This long-run series consists of 11 talks with speakers (names and dates to be announced soon) from a multidisciplinary and diverse background, who have developed in their work a variety of practices to discuss and develop strategies, scenarios, models, critical visualisations and commentaries that deal with the discourse of decolonialisation. The series is divided into four focus areas:

‣ Institutions: Significance and Speculative Future
‣ The Opposition of Binary
‣ Archive-Making
‣ Object: Value, Transaction, Otherness


1/11 ⟶ Wednesday, 13 February 2019, 17:30 · Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht, Van Eyck online ⤻
A talk with Roy Villevoye

PADAT MERAYAP | CONGESTION with Roy Villevoye at Jan van Eyck photo by Christofer Meerdo

We will talk to Roy Villevoye about his work Amún Mbes’ Reenactment and delve deeper into his artistic approach in which he represents the ideas and narratives of the other, connected to colonial subject matter. During the talk we will question which tools are being used within the museological context that play a vital role in dealing with a (colonial) past. Moreover, the talk will touch upon topics like the museum’s capacity to react to critique on the process of decolonizing itself, as well as the politics and ethics of collecting as such. In doing so, it intends to propose the possibilities of a radical reorientation on history, art practice, and political discourse.

2/11 ⟶ Friday, 5 April 2019, 18:30 · Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam, Van Eyck online ⤻, Facebook event ⤻
Pablo José Ramírez curator, art writer and cultural theorist

PADAT MERAYAP | CONGESTION with Pablo José Ramírez at Witte de With photo by Riksa Afiaty.JPG

On Friday 5 April at 17:00 you are welcome to join us for a talk with curator, art writer and cultural theorist, Pablo José Ramírez at Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art as co-organized partner.
  The Spivak "I believe that every definition or description of culture comes from the cultural assumptions of the speaker” resonated to understand the act of speaking, or speaking on behalf on the curatorial (as a field of knowledge negotiations) and curating (as an individual and institutional practice) related to the exercise of the "translation of culture”. The talk will critically think on the strategies, methods, negotiations and discourses on curatorial practice which aims to foster non-western art by look into some recent projects where non-western or indigenous voices have been include in a biennale or some historical exhibitions.

3/11 ⟶ 18 April 2019, 16:30 · Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht, link ⤻
Harm Stevens curator of 20th Century the Rijksmuseum Department of History

PADAT MERAYAP | CONGESTION with Harm Stevens at Jan van Eyck photo by Riksa Afiaty.JPG

The Rijksmuseum is currently working on Revolusi (working title), an exhibition about the Indonesian revolution (1945-1949) that is planned to open in October 2021. This project is carried out in close collaboration with Indonesian (art)historians Bonnie Triyana and Amir Sidharta. The topic of the exhibition (revolution and decolonization) and the newly established exchange with Indonesian researchers challenges the Rijksmuseum to shed new light on the museum’s Indonesia collections and to look critically at the colonial messages the museum traditionally propagates. Harm Stevens, curator at the History Department in the Rijksmuseum, gives a survey, based on four examples, of his attempts to study the Rijksmuseum collection from a decolonial perspective. Will Indonesian histories be released from their exile in the Rijksmuseum?.

4/11 ⟶ 25 April 2019, 16:30 · Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam
Ferdiansyah Thajib member of KUNCI Cultural Studies Center, Yogyakarta. Phd Candidate at the Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology, Freie Universität Berlin

PADAT MERAYAP | CONGESTION with Ferdiansyah Thajib at Jan van Eyck photo by Riksa Afiaty.JPG

Ferdi will ask questions to the audience, not the other way around. He analyzes the matter of representation (in the context of research): how to represent violence "there" (by identifying Islam as the main factor) without repeating / reifying the Islamophobic and racist arguments? how to convey this without falling into the narrative of victimization?
  The second is the question of identity itself, in LGBTQ context how the rhetoric of human rights, resistance, liberation can be poison as well as medicine in the contradiction of non-western, colonial colonialism. (against homonationalism and pinkwashing). The protagonists in this investigation articulate safety in conflicting affective registers, sometimes enabled by tropes of (hetero)normativity in sociopolitical discourse, and at other times constrained by them.

5/11 ⟶ 16 May 2019, 13:30 · Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven
A talk with Veronika Kusumaryati political and media anthropologist working in Melanesia and Southeast Asia

PADAT MERAYAP | CONGESTION with Veronika Kusumaryati at Van AbbeMuseum photo by Riksa Afiaty.JPG

Decolonising the Present: History, Experience, and Political Consciousness in West Papua
How does decolonisation look like in the “postcolony”? In the 1960s decolonisation had given birth to new nation-states in Asia, Africa, and Oceania. This decolonisation also paved the way to postcoloniality, which to some scholars represents a distinctive temporal break between colonialism and its aftermath. The recent return of the discourse of decolonization, however, resists any temporal closure to colonialism. This presentation will focus on the case of West Papua, a self-identifying term referring to Indonesia's easternmost provinces of Papua and West Papua which has been considered to be an exemplary case of deferred decolonisation. When the postwar decolonisation wave swept across the crumbling European empires in Asia, Africa, and the Pacific, West Papua was transferred from the Dutch to Indonesia in 1963 following the pressure of the United States and Indonesia’s first president Sukarno. While this transfer marked the end of European colonialism in the region, indigenous Papuans consider it to be the beginning of another period of colonialism. They continue to use this term to frame their history and especially to refer to their present experience under Indonesia. West Papua’s case demonstrates that the condition of postcoloniality does not necessarily lead to decolonisation. Instead, “a colonial present” seems to exemplify the trans-temporality of colonialism in West Papua. As an anthropologist, Veronika is interested in offering a new approach to the ethnography and historiography of colonialism, decolonisation, and postcoloniality.

6/11 ⟶ 4 June 2019, 17:30 · Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht
Catarina Simao Artist, Mozambique Film Archive

PADAT MERAYAP | CONGESTION with Catarina Simao at Jan van Eyck photo by Riksa Afiaty.JPG

Simão has been developing the research of Mozambique Film Archive. The project is centered on an ongoing dialog with a specific archive, the Frelimo film collection, kept in the State Archive in Maputo, Mozambique. Simão’s talk will be reflects on this research project tracing stories and reassembling images that contributes to shaping a different view of transitional processes in the context of Mozambique’s independence. Her artistic approach focuses on exploring forms of telling history, of collecting, and of archiving.

7/11 ⟶ 13 June 2019, 15:30 - 17:00 · Matthias de Vrieshof 2, room 002, Leiden University
Chương-Đài Võ Researcher at Asia Art Archive and independent curator

This talk will introduce Asia Art Archive and its research collections. The Hong Kong based, non-profit organisation was founded in 2000 to address the dearth of primary and secondary material for research on modern and contemporary art in Asia. Since 2010, AAA has been working with artists, art historians, curators, and writers to digitise and make available their material to a wider public. These research collections are a valuable repository of print, photographic, video and other types of material for primary and secondary research on modern and contemporary art in Asia. This talk also will discuss other aspects of AAA, such as exhibition-making and public programmes.

8/11 ⟶ 17 June 2019, 17:30 - 18:30 · Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht
Marjolein van Pagee Histori Bersama

The exceptionality of the Dutch colonization of Indonesia is that the colonizers did not teach the Dutch language to the masses. Only the elites learned to speak Dutch. Currently this language barrier still prevents Indonesians to get access to archival sources and to get a clear picture of the debate in the Netherlands. As a consequence there are almost no critical Indonesian voices in the Netherlands that confront the former colonizers with their one-sided view on history. Hence it is easier for the Dutch to keep reproducing colonial views, without receiving fierce resistance.
  Historian Marjolein van Pagee will elaborate on the importance of language in decolonial discourse. She argues that the language barrier worsened the ignorance in the Netherlands regarding their human right violations against Indonesians in the past. The huge differences between Dutch and Indonesian views motivated her to set up online platform ‘Histori Bersama’ (shared history). The website offers translations of Dutch and Indonesian articles that reflect upon colonial history. One of the goals of Histori Bersama is to encourage critical discourse across country borders. As such the website draws particular attention towards the growing concerns regarding the approach, independency and outline of the Dutch government sponsored research on violence during the Indonesian independence war (1945-1949.)

9/11 ⟶ CANCELED · Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht
Walter Mignolo Argentine semiotician (École des Hautes Études) and professor at Duke University

Art and Design are regional concepts associated with the praxis that the concepts imply. Aesthetics is a common denominator of art and design, although with different values. Both concepts as well as the praxis and conceptualization of the praxis and of the products of such praxis, belong to the experiences and conceptualization of that experiences grounded in the regional memories and histories of North Atlantic--first in Western Europe and then in Anglo-America. Art and Design are concepts of the rhetoric of modernity that, since their inception, hides and/or legitimize the logic of coloniality. For that reason, conversations on decolonizing designs, decolonizing design already begun. What decolonizing aesthetic, art and design would look like and where would that take us? I would suggest that it would take us to re-cover specific spheres of aesthesis (space here) buried by the logic of coloniality and, in this case, by the concepts of art, design and aesthetics.

10/11 ⟶ 25 June 2019, 17:30 · Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht
Patrick D. Flores Professor of Art Studies at the University of the Philippines, Curator of the University of the Philippines Vargas Museum, Manila, and Adjunct Curator of the National Art Gallery, Singapore

Conceptualizing Singapore Biennale 2019: Reflections on a Theoretical Vernacular
The talk reflects on how the 2019 Singapore Biennale has been conceptualized, specifically on how it moves away from a “theme” that captures the material of the biennale project. In place of the theme, the biennale is shaped by a method and procedure. In this regard, a post-colonial imperative intervenes to propose a theoretical vernacular, a particular way of thinking through the range of problematics that a biennale in 2019 implicates. The title of the biennale comes from a woman peasant revolutionary from the Philippines in the 1930s, inflected by the performative practice of a Singaporean artist and supported by notions of successive efforts, intervals, and delays in the persistent making of the contemporary.

11/11 ⟶ CANCELED · Evaluation


1/11 ⟶ Roy Villevoye (1960, Maastricht) studied at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam, where he also currently works as an advisor; in the late 1980s he was also assistant to Sol LeWitt. After a successful career as a painter in that period, he started following a new artistic course; especially since 1992 when he began to travel frequently outside Europe, mostly to Papua, the former Dutch New Guinea. His encounters with the Asmatpeople inspired him to create a variety of works – first paintings, gradually also photographs and works in other media – about colour, cultural codification and identity. The films he has been making since 1998 together with Jan Dietvorst demonstrate an uneasy encounter and dialogue between two asynchronous cultures, beyond simplified notions of the Enlightenment, of progress, the primitive and the mythical. Villevoye’s work has been exhibited worldwide and has received several awards. He lives and works in Amsterdam.

2/11 ⟶ Pablo José Ramírez is a curator, art writer and cultural theorist. He holds an MA in Contemporary Art Theory from Goldsmiths, University of London. He has published extensively and has been member of different curatorial advisory boards and juries for institutions such as Gasworks, The Visible Award, MADC, Teoretica, Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros among others. Ramirez is the former Artistic Director at Ciudad de la Imaginación (2010-2014). Following that, he has been working internationally as independent curator and researcher. Among his recent exhibitions are: This Might be a Place for Hummingbirds co-curator with Remco de Blaaij, Center for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow (2014); The Party of Others: Terike Haapoja, Ciudad de la Imaginación, Guatemala (2014); Guatemala Después, co-curator with Nitin Sahwney and Anabella Acevedo, Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, Parsons School of Design, New York (2015); 8,000 Años Después, Liberia, Bogota (2017); The Shores of the World: on communality and interlingual politics, Display, Prague (2018). Currently Ramirez is working on a project for Tate Modern related to sound and community, to be commissioned by Tate Exchange for 2020. In 2015 he co-curated with Cecilia Fajardo-Hill, Anabella Acevedo and Rosina Cazali the19th Bienal de Arte Paiz and is the Co-founder and Artistic Director of the curatorial journal Infrasonica, to be launched in 2019. Ramirez was awarded with the Independent Curators International/CPPC 2019 Travel Award. His interests rely on questions of coloniality and translation, the relation indigeneity — contemporary art, non-human thought and sound as a political speculative experience.

3/11 ⟶ Harm Stevens has worked at the Rijksmuseum since 2009. He is jointly in charge of the Department of 20th-century Art, which was launched at the museum’s reopening in 2013. In 2015, Stevens published Bitter Spice: Indonesia and the Netherlands since 1595, a book that explores museum objects to shed light on the shared history of the Netherlands and Indonesia. Besides colonial history and collecting, Stevens is also specialized in Dutch post-war history, and particularly 1960s counterculture. His main interests are happenings, the Provo movement, ‘the rise of the Homo Ludens’ and anti-smoking magician Robert Jasper Grootveld. It was these artistic phenomena that in 1967 led a British journalist to remark, ‘The Dutch have stopped being dull’. In addition to the wide-ranging 20th-century collection, Stevens is also responsible for the Rijksmuseum’s collections of arms, official uniforms and flags.

4/11 ⟶ Ferdiansyah Thajib is a PhD Candidate at the Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology, Freie Universität Berlin. He was also an Associate Scholar at “The Researcher’s Affects project”, funded by The Volkswagen Foundation. Since 2007, he has been a member of KUNCI Cultural Studies Center, in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. KUNCI is a research collective that focuses on critical knowledge production and sharing through cross-disciplinary encounters, action-research and vernacular education with and across community spaces. His work is situated at the intersections of theory and praxis, with specific research interests on queer modes of endurance and forms of affective entanglement in everyday life. In 2017, Ferdi joined the Institute for Queer Theory, Berlin, mainly as co-initiator of the public event series “When does it become violence?”.

5/11 ⟶ Veronika Kusumaryati is a political and media anthropologist working in Melanesia and Southeast Asia. She holds a Ph.D. from the Department of Anthropology, with a secondary field in Film and Visual Studies, at Harvard University. Her research is mainly in West Papua— a self-identifying term referring to Indonesia's easternmost provinces of Papua and West Papua— and deals with the theories and historiography of colonialism, decolonization, and postcoloniality. She is currently a Harvard College Fellow in social anthropology and teaches classes on the anthropology of media and colonialism at Harvard College. 

6/11 ⟶ Catarina Simão is an artist and researcher who lives and works between Maputo and Lisbon.Her practice is built upon long-term research projects that entail collaborative partnerships and different forms of presentation to the public. Simão is known for her essay-like displays, using documentation, writing, video and drawing. She also engages in radio shows and public talks, participatory workshops, curating film screenings and publishing.
  Since 2009 that Simão works with the notion of Archive, engaging especially with Mozambique colonial and anti-colonial history. Simão approaches critically the counterpart of record’s custody, their mutable meanings and their ability to embody a deferred knowledge. She works mainly with film and video set in installation but also uses other figurative elements like photography, textbooks, drawing and sound. Simão's work has been shown at Serralves Museum, Manifesta 8, Africa.cont, Reina Sofia Museum, Ashkal Alwan, New Museum, The Kyiv School, EVA International, Transit Gallery, Garage Museum and IASPIS, among others.In Mozambique, Simão developed conditions for an artistic intervention within a social context by collaborating with local associations and institutions. She co-curated Arsenal's Living Archive film digitalization project and she is a member of the Mozambique Oficina de História (History Workshop). In 2016, she co-directed a Mozambique TV film called Djambo.

7/11 ⟶ Chương-Đài Võ is a Researcher at Asia Art Archive, specializing in modern and contemporary art in Southeast Asia. Her writing can be found in Afterall Journal, Revues culturelles (forthcoming), Southern Constellations: The Poetics of the Non-Aligned, Taipei Fine Arts Museum’s Modern Quarterly, and Journal of Vietnamese Studies.

8/11 ⟶ Marjolein van Pagee is a Dutch photographer, publicist and historian focusing on the Dutch colonization of Indonesia. She’s the founder of Histori Bersama, an online platform that offers Dutch and Indonesian translations of recently published articles about colonial history. She studied photography at AKV St. Joost In Breda and obtained her master in colonial history at Leiden University. Since 2010 she’s traveling back and forth to Indonesia, in 2014 she lived in Surabaya for half a year. In her photography work she is known for the series ‘Kembang Kuning - Yellow Flower’, in which she portrayed and interviewed Dutch and Indonesian veterans.

9/11 ⟶ Walter Mignolo is William H. Wannamaker Professor of Literature at Duke University and has joint appointments in Cultural Anthropology and Romance Studies. He received his Ph.D. from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes, Paris. Before coming to Duke in January, 1993, he taught at the Universities of Toulouse, Indiana, and Michigan. He has published extensively on semiotics and literary theory, and has in the past years been working on different aspects of the modern/colonial world and exploring concepts such as global coloniality, the geopolitics of knowledge, transmodernity, border thinking, and di/pluriversalities.

10/11 ⟶ Patrick D. Flores is Professor of Art Studies at the Department of Art Studies at the University of the Philippines, which he chaired from 1997 to 2003, and Curator of the Vargas Museum in Manila. He was one of the curators of Under Construction: New Dimensions in Asian Art in 2000 and the Gwangju Biennale (Position Papers) in 2008. He was a Visiting Fellow at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. in 1999 and an Asian Public Intellectuals Fellow in 2004. Among his publications are Painting History: Revisions in Philippine Colonial Art (1999); Remarkable Collection: Art, History, and the National Museum (2006); and Past Peripheral: Curation in Southeast Asia (2008). He was a grantee of the Asian Cultural Council (2010) and a member of the Advisory Board of the exhibition The Global Contemporary: Art Worlds After 1989 (2011) organized by the Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe and member of the Guggenheim Museum’s Asian Art Council (2011 and 2014). He co-edited the Southeast Asian issue with Joan Kee for Third Text (2011). He convened in 2013 on behalf of the Clark Institute and the Department of Art Studies of the University of the Philippines the conference “Histories of Art History in Southeast Asia” in Manila. He was a Guest Scholar of the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles in 2014. He curated an exhibition of contemporary art from Southeast Asia and Southeast Europe titled South by Southeast and the Philippine Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2015. He is the Artistic Director of Singapore Biennale 2019.

PADAT MERAYAP / CONGESTION is a common term in Indonesia to refer to a traffic jam as commonly referred to slowly moving into a crowd of cars. The idea of being desperately trapped in unwanted circumstance, while consciously and aggressively honking in a rather passive situation leads me to ask: what can one do? Congestion also indicates chaos. We are together in one situation; we are the traffic, in one problem while anxiously honking. This gesture implies simultaneously both inability and desire to exit such discomfort, if only a horn could miraculously clear the traffic.
  To exercise emotional control that helps us deal with chaotic-desperate situations, we have no choice but to show a cold head and a sincere heart. This distinctive concept illustrates a decolonial struggle. We are trapped in-situ. Similar to living in a metropolis: going to work, cursing in the streets, gambling with life. The routine starts again next morning.
  The series of Talk aims at the better understanding of the present through the study of decolonial. The decolonial is here understood not as a theme, but rather as a position that provides us with analytical tools to find options to think about our world. The talk will set in a speculative spirit: imagined scenarios and stretching possibilities to be looked at together.
  Further, each iteration seeks to enable an argument in a schema of (colonial) institutions and it derivatise manner; power, knowledge, policy by addressing a questions include:

A How has decolonial been framed? Which concepts and theories are being used and/or developed? How do they relate to other relevant fields of study such as arts, culture and social justice?

B How have decolonial ideas developed in some (colonial) institutions? How do intellectuals, academics, artists, or curators articulate ideas or proposals on decolonial issues?

C Can artistic and cultural agency contribute to decolonial issues? How?

The plan for the series of talk is to discuss and develop a strategy, scenarios, models, critical visualisations and commentaries that deal with the decolonial discourse. The talk is divided into 4 fragments; each fragment aims at interrogating and examine the construction of histories of colonialism and links to our contemporary life by putting into dialogue multidisciplinary and divers speakers including intellectuals, scholars, artists, curators who have developed enunciation in various forms.

This long-run series consists of 11 talks with speakers (names and dates to be announced soon) from a multidisciplinary and diverse background, who have developed in their work a variety of practices to discuss and develop strategies, scenarios, models, critical visualisations and commentaries that deal with the discourse of decolonialisation. The series is divided into four focus areas:

‣ Institutions: Significance and Speculative Future
‣ The Opposition of Binary
‣ Archive-Making
‣ Object: Value, Transaction, Otherness


In a distant past, in a bid to store and catalogue systems, travellers worldwide – namely apothecaries, missionaries, botanists and scientists – decided to build rooms for extraordinary apparatuses. Devices utilized for such tasks as imagining, traveling, observing and collecting, in order to possess materials from faraway lands and render them to suit their own vision of ‘the other’. Over the years these tools have been used for the benefit of humankind. Yet, as modern devices evolve so do their functionality, be it due to (de)colonisation and/or modernity. For the artists in this exhibition, the focus is on the retooling and re-appropriation of these instruments. In doing so, they reveal the complexity of the societies they originated from. They aim to manifest as closely as possible their presence in the complex and vastly changing world we live in.

With Claudia Martinez Garay, Ilya Fedotov-Fedorov, Köken Ergun, Post-Museum, Roy Villevoye, They Are Here
Curators Riksa Afiaty, Huib Haye van der Werf
Opening Friday 15 march, 17:00­-19:00 (during Open Studios)
Exhibition 16 march – 12 april 2019, Mo-Fri 9:00-17:00
Location Jan van Eyck Academie, Academieplein 1, 6211 KM Maastricht


For more information please get in touch with Riksa Afiaty ruangantariksaATgmailDOTcom


curator, researcher Riksa Afiaty
graphic design & website Karoline Swiezynski
communication Solange Roosen, Anne Vangronsveld
documentation Christopher Meerdo

Advisory Board

Huib Haye van der Werf
Liesbeth Bik and Jos Van der Pol
Wendelien Van Oldenborgh

2019, IN-LAB parallel curriculum initiated by participants of Jan van Eyck Academie

Van Eyck


code assistance Jonathan Mikkelsen
font Lincoln/MITRE by David Bennewith
font Viksjoe by Monokrom Skriftforlag AS