Please, accept cookies in order to load the content.

Alice Wong & Simo Tse

Voices and Breaths is an audiovisual installation based on Snelle Berichten Nederland-China [Quick Messages The Netherlands-China], a Cantonese-language radio program about Dutch news and current affairs that was broadcast between 1990 and 2008. The main goal of the program was to make it easier for Chinese-speaking migrants to bond with members of their own community and build a bridge to Dutch society. The radio program was forced to end production in 2008 when the NPS (Dutch broadcasting foundation) stopped financing all non-Dutch-language programs. In retrospect, the program can be seen as an example of changing attitudes towards migrants, specifically the Dutch-Chinese, in both the decision-making class and among themselves.

During their research Wong and Tse came across a private collection of cassette tapes with recordings made by one of the former radio presenters. On the recordings you can hear him speaking and listening, as if he is trying to find his own voice. The comparison between institutionalised archives and this personal collection provides interesting insights into how stories can be recorded and retold.

Remco Torenbosch

Partai Komunis Indonesia (1914 – 1966) is a work that focuses on the history of the Indonesian communist party PKI. It was founded during the Dutch colonial period by the Indonesian national movement and the socialist movement in the Netherlands. With this work, Torenbosch attempts to re-archive this history, that is scantily archived in the Netherlands, as extensively as possible. His efforts underline how the socialist movement and the political party, each with a strong anti-colonial political program, contributed to Indonesian independence in 1945, and the years that followed. The PKI arose from a collaboration between Semaun and Raden Darsono Notosoedirdjo from Indonesia in addition to Henk Sneevliet and Adolf Baars from the Netherlands. Their main goal was to achieve an independent Indonesia, international solidarity, and to realize reparations for the Indonesian population from the Dutch state. The party was banned from 1927 to 1945 but later became prominent in Sukarno’s state ideology. In the years that followed, the PKI became the largest non-governing communist party in the world, until its violent dissolution in 1965-66.

In this work, Torenbosch sets out to create an image bank of digital images from archives in Indonesia, the Netherlands and other parts of the world, resulting in an image report representing both local and international contexts. The image bank reveals the active history of the PKI, and also the international political forces, which exerted constant pressure to intimidate or prohibit the party. The image bank Partai Komunis Indonesia (1914 – 1966) will eventually be available to the public.

Daria Kiseleva

Kiseleva’s video installation examines how, in the archives, imagination is reflected in utopian ideas, political fantasies and carnival celebrations. It traces the ‘haunting’ futures inside the archives and examines their material manifestations in social reality and political and cultural thought. With this, Kiseleva explores the connection between utopian ideas and social movements. By juxtaposes idealistic, modernist utopias with marginalised, feminist utopias, she speculates about whose imagination counts and whose doesn’t. The work reflects on the history of imagination from the early modern period until today, and on how power structures have tried to censor and control it. The videowork is based on documentation of carnival celebrations in the Netherlands, as an expression of the subconscious imagination and popular culture.

Kiseleva positions carnival between aesthetics and politics, utopia and commercialised enjoyment, role reversal and the status quo, and a space of emancipation and conservative tradition. By mirroring the sci-fi horror genre, which, as philosopher Rosi Braidotti says, is “ideal for depicting states of crisis and change, and for expressing the widespread anxiety of our time,” it blurs the lines between fiction and reality. 

Open Archive

Opening up digital, royalty-free collections for creative re-use yields new and surprising stories for both makers and institutions. It also provides insight into the user-friendliness and accessibility of collections, and into the technical and copyright implications of re-use. Het Nieuwe Instituut and Sound & Vision are working together with the International Institute of Social History to stimulate the creative re-use of open, digital heritage collections.

Artists Alice Wong & Simo Tse, Remco Torenbosch and Daria Kiseleva were selected for the Open Archive 3.0 project following an open call.

New forms of accessibility

Networking and partnerships are essential for opening up the collection. Different forms of research – speculative, academic, design, public – may develop new approaches, methodologies and narratives that we can use to look at, assign value and give meaning to the collection.