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Dear reader,

You will receive this newsletter every quarter from now on. We inform you about developments in the field of international heritage cooperation in which the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE) is involved. Do you have any questions or suggestions? Please let us know.
Newlands Swimming Pool Cape Town designed by Jongens Nixon (photo Francois Swanepoel)

19 October: Launch of book & symposium

Common Ground: Dutch-south African Architectural Exchanges 1902-61

The book presents the built legacy of the many Dutch architects and other built environment professionals who migrated to South Africa during the first half of the last century. They contributed to a new built environment which was then increasingly determined by an Apartheid-policy and spatial segregation. This richly illustrated book reveals not only a great diversity of architectural styles and building types, but also the unknown layers of a complex history of migration, cultural exchange and, at times, inconvenient truths. The book, produced by a team of South African and Dutch scholars, will be launched online on 19 October at the Zuid-Afrikahuis in Amsterdam, in the context of the History Month (Maand van de Geschiedenis). The launch will be accompanied by a symposium (both in English) on the current relevance of this heritage, moderated by Jinna Smit, Programme Director International Heritage Cooperation at the RCE. The RCE also contributed to the production of the book.
More information about event
View over Sawahlunto (photo Jean Demmeni NMVW CCO Collectie Nederland)

21 October: Online event

The coal mining heritage of Sawahlunto

As part of this year’s History Month (Maand van de Geschiedenis), the RCE is organising an online live event titled From colonial labour to future opportunities: New perspectives for the coal mining heritage in Sawahlunto (Indonesia). UNESCO recently listed the Ombilin coal mining heritage in Sawahlunto as a World Heritage Site. It showcases an important example of technological pioneering, but it also speaks of the violence of Dutch colonial rule. During this event, we will delve into the past, present and possible futures for this heritage, through the lens of the cooperation that has been taking place between Indonesian and Dutch historians and heritage specialists. Join us on October 21!
More information about event
Rudi van Straten conducts research of the Batz organ in the Maarten Lutherkerk in Paramaribo (Suriname) (photo Stephen Fokke)

28 years exchanging knowledge on and connecting people through sounding heritage

An interview with Rudi van Straten

Rudi van Straten started working at the RCE in 1993. During his 28 years working here, Rudi significantly contributed to the field of what he coined as Sounding Heritage, both in the Netherlands and abroad. In September this year, Rudi retired from the RCE. So we decided to interview him to learn more about his work, and about the opportunities sounding heritage can offer to communities and for international cooperation.
Read the interview
Main entrance of Jakartas current Bloc formerly Peruri Printworks (photo Punto Wijayanto)

My Liveable City magazine

Two contributions from our programme

The latest issue of the magazine My Liveable City focuses on the theme of Adaptation and Reuse. Since this is an important topic within the RCE and its International Heritage Cooperation programme, we contributed to this issue with two articles. One is about how the Dutch deal with heritage, a synopsis of the book on this topic, earlier published by the RCE. The second article presents the outcomes of a joint Indonesian-Dutch workshop on the future perspectives for the former State Printworks in Jakarta, organised in 2020. The magazine also includes a number of other intriguing examples on renewal and reuse, in cities like Aleppo and New York. To purchase the July - December 2021 issue of My Liveable City or to subscribe, please visit https://www.bruil.info/product/my-liveable-city-subscription/.
Read the two articles here
Session during the last edition of the training that took place online this year for the first time (photo Yulia Dolinina)

Training Sharing Stories on Contested Histories: Embassy Edition

In 2018, 2019 and 2021, the RCE and the Reinwardt Academy organised Sharing Stories on Contested Histories (SSoCH): a course for young heritage professionals from International Cultural Policy partner countries and the Netherlands. The course revolved around reflecting on the durabilities of coloniality in museum spaces and collections (and society more broadly), and on approaches and tools to present contested heritage from multiple perspectives. During this period, several staff members of Dutch Embassies expressed their interest in participating in this training. Therefore, the RCE and the Reinwardt Academy have developed a condensed and updated version, the SSoCH Embassy Edition, especially for cultural staff members of the Netherlands Embassies in the International Cultural Policy partner countries. The International Heritage Cooperation programme will run this course online in November and December 2021.
Street view of Paramaribo Suriname (photo Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands)

Second part of UHS training held this summer

At the beginning of August, part 2 of the short course Urban Heritage Strategies (UHS) took place online. UHS aims to develop a better understanding of the complex relationship between urban development and heritage management. 25 participants from four cities refreshed and applied knowledge gained during the first part in 2020. They learned to critically reflect on and apply urban heritage strategies to their own practice. Paramaribo, known as the 'Wooden City' in Suriname (see photo), was one of the four cities that were the subject of this edition of the course. The three other cities were Willemstad (Curaçao), Salvador da Bahia (Brazil) and Sawahlunto (Indonesia). All have been designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and each struggles with a good balance between conservation and development. The course is developed by the RCE in close cooperation with the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam and the Department of Architectural Engineering of Delft University of Technology.
More information
Rostov fortress in Russia seen from above (photo Anton Polevoda)

RCE and the Moscow Urban Forum

The Moscow Urban Forum (MUF) is said to be the largest international congress on the development challenges of global megacities. This year’s MUF, held online on 2 and 3 June, was titled Superstar cities. Transforming for success. It was attended by 480 lecturers from 37 countries, including 12 Dutch speakers. Jean-Paul Corten, Built Environment Coordinator of the International Heritage Cooperation programme at the RCE, was one of them. He gave a lecture during a panel on the role of historic features in urban development. Based on the ongoing cooperation between Russia and the Netherlands in the field of heritage management, Jean-Paul and the 6 other international panelists, exchanged experiences on urban regeneration and revitalization.
More information
From left to right Randy Sasaki (translator) mr Tanaka (resident of Tarama) Jose Schreurs (RCE) all involved in the Van Bosse Project (photo RCE

Update from the Van Bosse project

In the Van Bosse project in Japan, the RCE, together with its Japanese counterparts aims to collect stories about the ship Van Bosse and the interactions of its Dutch crew with the people of Tarama Island in Japan. The Van Bosse was on its way from Shanghai to Singapore when it sank during a storm in 1857. Although the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the overall project process, it is worth mentioning a few successes. New research is being conducted in Dutch archives to find out what happened to the ship and its crew during the time surrounding the shipwreck and subsequent return to Dutch territory. Results of this archival research are expected this autumn. Several publications, among which a picture book for children, are scheduled for the end of 2022 and will be partly available in the Dutch, Japanese, English and Tarama language. Our Japanese partners in this project are the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Ryukyu University and Okinawa International University.


This is the newsletter of the International Heritage Cooperation programme of the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands. This programme follows from the International Cultural Policy Framework 2021-2024 of the Dutch government. Other organisations executing the national International Heritage Cooperation programme are DutchCulture, the National Archives of the Netherlands, KIEN and the Embassies of the Netherlands in the partner countries. For more information on their activities, see their respective websites.
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