Affiliated felow, sponsored by Stichting Poets of All Nations under the grant of the Ludo Pieters  Gastschrijversfonds, administered by the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds

Colonialism in Indonesia has always been associated with a stigma that the Netherlands had the power and always were in a winning position. Moreover, war was always just talking about politics. Less talk about the people in it. VOC existed from 1602-1799, but the Dutch first arrived in Indonesia in 1599. Between 1949 and 1957, after Indonesia had proclaimed their independence  on August 17, 1945, the last group of Dutch people had left Indonesia. Apart from Dutch priests, nuns and reverends. When the Dutch still were in power in Indonesia many extra-ordinary events happened in daily life, like relationships between Dutch men and Indonesian women or conversely, Dutch women with Indonesian men, although the latter did not happen very often, because the Indonesians were considered to be in a low social position. The children, born out of these  relationships were called Indo-European, Indische Nederlander or Indo people.

Such relationships were not openly allowed in the beginning, but in due course this changed. During the first ‘Politionele Actie’ (July 21-August 5, 1947) and the second one (December 19,1948- January 5, 1949) many Dutch soldiers fell in love with indigenous Indonesian women, Indo-European women and Chinese women. Love affairs in wartime are complex relationships and always very moving. But  this was not widely (and openly) spoken of, especially in Indonesia. It is interesting to observe the real daily life in a situation where people are the main political issue. How human beings face a cultural and social collision. The people who in average experienced this (the first Dutch generation, the Indo people and the indigenous people) experienced psychological problems, a condition that was really hard, painful and sometimes tore them apart, being partly Indonesian, partly Dutch. While the second generation or the children born out of these relationship also experienced a lot of problems, especially with respect to their identity. Politically they were not accepted by the two parties and sociologically they were not Indonesian, but also not Dutch.

For the present generation, who never understood and experienced a war, this needs to be explained more in detail,  especially because the problem of identity is slowly eliminated in this era of unlimited space and time. The issue of the Indo people, who were born in Indonesia and who used to live in Indonesia and then had to leave Indonesia that they loved so much, is one of the interesting histories of human life. Although their numbers were not high during the war in Indonesia, this is still the case in other countries that are at war these days. The problem of love between two nations who are at war, mixed with issues of war and other war policies, all are human problems that can be used by children, born in the present, to look at themselves and their own identity and learn from it.

The Portugese arrived at Banda round 1515. The first Dutch set foot on the island of Banda Neira in 1599. They demanded the monopoly of the trade in nutmeg. But the people of Banda tried to evade these treaties, because the Dutch kept the prices very low.




  1. Nyanyian Gaduh (1987),
  2. Matahari Yang Mengalir (1980)
  3. Kepompong Sunyi (1993)
  4. Nikah Ilalang (1995 and 2003)
  5. Mimpi Gugur Daun Zaitun (1999)
  6. Sebuah Radio Kumatikan, Kill The Radio, (bilingual, 2001)
  7. Para Pembunuh Waktu (2002)
  8. Life Sentences (English, 2004)
  9. Kill The Radio (2007)
  10. Santa Rosa (bilingual, 2005 and 2006).
  11. schenk mir alles, was die Männer nicht besitzen. doch schenk mir nicht das Himmelreich / Beri Aku Semua Yang Dibutuhkan Lelaki, Tapi Bukan Surga (bilingual. Indonesia-German, CD ROOM multi media, 2009).
  12. Cuma Tubuh Cuma Tubuh/A Body Only A Body (bilingual, 2013)
  13. Morphology of Desire (English, 2013).


  1. Blencong (1995)
  2. Karikatur dan Sepotong Cinta (1995)
  3. Perempuan Yang Menunggu (2000 and 2003)
  4. Cinta Tak Tumbuh di Sembarang Tempat (2005)
  5. Isinga, Roman Papua (2014)


  1. Dipo, si Pematung Batu (1997)
  2. Medali Buat Sang Pemberani (1994)
  3. Cerita Sepanjang Sungai (1996)
  4. Elegi Bagi Wesa, (1996)
  5. Cerita Rakyat dari Kedu (2003).
  6. Cerita Rakyat 33 Propinsi: Dari Aceh sampai Papua (2008).
  7. Cerita Rakyat Legenda Nusantara, dari 33 Propinsi (2010).