'I Am A Native Foreigner’: Aspects of Migration in the Collection
Migration has occurred throughout human history, and the forefathers of the vast majority of Dutch people were of foreign ancestry. Migration reshapes identities and language, and also defines the way we think about such things as 'country' and ‘home’. Migration is not only an issue with social, political and economic consequences, it is also the subject of art. The Stedelijk Museum presents works from the collection that illustrate different chapters in the history of migration, from Dutch migrants arriving at Ellis Island in the 1900s to Indonesian-Dutch repatriates at Camp Budel in 1958, and from Surinamese-Dutch residents of the Bijlmer in 1975 to the young Almerisa in a Dutch refugee centre and the Syrian refugees in modern-day Turkey. The exhibition includes documentary images of migrants and displaced persons along with photographic work that questions the portrayal of refugees in the media. The topic of migration pertains, amongst other issues, to the Dutch colonial history in Surinam and Indonesia. In La Javanaise, Artist Wendelien van Oldenburg focuses on this colonial history, as well as globalisation and the migration flows of objects, techniques and aesthetics.