Nunusaku, Stories of Migration door Geert van Kesteren en Conny Luhulima - Tentoonstellingsontwerp, belettering, videoinstallatie - 2011
Fotografenduo Geert van Kesteren en Conny Luhulima brengen verhalen van migratie in beeld. Precies zestig jaar geleden kwamen vierduizend Molukse KNIL-militairen en hun gezinnen naar Nederland. De worsteling met hun inheemse geschiedenis en koloniale en neokoloniale verleden, is een kwestie die nog steeds aan de gang is.
Van Kesteren zocht om deze reden naar verhalen over het inheemse volk op het Molukse eiland Ceram, maar ook verhalen over Molukkers in Nederland. Deze verhalen brengt hij in beeld door middel van portretten, maar ook door middel van huiskamerbeelden.
At the end of the 1940s Malukan soldiers from the Royal Dutch East-Indian Army (Knil) were enlisted to combat ‘insurgents’ fighting for independence for Indonesia, then a Dutch colony that included the Maluku Islands. When independence was achieved following international pressure, the Netherlands did not live up to its promise to secure an independent republic for the Malukan. Some 4,000 Malukan soldiers and their families were thus unable to remain in their own country and were forced to come to the Netherlands, exactly 60 years ago this year. What was supposed to be a temporary solution has in fact continued to this day.
Among these immigrants was the Luhulima family. Their daughter Conny married the photographer Geert van Kesteren in 1994, and they became fascinated by the Malukan story. Over the past few years both photographers made several trips to the Maluku Islands; to the village of Ihamahu on the island of Saparua, the Luhulima’s home of origin, and to the island of Ceram, home to the Alifuru, an indigenous, mystical culture with its own language and story of the creation: Nunusaku.
Conny Luhulima photographed the living rooms of her family relatives – those living in exile in the Netherlands and those who still live in their native villages on the Maluku Islands.
In the exhibition at Nederlands Fotomuseum, the silent living rooms are folded around a 4-screen video installation made by Geert van Kesteren in which four Alifuru elders reveil the story of Nunusaku.