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Tabee New Guinea

Time period: 1962
Number of interviews: 33
Accessibility: Currently not accessible via the website

Relatively little is known about the history of the (Indo-)Europeans and Papuans in former Dutch New Guinea. This is in contrast to the situation regarding the period after Sukarno’s proclamation of the Republik Indonesia (17 August 1945), which led to Indonesian independence. Tabee New Guinea changes this by recording personal experiences and presenting them for the general public. 



The aim of the Tabee New Guinea project is to present and document testimonies of New Guinea residents and Papuans about the eventful period around the end of Dutch rule in October 1962. The focus is on the period surrounding the transfer of sovereignty of New Guinea to the United Nations (UNTEA) on 1 October 1962. 



The Be-wonder Foundation started preparations for the Tabee New Guinea project in late 2019 and interviewing 33 people who experienced this period. Betsy Torenbos and Paul Pattynama visited the 33 interviewees’ homes. Betsy Torenbos, as an oral history expert, conducted the in-depth interviews and Paul Pattynama asked additional questions. People living scattered across the country were interviewed in their homes. The interviews, which were recorded on video and audio, lasted an average of three hours.

The video installation is a picture and sound world based on 33 interviews and was created by TeZ and Betsy Torenbos. With a valid entrance ticket to the Indisch Remembrance Centre, you can visit the installation for free. 


In the docu-theatre “Reconciliation?”, a number of interviewees, improvising composer Oscar Jan Hoogland and performer Betsy Torenbos together with singer Eef Mamoribo and Raki Ap are on stage, in the setting of the 33 interviews. Unique docu-theatre about the eventful period surrounding the Netherlands’ departure from New Guinea. What does it do to you if you have to flee once, twice or even three times? Can a person reconcile with this? And with whom?


The symposia explore underlying themes and place the interviews in a different context and relate them to current events.