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Matawai Recovering Voices

Accessibility: openbaar
Period of interviews: 1970-1980

Smithsonian Institution

link to collection


To give an idea of what life was like in the 1970s when Green lived among the Matawai, original photographs from the Edward C. Green Papers are scattered throughout, courtesy of the Smithsonian Institute


Green, an anthropologist, collected notes, photographs and audio recordings made during his time among the Matawai in the early 1970s, all of which were recently donated to the Smithsonian’s National Anthropological Archives. Sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution’s Recovering Voices programme, three Matawai researchers had access to this valuable historical material for the first time and were allowed to take back copies to share with the rest of their community.


Photograph from the Edward C. Green papers

Javanese in the (Dutch) polder
Number of interviews: 42
Accessibility: via BHIC and Haags Gemeentearchief
Transcripts: yes
Period of interviews: 2012-

BHIC (19 interviews)

Search procedure to get to collection

Click on the magnifying glass on the right in the search field

Left click on filter button  ‘Toon verfijningen’

Under ARCHIEF click on ‘Toon alle ** items’

At ‘Archief’ scroll down and click on ‘Javanen in de Polder’ 

Go back up and type ‘interview’ in the search field


Haags Gemeentearchief (23 interviews)

Enter in search field: 1522-01 Javanen in de (Nederlandse) polder

Further clicking to the source possible


The project “Javanese in the (Dutch) Polder” (JIP project for short) is an ongoing project that started in December 2012. In the project, STICHJI, in collaboration with trackers, searches for tangible traces of Javanese Surinamese in the Netherlands. Using personal photographs and personal stories, the process of migration and settlement of interviewees is documented. Automatically, these interviews include work life, social life and involvement in social initiatives. Together, the collected material forms the tangible and intangible heritage of Javanese Surinamese in the Netherlands, which is deposited with local archives with which STICHJI collaborates.

The project started in North Brabant and The Hague and is being expanded to other places where many Javanese live. The material collected by trackers of the JIP project has been used for various exhibitions, lectures and publications.


Warung Mini XL Den Haag. Fotograaf: Matte Soemopawiro

Dutch development policy Surinam

Stichting Film en Wetenschap
Time period: 1954-1975


Collection former Film and Science Foundation


Interviewer(s): Paulien van den Tempel

Number of persons: 14

Number of interviews: 21
Production date: March-July 1975
Type of interview(s): scientific
Carrier: 25 tapes
Accessibility: restricted
Transcription: none

The interviews were conducted within the framework of Van den Tempel’s PhD research on the Dutch development policy for Suriname since 1954.
Almost all interviews were held in Paramaribo. The interviewees held an official or political position in Suriname in or before 1975 and speak about the Dutch development policy for Suriname. In November 1975 Suriname became independent.


dr. H. Adhin, mr. C.R. Biswamitre, ir. R. Cambridge (2x), dr. ir. F.E. Essed (5x), ir. F.R. Frijmersum, ir. G. Hindori, E. Karamat Ali, L. Neslo (2x), mr. J. van Petten, ir. R. Shankar, ir. A.G. Smit, drs. R. Somaroo (2x), J. Thijm, dr. ir. H.M. IJvel

Javanese in diaspora

Arrival of Javanese in Paramaribo, 1923





Timeframe: from 1890

Number of interviews: 57


Website: javanen-in-diaspora



Until 1939, approximately 33,000 Javanese in Suriname transferred. After their contract period, the majority settled in Suriname. Only a minority returned to Indonesia. The most described return is the organized repatriation in 1954 of about 1000 people to Indonesia. This consisted of Javanese ex-contract workers and their (grand) children born in Suriname. Against better judgment, they did not end up in Java, but in Tongar, a town in West Sumatra. Most of them did not stay long. Their search for a better life brought them to other places in Indonesia: Pekanbaru, Padang, Medan, Jambi, Jakarta, but also back to Suriname.


Much less known is the group migration in 1953 of several dozen Javanese to neighboring French Guiana. Presumably even more individuals left for French Guiana in groups until the late 1960s. During Suriname’s internal war, Javanese, especially from Moengo and Albina, also fled to French Guiana. According to 2005 French population data, some 1,900 Javanese currently live in French Guiana.


The most recent extensive land relocation of Javanese Surinamese took place before the independence of Suriname in 1975, this time from Suriname to the Netherlands. Under the spell of political leaders who believed that independence would not benefit the position of the Javanese, some 22,000 Javanese left for the Netherlands. Among them were also those who had previously tried in Indonesia and in French Guiana.


This multiple migration of the Surinamese Javanese, is the subject of the life story project Javanese Migration and Heritage in Suriname, Indonesia and the Netherlands. In order to get a clear picture of the multiple migrations and the personal experiences of the Javanese migrants, an oral history project was set up around migration and heritage formation among the Javanese in Suriname, Indonesia and the Netherlands.


The Royal Institute for Language, Agriculture and Ethnology (KITLV) and the Foundation for the Commemoration of Javanese Immigration (STICHJI) collaborated on this project.

The interviews can be listened to on the website of Javanese in Diaspora, the metadata and summaries of the interviews are stored in EASY.

Narrated (In)justice

NIOD - Nicole L. Immler
Number of interviews: 53
Period of interviews: 2014-2016

Case study 1: The colonial damage claims

Number of interviews: 28

Case 2: The Holocaust damage claims

Number of interviews: 16

Case 3: The slavery past

Number of interviews: 9


Narrated (In)justice is a research project (2014-2016) by historian Nicole L. Immler that depicts how historical injustice increasingly demands public attention through financial compensation claims. Worldwide, compensation payments for victims have become an important part of ‘recognition’ in recent years. In the Netherlands, recent payments to Jewish-Dutch victims have played a role in the claims of victims of the decolonisation war in Indonesia (the so-called Rawagede case) and are also a point of reference in the claims of descendants of former enslaved people from the former colonies of Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles.


On the basis of three Dutch cases – relating to the Holocaust, colonialism and slavery – the project shows how the experience of injustice in families is passed on over generations, what the motivation behind compensation claims is, and what the perception and meaning of such measures is. The question is whether such compensation also meets people’s expectations of it.


The research Narrated (In)Justice is made possible by a Marie Curie Fellowship in the 7th European Community Framework Program, carried out within the research programme ‘Understanding the Age of Transitional Justice: Narratives in Historical Perspective’ of the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies.


Immler, dr. N.L. (NIOD Instituut voor Oorlogs-, Holocaust- en Genocidestudies) (2017): Thematische collectie: Narrated injustice. DANS.

Mevrouw Paturusi en de heer Monji tijdens de schorsing van de rechtszaak tegen de staat om de executie van duizenden Indonesische mannen in 1947 in Zuid-Sulawesi door Nederlandse militairen. Beeld ANP

Immler, N. L., & Scagliola, S. (2020). Seeking justice for the mass execution in Rawagede/ Probing the concept of ‘entangled history’ in a postcolonial setting. Rethinking History, 24(1), 1 – 28.


Immler, N. L. (2018). Hoe koloniaal onrecht te erkennen? De Rawagede-zaak laat kansen en grenzen van rechtsherstel zien. BMGN – Low Countries Historical Review, 133(4), 57.






Foto van de tentoonstelling ‘De weduwen’, met portretten van Suzanne Liem en teksten van Nicole L. Immler. Nationaal Militair Museum, Soest, 1 april – 20 augustus 2017. © Nicole L. Immler.