Simpang Susun Arsip Kolonial

Simpang Susun Arsip Kolonial / Resituating Colonial Archives is an online workshop facilitated by Het Nieuwe Instituut, Gudskul and The National Collection of Dutch Architecture and Urban Planning, which Het Nieuwe Instituut manages, contains photographs, drawings, maps, letters and other documents relating to Dutch (ex-colonial) architecture legacies and cultures, including built environments in Indonesia. These archival records are well looked after, preserved as they are in the institute’s storage facility, but their location in Rotterdam limits their physical accessibility – especially for Indonesian communities.

It is therefore important to widen forms of availability, question the circulation of materials, and underscore digital solidarity. Taking the geographical constraint as a critical issue, this cross-institutional, international workshop seeks to provide (digital) resources, tools and networks to young researchers, as well as to architects’ and artists’ collectives from Indonesia, so that they can access and activate the documents.

Invited participants, selected by Gudskul and, are joined by practitioners from Indonesia and the Netherlands to exchange knowledge about the multifaceted ways of researching and resituating colonial archives. Culminating in a public presentation and exhibition, the workshop interweaves practices and perspectives to address the question of archival accessibility, while testing the boundaries of our connected colonial past, and opening up avenues for sustained collaboration between these networks and Het Nieuwe Instituut.

Workshop Coordinator & Facilitator
Robin Hartanto
Rifandi Septiawan Nugroho
Gesyada Namora Siregar
Setareh Noorani
Delany Boutkan
Carolina Pinto
Ina Hollman

Graphic Designer
Garyanes Yulius

Web Developer
Haviz Maha

Production & Management
Gudskul, Het Nieuwe Instituut,

Invited Participants
Albert Rahman Putra (Solok)
Bangkit Mandela + Bardha (Tangerang)
Endira F. Julianda & Kevin Trikusumo Febriansyah, (Bandung)
golCAR (Jakarta)
Kecoak Timur (Sidoarjo)
Rahmadiyah Tria Gayathri (Palu)
Skolmus (Kupang)
Yasmin Tri Aryani (Jakarta)

Title: Batu Bata yang Bercerita

After we attended the archives workshop, we learned a lot and studied many archives that discussed architecture and building planning during the colonial era. Many archives that appear such as cinemas, hotels, and places of church worship. However, we don’t find archives that intersect with stories that we often find in our society, such as sugar factories, sluice gates, bridges and forts. The story is very attached to the collective memory of the people along with the ironies of the past that still haunts us, like so many workers who were victims in the construction of the building. Therefore, what comes to our mind when discussing archives is the irony of the past, as well as the irony of the fate of colonial buildings that are happening today.

Through the archives we found during the workshop, we tried to create fictional stories through video art installations. Starting from the imagination of the figure of Berlage who has the speed to move to make sketches of architectural buildings and around Indonesia in a short time. From there we saw a process of seeking inspiration for building shapes which then gave rise to various new colonial building forms that we found in archives such as hotels, cinemas, theaters, swimming pools. Through the video performance activation of a cinema building which seems to be reopened and being shown. Creating events to attract the memory of the people around the building to the place through space activation performances.

In this video we will recall past forms of memory about the irony that we encounter in our society regarding the colonial buildings around us such as (sugar factories, sluice gates, bridges and forts). “Bukak Giling” at the sugar cane factory is a people's party that is often found in some areas, as well as the Rijsttafel the diner culture of Dutch people with Indonesians as cooks and waiters. It also displays the irony of buildings that have turned mystical, changes in their function to coffee shops, karaoke venues, villas and nightclubs. The new irony that occurs in colonial-era buildings today can be captured as a form of celebration for the victory of the warriors in the past, who entrusted this nation's independence and prayed for this nation to recover quickly from the wounds of the colonial era.

Simpang Susun Arsip Kolonial

Session I Part I:
Navigating the Collection

December 8, 4 PM – 5 PM (Invite only)
Speaker: Clara Stille-Haardt (archivist/conservator, Het Nieuwe Instituut).

HNI’s archivist provides a guide to exploring Het Nieuwe instituut’s online archival catalog.

Session I Part I:
Navigating the Collection

December 8, 6:30 PM – 9 PM (Open to the public)
Speakers: Clara Stille-Haardt (archivist/conservator, Het Nieuwe Instituut), Setareh Noorani (Collecting Otherwise, Het Nieuwe Instituut), Robin Hartanto Honggare (curator,

What is the National Collection of Dutch Architecture and Urban Planning, and why are there many documents concerning built environments in Indonesia that form the collection? How can we access these documents and to what limit can we use them? In this session, archivists from Het Nieuwe Instituut and the working group members of Collecting Otherwise discuss the archives held by the Instituut and the initiatives taken to make the collection more visible, inclusive, and accessible.

Session II:
Researching Colonial Indonesia

December 15, 6:30 PM – 9 PM (Invite only)
Speakers: Abidin Kusno and Amanda Pinatih

What are the possibilities in researching Colonial Indonesia? What stories can documents concerning built environments tell us? How can historical archives speak for current contexts? Discussing methods and subjects that can contribute to our engagement with historical archives, this session explores the various directions towards researching the past.

Session III: Forms of Archives

December 29, 6:30 PM – 9 PM (Invite only)
Speakers: Iswanto Hartono and Mellè Van Maanen

How can artistic practices build on archival materials? In what ways can historical records be utilized beyond the academic framework? What kinds of ideas and interactions can we activate through archives? This session investigates the different forms of archives--the spaces they can inhabit and the lives they can live outside the storage boxes and folders.

Session IV: Public Presentations

January 12, 2023, 6:30 PM – 9 PM (Open to the public)
Speakers: Ayos Purwoaji and Golnar Abbasi

The final session of the workshop provides spaces for the workshop participants to test and disseminate their works in the form of public presentations. Two external respondents are invited to provide their views on the presented works.