Kunstwerf holds a themed month about Moluccan culture. “Why are they here? What is their culture?”

The month of October is entirely devoted to Moluccan culture for the Kunstwerf Foundation. Under the title ‘Marie! Sama sama (Let’s come together!) – View of the Moluccan culture various activities are held, such as lectures and a workshop.

The idea for the theme month came from Marjolein Spitteler, coordinator of the Kunstwerf Fonden. “For many, the presence of Moluccans in Oosterwolde is a matter of course. However, there are few inhabitants who have immersed themselves in the history of the Moluccas. I am curious myself and was curious about their history. Why are they here? What is their culture?”

It is definitely not an easy theme to get started with. “But that’s exactly why it’s good to be aware of this complicated history,” says Spitteler. She found the various working groups within Kunstwerf, such as Alles Rondom Taal, Filmwerf and Cultuurwerf, willing to help her think about the content of the theme month. “During the process, everyone became more and more excited. It feels good to be aware of this theme. After all, it is also an important piece of history in Oostststellingwerf.”


The theme month opens on Saturday 8 October at 11 am with an exhibition at the library in Oosterwolde about traditional Moluccan clothing. In addition to the clothes, you can also see photos that illustrate the use of the clothes. The image is peppered with poems by the Moluccan poet Animre, who bring the clothes to life in a different way. In October, a book table will be set up at Bruna in Oosterwolde about Moluccan culture. Extra emphasis will also be placed on books about the Moluccas in the library.


On Friday afternoon, October 14, the Cultuurwerf will hold a lecture on the history, way of life and cultural heritage of the AllifURU, the original indigenous people of the South Moluccas. This lecture will be given by Julius Sahureka, founder and spokesperson of the Saka Mese Nusa AllifURU Foundation (translation: Look energetically over the living environment of the AllifURU people). As a child he lived in the camp Oranje and then in Oosterwolde.

On Sunday 16 October, Alles Rondom Taal will hold a lecture by Kees Timmerman about the Ybenheer and Oranje camps, followed by a tour of the Oranje camp in Fochteloo. The lecture itself is held in Hoolten Klinte in Appelscha. After the lecture, there will be lunch with Moluccan snacks, provided by Mien M. Zacherias.

In camp Orange, the returnee Anton Ripassa talks about his experiences in the first years after the Indonesian declaration of independence and about his life in camp Orange. Jan Bult, who lived on the farm next to the camp, tells about the contacts between a native Stellingwerver and the people dropped in Fochteloo from the other side of the earth. Toni Kastanja de Fretes talks about her life as a girl with the ideals of the RMS in Camp Oranje and about contacts with farming families outside.

Workshop and film

After the exhibition in the library, visual artist Attje Oosterhuis, inspired by the Moluccan wedding clothes, gives a workshop on Saturday morning, October 22, where old clothes get a new life. A complete makeover is created by embroidering pearls and sequins. This workshop takes place in the library.

The theme month ends with the film ‘A son of Porto’. Filmwerf shows this film on Saturday 29 October in De Miente in Oosterwolde. The 19-year-old Bendja was born in the Netherlands, but his roots lie in the Moluccas. He feels ‘out of place’ in the Netherlands and wants to return to Saparua to get a taste of Moluccan life and maybe even find where he belongs. ‘A son of Porto’ is a film by Annelotte Verhaagen.

All activities must be pre-booked online, with the exception of the exhibition. Like the opening itself, it is free to visit. For all information and registration, visit www.kunstwerf.com.

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