July 4, 2022
Recently, the K.U.K.B. foundation filed a complaint against the Amsterdam Court of Appeal regarding the decision of the Public Prosecutor not to prosecute the Rijksmuseum, the director and the curator for using the term ‘Bersiap’ in the exhibition Revolusi about the Indonesian National Revolution. We reported the Rijksmuseum to the police in January.
In our opinion, the Public Prosecutor’s decision not to prosecute Rijksmuseum is largely based on arguments of those who are in favor of using the term ‘Bersiap’.
In our view, the term ‘Bersiap’ is mainly used as an indictment of the colonizers against the colonized, who, against their expectations, showed no gratitude for the three-and-a-half centuries of exploitation, racism and slavery, but revolted against it as soon as the opportunity presented itself.
The term ‘Bersiap’ portrays Indonesians as ungrateful, irrational barbarians who used violence for no reason at all. This does not do justice to the actual situation: the Netherlands was an occupier of other people’s land and had no business there.
The Amsterdam Court will examine the case. First, the Dutch Public Prosecution Service is given the opportunity to express its opinion on the complaint. After that we expect that a court hearing will be scheduled in which we can explain our objections. That hearing will probably take place around the end of the year. The verdict will then follow a few weeks later.