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In the picture: Photography from the Dutch East Indies

Streetmerchants in the Dutch East Indies, ca. 1910.
© Leiden University Libraries Digital Collections: Southeast Asian & Caribbean Images (KITLV)

A lecture on KITLV’s Indies photo collection by Coen van ‘t Veer at the Vossiuszaal in the University Library Leiden on 24/02/2023.

While writing books on Dutch East Indies (literary) history, Coen van ‘t Veer became fascinated by KITLV’s rich photo collection. Searching for new gems from the collection, Van ‘t Veer consults the digital image bank of Leiden University Library, where the KITLV photo collection is housed, on a weekly basis.
For KVVAK members, Coen van ‘t Veer will hold a lecture on a number of special photographs from this collection. These are photos that others consider damaged or unsuccessful, but which Van ‘t Veer, on the contrary, considers very successful because these (amateur) snapshots give an entirely unique picture of life in the colony and are also of great beauty.

Europeans on board the Ophir of the Koninklijke Paketvaart Maatschappij, possibly on their way to the Dutch East Indies, 1911.
© Leiden University Libraries Digital Collections: Southeast Asian & Caribbean Images (KITLV)

Coen van ‘t Veer (Zierikzee, 1968) is attached to the Dutch Studies programme at Leiden University and is editor/treasurer of Indische Letteren. In 2020, he obtained his PhD with De kolonie op drift, a dissertation on fiction about the journey by mail boat between the Netherlands and the East Indies (1850-1940). Together with Gerard Termorshuizen, he published Indisch leven in Den Haag (1930-1940), A grand and compelling life; Dominique Berretty – Indisch persmagnaat in 2018 and Through the eyes of Dodo Berretty, the life of a forgotten photographer in 2021. With Rick Honings and Jacqueline Bel, Coen van ‘t Veer is editor of the literary history De postkoloniale spiegel; de Nederlands-Indische letteren herlezen (2021). Together with Rick Honings, he makes The Postcolonial podcast. The central question is to what extent the study of (post)colonial literature can contribute to processing the colonial past. In six episodes, they talk about this with Pamela Pattynama, Olf Praamstra, Alfred Birney, Arnoud Arps, Adriaan van Dis, Nick Tomberge, Feba Sukamana and Lara Nuberg.

Candi Sewi, 1898, met Kassian Cephas en tekst in de foto © Collectie van Martin Roos

After a break, a viewing of a selection of photographs from the KITLV photo collection will take place in the Heinsiuszaal.

Then Martin Roos, KVVAK member and avid collector of historical photographs from the Dutch East Indies, will be interviewed by Renée Steenbergen, KVVAK board member about his collection building and his way of collecting.


14:30 uur – Reception Vossiuszaal at the University library Leiden

15:00 uur – Start

17:00 uur – End

Please note that there is a maximum number of participants. If the registration form is no longer visible then the max number has been reached.