaal antikolonialisme’, in: Marjolein ’t Hart, Karel Davids e.a. (eds.), Wereldgeschiedenis van Nederland (Amsterdam: Ambo Anthos) 478-483.


2018. ‘Indonesian Nationalism in the Netherlands, 1920s-1930s: Long-Distance Internationalism of Elite Pilgrims in Homogeneous, Empty Time’, in: Gemma Blok, Vincent Kuitenbrouwer, and Claire Weeda (eds.), Imagining Communities: Historical Reflections on the Process of Community Formation (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press).

2017. ‘”Volk van Java, de Russische Revolutie houdt ook lessen in voor U”; Indonesisch socialisme, bolsjewisme, en het spook van het anarchisme’, Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis 130-3, pp. 427-447.


2015. 'The Complex World of the Chung Hwa Hui: International Engagements of Chinese Indonesian Peranakan Students in the Netherlands, 1918–1931', Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde 171-4, pp. 516–54.


2015. 'To Maintain an Independent Course: Inter-war Indonesian Nationalism and International Communism on a Dutch-European Stage', Dutch Crossing: Journal of Low Country Studies 39-3, pp. 204-220.


2013. ‘Indonesian Identities Abroad: International Engagement of Colonial Students in the Netherlands, 1908-1931’, BMGN - Low Countries Historical Review 128-1, pp. 151-172.



2015. ‘Indonesian Islam in Interwar Europe: Muslim Organizations in the Netherlands and Beyond’, in: Bekim Agai, Umar Ryad and Mehdi Sajid (eds.), Muslims in Interwar Europe: A Transcultural Historical Perspective (Leiden: Brill publishers) 125-150.

2015. (review) 'Bart Luttikhuis: Negotiating Modernity, Europeannes in Late Colonial Indonesia',


2014. (review) ‘John Ingleson: Workers, Unions and Politics. Indonesia in the 1920s and 1930s’, Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde 170, pp. 583–584.

2008. ‘De Indische Gids en de liberale, koloniale discussie’, Skript Historisch Tijdschrift 29-4, pp. 63-78.

Figure 1.2 - Meeting of PI.jpg

Meeting of students of Perhimpoenan Indonesia. Between 1924 and 1927. KITLV A624 53604 (CC BY 4.0)


Selection of other projects and publications

2019. ‘‘Nederlands leed’ telt niet meer dan het leed van anderen’,

2018. ‘Koloniaal geluk is niet los te zien van koloniaal leed’, NRC Handelsblad. With Thomas Smits and Suze Zijlstra.

2017. Interview with Karin Amatmoekrim at De Correspondent



2017. Interview about Henk Sneevliet Radio 1

2017. Podcast Radio Kunci.


2017. Onafhankelijkheid met het mes op de keel,

2014. ‘Change in Indonesia: critical reflections on the Indonesian elections’,

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