www.nettime.org
Nettime mailing list archives

[Nettime-nl] GOOD NEWS: PLAN FOR NEW NATIONAL HISTORICAL MUSEUM OF THE N
Tjebbe van Tijen via Chello on Sun, 31 Oct 2010 03:06:45 +0100 (CET)


[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

[Nettime-nl] GOOD NEWS: PLAN FOR NEW NATIONAL HISTORICAL MUSEUM OF THE NETHERLANDS CANCELLED


GOOD NEWS: PLAN FOR NEW NATIONAL HISTORICAL MUSEUM OF THE NETHERLANDS CANCELLED

October 31, 2010 by Tjebbe van Tijen

The complete text with images and links can be found at:

http://limpingmessenger.wordpress.com/2010/10/31/good-news-plan-for-new-national-historical-museum-of-the-netherlands-cancelled/

Good News from the BAD POLITICAL FRONT: the building of a new “National Historical Museum of the Netherlands” has been cancelled by the new Dutch government. This is excellent news! Who wants Double Dutch History cast into lots of building materials? Who wants to institutionalize persistent Dutch denialism of their colonial past? Who wants the governmental ‘imagined community’ of the Low Countries to be even further Disneyfied? Who wants to look at the glorified Dutch self-image through the canonized windows of state dependent historians? We have plenty of museums in the Netherlands offering such kind of idealized Dutch-centric history representations, already for decades… the whole idea is a belated 19th century concept of constructing a past that never actually was to forge a ‘new national consciousness’ in post-national times.

[tableau of proposed building of new Dutch National Historical Museum with place of former Queen and slogan of museum]
[tableau caption: "Daaag Geschiedenis..." ~ "Byeee History..." is what I imagine hearing when seeing the waving bronze woman. The Dutch text is a promotion text in a special design as produced by the launching organisation of the National Historical Museum and reads: "The National Historical Museum stimulates the historical imagination." The orange building in the back is the actual design for the new building now stalled; the white building in front is the former palace 'Soestdijk' of the deceased Queen Juliana by some proposed as another possible national historical museum site; the statue shows the Queen and her husband Prince Bernhard, Juliana waving as she used to do each year when a 'defilé' of Dutch citizens came to congratulate her with her birthday on 'Queensday', the 30th of April.]


The image shows the design for the National Historical Museum in the Eastern border town of Arnhem and the palace of former Queen Juliana in Soestdijk (in the heart of the country) the last one has also be proposed as a seat for such a new National Historical Museum. The idea for such a museum has beenstrongly propagated by Jan Marijnissen, the party leader of the Socialistiese Partij (SP). His proposal – dating from 2003 – was later also supported by the Christian Democrat Party CDA, a party now in government and deciding to stall the whole museum building project. As it is a ‘national Dutch’ project, I fail to find English language links on the subject. That in itself may be seen as symbolic for the whole undertaking, a sign of the isolating tendencies in Dutch politics of the last decade, moving away from a more internationalist position before.

Jan Marijnissen opens his original proposal with  ”a nation without history does not exists”  and speaks about “the nowadays confusion about our moral, cultural and political identity” which finds its origin – partly – in “the missing of a historical consciousness in broad layers of the population.”

Een volk zonder geschiedenis bestaat niet. Elk volk, ook het Nederlandse volk, heeft dus een geschiedenis. De hedendaagse verwarring over onze morele, culturele en politieke identiteit vindt voor een deel haar verklaring in het ontbreken van historisch besef in brede lagen van de bevolking.

Marijnissen acknowledges the existence of many museum institutions and the cornucopia of objects and methods of display on Dutch history, offered by them, but he regrets that nowhere “the rise of society in the Low Countries at the Sea (he uses the conjunction ‘wordingsgeschiedenis’ = history of coming into being)  is told. In other words he is longing for a singular narration of national history.

Echter, hét verhaal van de wordingsgeschiedenis van (de mensen die wonen in) “de lage landen bij de zee” wordt nergens verteld. In het kader van een herwaardering van het belang van historisch besef zou het goed zijn als dat wel zou gebeuren.

His longing for a singular ‘grand narration’, a genesis of the the Low Countries, is something that frightens me because put in practice, it will be more a product of ‘imagination’ and ‘believe’ than of ‘history’. Such a singular story is the opposite from what I envisage as the practice of history, a dynamic confrontations of differing views.  It will more hamper  than help, the finding of a ‘social identity’. In my vision we need not put our energy in redefining what is ‘Dutchness’,  but better come to an understanding of the multiple identities and the plurality of the social territories in which we are living. The times of the fenced off Garden of Holland (Het Hof van Holland) with a gate defended by a lion with a sword, lay far behind us. Already in its time this was an allegory  of a non-reality. Man is both a migratory and a sedentary animal. Nations are ‘imagined communities’ and the new narratives we need, do not fit in any ‘national building’.


[Image: "Houdt op in mijn tuin te wroeten Spaanse varkens!" (Stop burrowing my garden Spanish pigs!) A Dutch engraving 1578/1582 in the collection of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (object code: RP-P-OB-77.682). One sees the Dutch lion defending the fence around the garden with a sword or club. ]


======
Old Dutch text has been reconstructed as:

Houdt op in mijn thuyn te wroeten Spaensche beesten
wilt uwen verckens-cop toch achterwaerts trecken
oft mijn Guesche-cndse [cnodse ?] salt u soo verleeren
die u thooft sal breken oft den hals doen recken;
den edelen prince daer ghij meed’ woudt ghecken
sal u te water en land’ bespringhen all;
vertreckt met u vuijl soghen en jonge specken
loop guyten loop oft Geux u daertoe dwinghen sall.




Posted in Dutch politics, Is everything propaganda then?, Memorials, Migration, Museums, National propaganda | TaggedDutch colonial history, imagined communities, Jan Marijnissen (politicus SP), Nationaal Historisch Museum, National Historical Museum of the Netherlands, nationalism | Leave a Comment »


______________________________________________________
* Verspreid via nettime-nl. Commercieel gebruik niet
* toegestaan zonder toestemming. <nettime-nl> is een
* open en ongemodereerde mailinglist over net-kritiek.
* Meer info, archief & anderstalige edities:
* http://www.nettime.org/.
* Contact: Menno Grootveld (rabotnik {AT} xs4all.nl).