Showing posts from 2020


International Symposium on Water and Culture, Monday, February 3rd, 2020, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS), Tokyo, Japan, (Organized by High-level Experts and Leaders Panel on Water and Disasters (HELP), National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS), Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism of Japan (MLIT), UN Center for Regional Development (UNCRD/UNDESA), and ICOMOS Netherlands) Water nurtures a unique and diverse culture of a society that becomes a solid foundation of sustainable development of regions. Innovative paths for regional development can be found by looking at people’s lives and livelihood through a water lens. Leading experts on water and culture will present cases of rich water culture and their impact on regional society and economy. Good practices and lessons on water-related regional development will be shared from both historical and modern cases. The panelists discussed how the issue of water and culture can

Le Corbusier's Ghetto (and how the Dutch deal with it)

Last night I took a part in an online discussion for television and live stream programs with the representatives of the Municipality of Amsterdam and the Housing Corporation Rochdale about living in Amsterdam Southeast. It was organized by the New Metropolis Zuidoost, a branch of Pakhuis de Zwijger, a think tank for urban and sustainability issues.  I had to be bold in five minutes that I had during the broadcasting. So what I said is that Amsterdam Southeast was built based on the ideals of Le Corbusier, the Swiss architect, that everyone no matter from which background has the right to light, air, and space. He dreamed of urban development that separated work, living, recreation, and various modes of mobility. This ideal was applied in Amsterdam Zuidoost in the 1960s to be the largest experiment ever in the world in terms of scale and innovations. The experiment was lead by Cornelis van Eesteren, the pioneer of modern architecture in the Netherlands. The reality showed that some par


In Indonesia, there are 33 former sugar factories that are older than one hundred years. And the plantation industry echoed the glorious past when Indonesia or to be more correctly, the Dutch Indies, supplied the world with the best tobacco, tremendous amount of spices, and other commodities. A story of industrial heritage is a story of the economic history of the country intertwined with stories of culture and people. Every time I saw a former and still existing industrial site, I am excited to learn and to find out more. On the other hand, I found a few resources from the Indonesians self. Most resources come from the archives and resources of the Netherlands. It shows that industrial heritage is not on the agenda yet in Indonesia.  That is basically my motivation to promote the industrial heritage of Indonesia through ANIH, the Asian Network for Industrial Heritage, that was established in 2018 initiated by Taiwan. I would like to encourage the Indonesians, especially, about the pot


Indonesia is busy dealing with a lot of economic and social problems at this moment. I am hesitant to inform you of what I thought a milestone in the cultural sector today. But there is never a right moment if I wait. So I put forward what I think the Indonesians should know. In colonial times, there were many cultural goods were looted by the Dutch. The current Minister of Education, Culture and Science of the Netherlands, Ingrid van Engelshoven, would like to have a policy on what to do with those looted cultural goods. The Colonial Collections Committee was established about a year ago with the main task to provide advice to the Minister.  I was humbled to be asked to join the Committee, together with the other nine members. On Wednesday 7 October 2020, we officially handed over our advice to the Minister. Later this advice will be disseminated in English and Bahasa Indonesia. For now, I share here the summary of the advice in English. I think it is worth reading since it is abo


I encouraged monthly discussions amongst heritage activists and organizations around Sumatra who united in Pansumnet (Pan-Sumatra Network for Heritage Conservation). Dialogue is very important and it is free. Why not? Since June, we have had consistently organized it. It was so energizing to listen to all speakers about their local activities and aspirations.


The positive side of the COVID19 pandemic is that everybody is forced to get used to the online world: meetings, seminars, and many more. For a migrant like me, the online world intensifies contacts with Indonesia. I don't have to fly 14 hours to be a speaker in a seminar or a forum. I am content with this. I think this is more environmentally friendly than the old-style way of traveling. Does the online seminar effective? For me it is. The online seminar is nothing less, it is more to the point and efficient in terms of logistics and budget.   


The Covid19 pandemic has been going on for about a half a year now. The whole world confuses about what to do with this problem. I feel a lot of empathy for those who are deeply affected by the pandemic. I keep thinking about them each day. I also concern about my family in Indonesia. So far so good, no news is good news, although I know that Indonesians do not complain quickly. They are tough people.  In my professional life, most of the assignments are postponed or canceled. Luckily, it didn't affect me so much personally. I travel abroad less which turns out to be a blessing because I learn more about the Netherlands now by traveling more domestically. I get used to working at home, too, so the concept of working at home during the pandemic, is not new at all. I have no crisis of missing others or colleagues.  The blessing in disguise of the pandemic is that most people are forced to get used to online mode. I am thankful to be able to organize online programs or to join them an

MANAGEMENT OF CHANGE IN ASIA & EUROPE: Case studies of Essen (Germany) and Sawahlunto (Indonesia)

WEBINAR "MANAGEMENT OF CHANGE IN ASIA & EUROPE:  Case studies of Essen (Germany) and Sawahlunto (Indonesia)" Thursday, July 30, 2020 15.00 Western Indonesia Time or  10.00 Central European Summer Time. On 6 July 2019 was officially inscription of Sawahlunto in the UNESCO World Heritage List.  To commemorate the anniversary, Pan-Sumatra Network for Heritage Conservation (Pansumnet) supported by several stakeholders organize a webinar about management of former coal mining sites. UNESCO World Heritage Site Zollverein, Essen, Germany, that has been in the list since 2001 will share experiences and lessons learned as presenters, and heritage experts from Sawahlunto as discussants. What can Sawahlunto learn from Zollverein that has been on the list for almost two decades? What are the dynamics of heritage management in Asia and Europe? How can both sites learn from each other? If you are interested, please register via this link: