Queerness, Spirituality and Decoloniality in the Indonesian Archipelago

This Spring, SPUI25 in Spe collaborates with De Nieuwe Kerk on the occasion of the latter’s Grote Indonesië Tentoonstelling. During two events, various guest speakers explore pre-colonial, contemporary and decolonial perspectives on Queerness. Following the exhibition and panel discussion hosted by De Nieuwe Kerk, this second edition in SPUI25 revolves around a special film screening of the Indonesian Queer film Dear to Me (2020) by Monica Vanesa Tedja.

De Grote Indonesië Tentoonstelling takes us through a historical and cultural journey of the Indonesian archipelago. The exhibition does not only touch upon the archipelago during colonial times, but also offers a pre-colonial narrative on the old kingdoms and a reflection on the archipelago in contemporary times. In this collaboration with SPUI25 in Spe and De Nieuwe Kerk, we aim to expand on the exhibition’s discussion of Queerness and initiate a discussion on pre-colonial, contemporary and decolonial perspectives on Queerness in the Indonesian archipelago. SPUI25 in Spe hosts the second part of the program, a film screening of the Indonesian Queer film Dear to Me (2020) by Monica Vanesa Tedja.

This event will be held in English. Tickets and more information about the first edition of this collaboration on February 28 can be found here.

Synopsis Dear to Me (2020)

A 27-year-old Indonesian, Tim, is having a family vacation with both of his parents on a remote island far from the city, where they learn about the myth of a reincarnated deer that exists somewhere along the beach. Island locals believe that seeing the deer is a sign of meeting one’s soulmate. Tim is the only one secretly hoping to discover the deer, hiding his desire from his very devout Christian parents.

About the speaker

Kenny Talogo Sumantri is a student in the MA program Comparative Cultural Analysis: Arts and Culture at the University of Amsterdam. Talogo Sumantri was born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia and is Queer themself. They have a focus on Queerness and Decoloniality, especially in the case of the Indonesian archipelago. They are doing an internship at De Nieuwe Kerk for De Grote Indonesië Tentoonstelling, aiming to expand their Queer activism for the Indonesian archipelago onto the Dutch context.

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