Showing posts from December, 2008


This year is closed with a thought that still a lot to be done to support heritage movements in Indonesia. The Indonesia Heritage Trust has a very dedicated and energetic Executive Director and a group of very generous Board of Directors, but the Trust still struggles to have its own office, find an endowment fund and creating longer term programs which give more impacts to the country. Efforts to create the endowment fund should be really thought seriously because it is difficult to survive merely from donations. How certain a possibility to sustain the organization in a long run? The same situation applies for other heritage organizations. Aren't we all creating projects to generate income? Idealism is good but very difficult to implement it without monetary means. For six year (1998-2004) I was the Executive Director of Sumatra Heritage Trust and I knew perfectly all headaches about operational costs. My colleagues and I had to come up with ideas what to do next. We had hardly a

I am Sorry to Hear This!

(Sad news from my LEAD network. I am deeply concerned when this thing happened. Absolutely sad. ) From: Simon Lyster, LEAD International, Chief Executive Dear all, You may have heard the news that LEAD Fellow Jestina Mukoko from Zimbabwe (Cohort 10) was reportedly taken from her home by armed police on 3 December and has not been seen since. Clearly this is of grave concern, and there has been an international outcry as a result. Jestina is Director of the Zimbabwe Peace Project and a Board member of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum. You find a letter I have written to Robert Mugabe, and also a background fact sheet prepared by Amnesty International. I have focused my letter on the fact that Jestina is a LEAD Fellow, but you may like to refer to other matters raised by Amnesty as well. (Up-date per 15 January 2009) It has been 40 days since LEAD Fellow Jestina Mukoko has been taken from her home in the town of Norton, Zimbabwe. LEAD is engaging with the political leaders in the region


I saw the film “Pearl Harbor” last night after zapping the channels for a while. I was reminded about the Japanese actions during the Second World War, not only by bombing the Pearl Harbor but what they have done in Asia including in Indonesia. And the Dutch suffered a lot from the Japanese occupation in Indonesia because many of them went to camps. The Japanese camps in Indonesia were in a devastated situation with barely supply of basic needs. It was a dark period for the Dutch. Somehow I was curious about how the Dutch nowadays feel towards the Japan. So last Saturday when I went to the library and I saw a book titled ‘Op Oorlogspad in Japan’ (On the War Path in Japan) by Adriaan van Dis, I took the book right away. The first book for me about Dutch-Japan relationships. I am sure many more books on the subject but I have to start somewhere. No wonder I was caught by the ‘Pearl Harbor’ film last night; it was a kind of a warming up to enter the subject. It was a perfect serendipity

Paradigm Shift about Shared Heritage Cooperation

My preposition about : Bilateral Shared Heritage Cooperation Indonesia-The Netherlands Foreword Heritage movement by community in Indonesia is relatively new. It started about the mid of 80’s in big cities in Java. Only at the end of the 90’s it is disseminated to other islands, mainly Sumatra and Sulawesi. The understanding about heritage itself began in a very limited definition mainly about built heritage which heavily influenced by the Dutch architectures in urban areas. The heritage movement made a progress in 2004 when all non-government organizations established an umbrella organization, Indonesia Heritage Trust. It was continued with the launching of Indonesian Charter for Heritage Conservation which defined heritage and its broad understanding beyond built heritage. This charter became a foundation of heritage programs ever since. As nature of a movement, there are a lot of initiatives have been launched and some executed into implementations over the years by different organi

Keep the Spirit High

From 4-10 Dec I accompanied two colleagues, Sita and Catrini, who visited the Netherlands. We are all from BPPI (Indonesia Heritage Trust.) It was always fun to get together with other members of the same 'habitat.' 5 December . First, we met with the Prince Claus Funds in their brand new office in Amsterdam. The PCF helped BPPI with funds related to the earthquakes in Yogyakarta and West Sumatra. It was a very friendly meeting. Then we run to the second meeting in Erfgoed Nederland, had lunch with the representatives of the Indonesian Embassy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Education, Culture & Science, the Institute of Netherlands Collections and Dept. of Conservation. Mainly it was about the new policy of the Dutch government related to the shared heritage cooperation with 8 prioritized countries. One of them is Indonesia. The third meeting was with extra participants from Tropen Museum, Museum Maluku and PAC Consultants. We discussed more about shared heritage

Wisdom, Devotion and Modesty

One of my task currently is assisting BPPI in establishing the National Committee of Blue Shield Indonesia. The Blue Shield is a kind of red-cross initiative for culture when (natural or war)disaster happens. For this task I came across the presentation of Jan Pronk again which he presented during 'Cultural Emergency Response' Conference in the Hague, 25 September 2006. I was impressed by his thoughts and asked his permission to quote them here. He was very kind to let me to do it. His speech titled 'Wisdom, Devotion and Modesty.' For the full text you can see through his website : but here are several points which caught my attentions. The Taliban wanted to break more than stones of the Buddha statues. They wanted to break the spirit of another religion. They were after the soul of another culture, the mind of people worshipping other gods. The Serbs bombed a national library in Sarajevo because they wanted to destroy the heart of mult