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(Updated) Book presentation Anne-Lot Hoek – Spui25

This video is only available in Dutch, read explanation below, which includes an English translation of the transcription:

On November 25, 2021 we uploaded a short video of the book presentation of ‘De strijd om Bali‘ (The struggle for Bali.)
See transcription in English:

Unfortunately, Spui25 (University of Amsterdam) urged us to remove the video. They accused Histori Bersama of copyright infringement. The book is written by Dutch historian Anne-Lot Hoek. Her research was partly funded by the Dutch government-sponsored investigation on 1945-1949 of which the results will be presented in February 2022. For 2 years she participated as researcher in this project.

Hoek contacted HB-chair Fitria Jelyta after she found out that we wrote something about her book presentation. She accused Histori Bersama of spreading lies and slander. Hoek denies that her book has anything to do with the Dutch government-sponsored research project. After Jelyta replied her and explained our motives, Hoek then contacted Spui25 to complain about our postings. It was only after this that Fatima Kamal of Spui25 contacted Histori Bersama to accuse of misusing the footage of the live-stream. We were not allowed to upload a short video of 1:44 min. with English subtitles. Nevertheless we could include the entire video as embedded link. The problem is: the whole conversation is only in Dutch, which excludes the non-Dutch followers of Histori Bersama.

Anne-Lot Hoek’s profile picture is still visible on the website of the research project

At the book presentation of November 24, 2021, Harm Botje (editor of ‘Vrij Nederland’) interviewed Hoek about her motivation to start researching Dutch crimes on Bali. She declared that the court ruling of 2011, following the K.U.K.B.-law suits against the Dutch state, triggered her to learn more about what happened between 1945-1949. Hoek claims that Pondaag is “a very important person to her” whose legal attempts to fight the Dutch system were “an eyeopener” that helped her “to connect the dots”.

However, there is no contact between Hoek and Pondaag anymore. In the summer of 2020, she and editor Botje promised to write a feature story about him and get it published around August 17, Indonesian Independence Day. After that, Pondaag sent them several e-mails with information on how he experienced systematic exclusion by Dutch media and academics. In a phone call Anne-Lot explained to him that it was not exclusion that he experienced. She also started to lecture him about how to view the so-called ‘Bersiap’. Then Pondaag sent both of them an e-mail in which he wrote why he found it unacceptable to be lectured on issues like that. Soon after, editor Botje called him and said that the project was put ‘on hold’. The reason: they were ‘very busy’ writing books. Pondaag kept asking what they meant by ‘on hold’. Was it canceled? They eventually replied him that they decided not to publish anything.

But already back in 2016 the relationship got sour when Hoek published an article on a Dutch massacre in Rengat. She got the information from K.U.K.B. They provided her contact information too. Yet, for the publication in NRC-newspaper she refused to mention the name of the foundation because she said that if she did that, she would not get the article published.

Currently, Hoek’s book ‘the struggle for Bali’ is being published as one of the first results of the study that received 4.1 million euros from the Dutch government. When the 4-years-research-project was launched in 2017, Pondaag, together with Francisca Pattipilohy, wrote an open letter to the Dutch government to protest against the study. Although the Dutch researchers acknowledged that the law suits were important in putting the matter on the agenda again, they did not invite Pondaag to the kick-off of the research. Both Pondaag and Pattipilohy as initiators of the open letter, are being ignored. As participating researcher, Anne-Lot Hoek never publicly mentioned or commented on the open letter, let alone its content. In contrast to Pondaag, Pattipilohy and other critics of the study who have great difficulty in getting articles published, Hoek has full access to Dutch mainstream media. Like the other researchers of the study, she ignores these two Indonesian critics. So what does it mean when she says that Pondaag is such an important person to her?

Transcription of parts of the video live stream of the book presentation of Anne-Lot Hoek:

[6:08 – 6:40 min.]

Harm Botje: “Anne-Lot focused on that bloody Indonesian decolonization. So that has been going on for ten years now, Anne-Lot has been working on this subject for ten years. You have worked your way up, we could say, to become one of the experts, who can be seen regularly on television, you were asked to join the committee that carries out the investigation on behalf of the government, to really dig into all that went wrong between 1945 and 1949 and in anticipation of that, you have now made this book that we are going to talk about extensively.”

[8:14 – 8:24 min.]

Harm Botje: “Today, the whole day, you gave media interviews, Anne-Lot. Tonight the big news will be shared via RTL and other media about torture camps on Bali, we will discuss this further here too.”

[11:07 – 12:53 min.]

Anne-Lot Hoek: “Immediately, I felt that there was more behind it, that the story was bigger. In the Netherlands we have… Well… that is how the discussion has evolved. We focus on single incidents of violence, but…”

Harm Botje: “Namely, South-Sulawesi…”

Anne-Lot Hoek: “Yes! This was Bali, of course it was new. But for me, it raised a lot of questions… About the bigger colonial story behind it. And why did this violence take place? And the question why intrigued me enormously. I want to know why we were there and what happened and how. I know very little about the colonial history before that [1945].”

Harm Botje: “So you wanted to go further than Rawagede… and you ended up on Bali, what did you find there? The first time you went there?”

Anne-Lot Hoek: “Uhm… can I just… Because I want to point this out briefly.”

Harm Botje: “You just mentioned Rawagede…”

Anne-Lot Hoek: “Indeed, it is the court case from 2011 after which the Dutch State had to pay damages and apologize to the widows of Rawagede. The court case that was initiated by Jeffry Pondaag was a big eyeopener for me. I saw the news coverage immediately after I returned from Bali. That was for me how I started to connect the dots. The questions that popped up in my head when I was on Bali and this court case. I was sitting there flabbergasted behind the television. That is why Jeffry Pondaag is a very important person to me. He really woke me up on that regard. That is how it continued…

[30:10 – 30:46 min.]

Anne-Lot Hoek: “I think I tried to write it from the perspective of the underdog, the people in the field. I’m not just talking about Indonesians… But also Dutch military, that’s my opinion too, they have their story as well. I found it very important to highlight these voices because that really gives another idea than the materials from the Dutch colonial archives. From what we could call ‘perpetrator-material’ to look at such period. It is very important to change the narrative. To really look at it with a critical view.”

[31:31 – 32:35 min.]

Harm Botje: “And then in February the publication of the big research by historians in which you took part as well. At least you contributed to that too. What do you expect from that report?”

Anne-Lot Hoek:

Oh dear… we didn’t discuss this question up front Harm! [laughing nervously.]

Harm Botje: “I’m just trying to broaden the… [perspective!]” 

Anne-Lot Hoek: “Uhm… I find it very difficult to say. I didn’t read the conclusion, the final book. I really focused on my own story. Yes, of course I hope it will bring a lot. That it will lead to a new direction.”

Harm Botje: “Well done! But what you write in this book is essentially part of this project?”

Anne-Lot Hoek: “Well… these are really two separate products, so to say. But I did use an important conclusion, at least an important aspect (about the federal policy and how the violence resonated in that region) that part I submitted [to the research project].”

Or download the transcription in pdf:

You may also like to read:

Anne-Lot Hoek and Dutch crimes on Bali – RTL nieuws

Fitria Jelyta responds to the book publication of Anne-Lot Hoek

The message must be very convenient – Marjolein van Pagee