Een Staat in Wording. Foto-reportage over het Indonesië van heden. [Eerste, enige druk/first and only edition]
Amsterdam-Antwerpen, Contact, Orig. coloured boards, dustjacket. Large title-label on front side. pp. (incl. preface by Albert de la Court, of text and num. ills. and plates after original photographs by Cas Oorthuys, incl. captions to the illustrations in Dutch, in bold type. Photo account of the new republic of Indonesia, stull under Dutch colonial rule, up till the so-called Linggadjati agreement between the dutch and the Indonesian Republic, (25 March 1947). A much underrated photographic account by Cas Oorthuys. Good copy, WITH the seldomly present dustjacket.
Cas Oorthuys and 'Een staat in wording'
Posted in Bali Indonesia Java Photography cas-oorthuys March 3, 2013 by briancarnold
So different interests converged, and I found an interesting new book of photographs.
My interest in photobooks led me to the recent Aperture publi cation,The Dutch Photobook: A Thematc Selection from 1945 Onwards (Aperture; New York, 2012). And because of the Dutch relationship (i.e. colonial occupation) with Indonesia, a number of books were documented in this text exploring the relationship between the two cultures. Thus, I was able to feed my interest in Indonesian photography.
Indonesia as we know it today, like much of Asia Minor, came into being after World War II. Before that, modern Indonesia wrestled with occupying powers – the Dutch, Japanese, and Portuguese.
And of these, the Dutch had the largest impact, both in the length of the governing influence, as well as economically, controlling the most affluent parts of the archipelago – chiefly Java, Bali, and Sumatra.
In 1947, Dutch photographer Cas Oorthuys was commissioned to photography Indonesia and its march towards independence.
The result was Een Staat in Wording (A State in the Making). The Japanese took over the archipelago from the Dutch during WWII, and then after Nagasaki 1945, the Dutch reclaimed dominion of the colonial territories. Sukarno and the people of Indonesia, however, felt differently. In 1945, Indonesia declared its independence, though it would be another 4 years before the Dutch accepted defeat and acknowledged the sovereignty of the nation.
Oorthuys photographed the islands in 1947, and was caught in the fever of the nations move towards independence.
Photographed in what I would call a Life magazine style, the reportage is simple, but clearly Oorthuys found an affection for the spirit ofmederka (freedom), and attempted to show Indonesia and its people as strong and vital.
Oorthuys photographed many facets of the culture at the time – members of the resistance, people on the streets, rice farmers, volcanic landscapes, and even members of the Dutch military – however the real strength of the book, in my mind, lies in the empathy offered my a member of the Dutch intelligentsia.
In researching photos to post here, too, I found a nice little blog to share, Nobodycorpfound, a look photographs documenting the early history of Indonesia.
Twee Nederlandse fotografen hun tijd vooruit in Indonesië; Van zachtmoedigheid tot vijandschap
Tentoonstelling: Indonesia in wording, foto's van Cas Oorthuys en Charles Breijer 1947-1949. T/m 28 mei. Museum voor Volkenkunde, Rotterdam.
Door KESTER FRERIKS 15 APRIL 1995
Stoer, heldhaftig, uitdagend en ongenaakbaar staan ze in een groepje bijeen, de Republikeinse militairen die Cas Oorthuys in 1947 fotografeerde in Jogjakarta. Oorthuys koos een laag standpunt, de mannen blikken fier omlaag - niemand die hen wat doet, er valt niets te spotten. Met hun zware schoenen en brede schouders wekken ze de indruk geduchte tegenstanders te zijn. En dat waren ze ook. Ze behoorden tot de nationalisten die tussen het uitroepen van de Indonesische Republiek op 17 augustus 1945 en de soevereiniteitsoverdracht pas vier jaar later tegen de Nederlanders vochten voor hun eigen land.