Peter Pels, Marleen Witte and Susan Legêne will speak at 55 jaar KDC – Jan Roes-lezing

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On May 31, 2024, the Katholiek Documentatie Centrum (KDC) will celebrate its 55th anniversary. Traditionally, the Jan Roes lecture is given on an anniversary. This year, Prof. Dr. Susan Legêne, historian at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, has been invited to speak. She is intensively concerned with the question of how colonial objects can contribute to a responsible handling of the colonial past and its impact on current and future society.

This subject was also close to the heart of Jan Roes (1939-2003), the first KDC director. On his initiative, the archives of the Archdiocese of Jakarta (1807-1975) were made accessible to researchers at home and abroad. He is at the forefront of efforts to safeguard the shared Catholic heritage of Indonesia and the Netherlands for conservation and research.

The KDC wants to make an important contribution within the field of dealing with colonial history. The aim is to contribute to reconciliation in historically complex social relationships and thus promote equality among a multitude of population groups in society.

Different voices can be heard in and about the colonial past. Prof. Legêne will illustrate how this layering can be discovered. Representatives of communities of origin, heritage professionals, researchers and other stakeholders then respond. They supplement the argument with their experiences about the value and application of these insights in decolonizing archives.

The invitation and details of this event can be found in the attachment.

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