The Fabrics of Home : Remembering the Indo-European Repatriation in Contractpensions-Djangan Loepah!

When a large group of Indo-Europeans had to repatriate to a country many had never set foot in, they set in motion an unforeseen culture of remembrance. The subsequent narratives of forced migration – or rather narratives of belonging – deal with memories of home. Whereas first-generation repatriates predominantly used literature to document their memories, the second-generation remembers the past in the cinematic field of the cultural imaginary.


Focusing on the documentary Contractpensions by a second-generation Indo-European, this article explores representations of the repatriate Indo-European experience and the relation between the current country in which they reside and the homeland of earlier generations. Of particular significance are the tensions between geographical attachment, their repatriate identity, and a brittle Dutch nationality. The article argues that the idea of home is central to these tensions, and that place, belonging and citizenship are the threads of home that weave Indo-European repatriate culture and identity into being.

Arnoud Arps | 2022
In: Journal of Migration History ; ISSN: 2351-9916 | 8 | october | 374-403
Colonialism, East Indies, Indonesian Revolution, Netherlands, Post-war generation