KITLV. Statement of support to Anne-Lot Hoek
With great approval, the KITLV took notice of the call from the Royal Dutch Historical Society (KNHG) to the Histori Bersama foundation and the KUKB foundation to stop the intimidation against Anne-Lot Hoek. We would like to reinforce this statement, which sets a clear limit on how academics are being threated, from the perspective of discussions in which KITLV researchers are also actively involved.
The debate about the Indonesian history and the nature of Dutch colonial violence has drastically changed in recent years, there is currently much more attention to differences in perspective, not only between the Netherlands and Indonesia but also for differences within the Netherlands and Indonesia. That is the merit of both activists and academics who often agree with each other, but also often disagree. That is why it is called a debate. At times, the conversation about this has a fierce tone, which is understandable. For many, it is also a personal history that has long received insufficient critical attention.
However, this intimidation [by Histori Bersama and KUKB], which is aimed at deliberately and systematically damaging Hoek’s name and reputation, has little to do with that. Without a sense of security, and without academic freedom (that is put under pressure by this kind of intimidation and targeted attacks on the individual) no debate is possible. We fully support Hoek and all other academics who are intimidated or threatened.