Contesting Cultural Heritage: Decolonizing the Tropenmuseum as an Intervention in the Dutch/European Memory Complex

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Abstract

The chapter discusses how (post-)immigrant activism in the Netherlands currently impacts Dutch and European cultural heritage and their cultural archive and memory complex. The discussion focuses on the Tropenmuseum and the way postcolonial (post)immigrants carried out interventions there, resulting in new ways of visually and textually representing the colonial past. Though the end result is not a final ideal decolonized situation, it did evince de-essentializing processes in which intersectional perspectives are taken up. The interventions coincide with other national and international protests and processes, making it part of a project or movement that produces decolonial counter-narratives to ethno-nationalist discourses. The case indicates how heritage is sought to be transformed by demanding greater visibility for injustices from the colonial past, for the resistances against these injustices, and for their implications for the present.

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van Huis, I. (2019). Contesting Cultural Heritage: Decolonizing the Tropenmuseum as an Intervention in the Dutch/European Memory Complex. In Palgrave Studies in Cultural Heritage and Conflict (pp. 215–248). Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-11464-0_8

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