You can listen to Berlage di Nusantara - Mijn Indische Reis on our website and the following platforms:
Taking entries from Berlage's travel journal Mijn Indische Reis as conversation starters, director Raymon Hilkman talks to renowned and lesser-known creatives, experts, and enthusiasts about how Berlage wonders and wanders and what we can learn from his observations and bewilderment in 2023.
A production of #BerlagediNusantara with support from Dutch Culture.
Obbe H. Norbruis is an architect and urban planner. Throughout his expansive career, he’s always advocated solution-based approaches to spatial problems, from the issue of gatekeeping living standards in small rural villages to repurposing an old bridge in the Houthavens, a former harbour district in Amsterdam. Obbe has long been interested in colonial architecture. Fascinated by buildings as silent witnesses of time foregone, he dissected the historical and architectural aspects and the cultural implications of Western architecture in the East. Obbe has published several books but keeps searching for notable buildings and the stories behind their facades.
Rizky Kalebos is an urban influencer. What started as a hobby has since become a serious online presence: he has amassed thousands of followers on his social media channels. In his YouTube and Instagram videos, he explores the connections between Holland and Indonesia. He discovers what makes and breaks cities and dives deep into the stories behind buildings, people and places. Raised between two cultures and educated as an urban planner, he manages to break down complex issues in a way that is honest and astute, topped with a healthy dose of humour.
Ringo Mollinger (b. 1984) creates large murals and mixed-media art pieces on canvas and paper. A passionate artist, he is as comfortable out on the streets as in his studio; mixing the two genres keeps him on his toes. Ringo started out in the graffiti scene, where he quickly developed an eye for typography and graphic design. His skills were further honed at The Hague’s Willem de Kooning Academy. Companies like Converse and Aud commission the work of the versatile artist, but he also counts the World Harbour Days among his clients as well as The Hague Municipality. For the latter, he created a series of murals in Berlage neighbourhoods in 2005.
Melle Haak is a student in architecture at Delft University. In his free time, he likes to experiment with making multimedia collages in which he examines the relationship between humans and buildings. During the ‘intelligent lockdown’ in the Netherlands, he made an impressive short documentary about the impact of the corona pandemic on architecture. In Silent Witness, he talks to four architects from different generations about how this crisis provided us with a new perspective on space and the future of the city.
Amara van der Elst (b. 2001) captured the hearts of the Dutch people with her arousing spoken word performance at the national Remembrance Day Ceremony at Amsterdam’s Dam Square in 2021. This young multi-talent has several awards under her belt, including first prize at the Martin Luther King Spoken Word competition. Amara is Indo-Dutch (her mother is Javanese, and her father is Dutch), grew up in The Hague and currently studies creative writing. Cultural identity is a recurring theme in her work. In a recent performance, she said, ‘It does not matter where you’re from, but who you are and where you’re going’.
Kathleen Ferrier (b. 1957) has a long-standing career in national politics and international advocacy. She is currently the chairperson of the Dutch UNESCO Committee. Born as the daughter of the first president of Suriname, a former Dutch colony, politics is in her blood. In her ten years as a Member of the Dutch Parliament, her agenda focussed on development cooperation and civil rights. When she lived in Chili and Hong Kong, she found herself amidst political turmoil and protests and learned firsthand what living in a fast-changing, unstable society is like. After her return to the Netherlands, she sat on various committees, including the advisory committee for a new slavery museum in the city of Amsterdam and the investigative team on the colonial past of the Dutch royal family.
Frans Leidelmeijer (b. 1942) is an Art Nouveau and Art Deco expert, perhaps best known as an appraiser in the popular Dutch television show Is it Art or Kitsch? He wrote several books and was the brains behind many exhibitions, tv programmes about early 20th-century art and design, particularly de Stijl and the Amsterdam School. He also owned an art gallery at the Spiegelgracht in Amsterdam for many years. Frans was born in Bandung but grew up in the Netherlands and feels at home in both cultures. He visits Indonesia regularly to buy and advise on Indo-Dutch and Javanese art.
Huib Akihary is an architectural historian and curator of the Malukan Museum/Museum Maluku in The Hague. His 1990 book Architecture & Urban Design in Indonesia was one of the first comprehensive reviews and firmly established his name as an expert in the field. Since the 90s, Huib, who is half Moluccan, has been involved in setting up the Moluccan Museum and initiated many Malukan cultural events, like the Moluccan Day at the Kwaku Summer Festival, the Moluccan Rhythm Foundation and the Moluccan Future Foundation. As ’a traveller in architectural affairs’, Huib regularly visits Indonesia to give lectures and workshops.
Esmay Usmany (b. 1984) sings, plays, writes and creates. After getting her degree from the Conservatory of Music in Utrecht, she performed in different music and theatre productions, touring the Netherlands and Belgium. She won the audience award at the Delft Fringe Festival and made it into the final round of the Utrecht Art Festival with her play Nothing is what it seems. Esmay also published two volumes of essays and poems. She regularly shares her craft as a word artist on Dutch Radio 1, and her immersive theatre production ‘Through the Desa on Wooden Shoes’ was rated four out of five by a leading national newspaper. Esmay is Dutch but also Javanese from her mother’s side and Moluccan from her father’s side. She has become more interested in her Malukan roots in recent years.
Emile Leushuis wasted no time after receiving his degree in social geography in 1991; he took up a job as a tour guide in Indonesia. It wasn’t long before the archipelago had him hooked: through his many long journeys, he got to know the country intimately and wanted to learn more about what he saw. He learned the language, and these days, he spends about half of the year in Indonesia. His interest in (colonial) heritage got him to unique places. Always on the lookout for the stories behind those places, he published a guide with historic city walks in 2011. Two years later, he founded Indotracks, a travel agency specialising in trips to Bali, Sumatra and Java but also lesser-visited destinations like Flores and Sulawesi. As a proponent of sustainable and responsible travel, Indotracks relies on family businesses and small-scale hotels in its programming.
The podcast Berlage di Nusantara - Mijn Indische Reis is produced by The Village.
Director, Writer & Documentary Maker
Visual Storyteller, Photographer & Filmmaker
Martijn van Monsjou
Videographer & Visual Storyteller