Indonesia and the Netherlands
Indonesia is one of the largest and most populous countries in the world. It has a relatively young population with a median age of around 30 years (in 2020). Indonesia and the Netherlands share a, sometimes contested, history that spans over 400 years. Three in ten inhabitants of the Netherlands have a relationship with Indonesia through family connections or for personal reasons. The shared history has also left its traces in both countries’ languages, with the exchange of many words.
Culture and the arts have played an important role in strengthening the at times dynamic diplomatic relationship between Indonesia and the Netherlands, especially through the establishment of the Erasmus Huis in 1970, the cultural centre of the Netherlands’ Embassy in Jakarta. Originally intended to promote the Dutch language and culture in Indonesia, Erasmus Huis today is a platform for both Dutch and Indonesian artists. Additionally, it literally and figuratively offers a stage to programme social, political and economic matters. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Erasmus Huis has launched a new virtual platform, aptly titled ‘e-rasmus huis’. This platform will continue to be used once the current restrictions are lifted, and the Erasmus Huis reopens physically.
The cultural sector in Indonesia has a strong urge to develop and is seeking expertise and capacity building in different fields: from urban planning to museology, from historical research to marketing and communication. Particularly the arts, heritage and creative industries offer opportunities for Dutch cultural professionals. Read more…
Information & advice
Would you like to receive more information regarding opportunities for cultural exchange with Indonesia? Feel free to contact our Indonesia advisor Remco Vermeulen with your questions. He can inform you about the latest developments in the country, relevant contacts and cultural venues.
Indonesia at a glance
featuring 79 artists
12 months (2022)
discipline in 2022
Frequently asked questions
- 1. Where can I find funding within the Netherlands?
In the Netherlands the means for international cultural cooperation are delegated to the national funds. The fund that works for your art form or discipline, has one or several subsidy schemes for internationalisation. To make sure the program fits your project, contact the advisors of the fund before starting the process of application. These are funds:
Creative Industries Fund NL for Design, Creative Industries, Architecture, Digital Culture
> Internationalization of the Design Sector Grant Scheme
for Visual Arts
> Subsidy for International Art Presentation to present work by living Dutch(-based) artists. For Dutch(-based) artists or internationally recognized art organizations outside the Netherlands.
> Subsidy for International Art Fair/Art Book Fair to present work by living Dutch(-based) artists. For Dutch and non-Dutch galleries, publishers and non-Dutch art fairs.
Performing Arts Fund
Performing Arts (theater, dance, music, opera)
> Grants for foreign organisations to invite Dutch(-based) artists
> Internationalisation grants for Dutch(-based) artists
Dutch Film Fund for Audiovisual media, film, documentary
The Film Fund has several subsidy schemes to support co-productions and distribution (film & documentary).
Dutch Foundation for Literature
The Dutch Foundation for Literature has several subsidies for internationalisation:
> Translation grants for foreign publishers
> Travel grants
Cultural Participation Fund for communal arts, cooperation, projects with non-professionals
> The development grant within the international cooperation scheme by the Cultural Participation Fund is available for all disciplines and designated for finding partners abroad.
The Netherlands Enterprise Agency is not a national fund but also offers on behalf of various ministries and the European Union subsidies for companies in the creative industries.
Check for other funding options, such as regional and private funding the Cultural Mobility Funding Guide for the Netherlands 2021/2022.
- 2. Where can I find funding within Indonesia?
Indonesia does not have a comparable system of cultural subsidies as The Netherlands. Some cultural institutions are financed by the national government, specifically the Ministry of Education and Culture. Independent cultural organizations, NGOs and stages are funded by private donors, business companies, private funds or foreign funds.
Funding for cultural cooperation projects by governmental or private organizations, if at all, usually materialises through the local partner organization. It is generally difficult to generate support through direct financial means, however many organizations can contribute in kind: for example to provide venue, facilities, accommodation, food and beverages, or transfers without costs. We advise you to discuss with your Indonesian counterpart the best way to apply for support for your project.
The Erasmus Huis is the cultural centre of the Embassy of the Netherlands in Jakarta, and the only one of its kind in the world. This unique centre has an auditorium with ca. 350 seats in theatre setting, adjacent foyer, an exhibition space and a library which can be used for small events or concerts. One of the missions of the Erasmus Huis is to promote and provide a stage for Dutch cultural professionals in Indonesia. The director of the Erasmus Huis also is the cultural attaché at the Embassy. The Embassy has an extensive network in the local cultural sector and in-depth knowledge of its cultural institutions, organizations and venues. The Embassy can advise on opportunities for cooperation. In addition, they can provide support to Dutch cultural organizations that collaborate with Indonesian counterparts. You can contact the Embassy here.
Doing your research beforehand and finding local partners is essential. You can use the DutchCulture Database by simply going to the search option in the upper left corner, and search for ´Indonesia´ or any city you are interested in. This way you will see which Dutch artists are already active in which areas. You may also contact our advisor for cultural cooperation with Indonesia here.
- 3. Are there other funding opportunities?
Since 2012, the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) and On the Move (OTM) have jointly presented the Mobility Funding Guides for International Cultural Exchange for the 51 countries of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), which includes Indonesia. These guides provide a comprehensive and updated list of funding opportunities for the cultural mobility of artists and cultural practitioners in Asia and Europe, where cultural mobility is defined as “the temporary cross-border movement of artists and other cultural professionals.” You can find the Mobility Funding Guide for Indonesia here.
- 4. What visa do I need?
Citizens from the Netherlands do not need a visa to enter the Republic of Indonesia for tourism purposes (‘visa exemption’). Upon arrival in Indonesia via one of the international airports or harbours, you will receive a tourist visa in the form of a stamp in your passport. Be aware that your passport needs a minimum validity of six months. With a tourist visa you are allowed to stay in Indonesia for a maximum of 30 days. For some, non-public, cultural activities a tourist visa may be sufficient. You can find more information on the visa website of the Indonesian Embassy in The Hague or on the website of Directorate General of Immigration.
If your stay includes public cultural activities such as performances, concerts or trainings, you may have to apply for a socio-cultural visa. You at least need an invitation letter from your Indonesian counterpart or inviting organization. You can find more information on the visa website of the Indonesian Embassy in The Hague.
We recommend you to inform the Embassy of the Netherlands in Jakarta about your visit.
If you have a passport from outside the EU, it is wise to check the rules with your country´s representatives in the Netherlands, or ask the DutchCulture Mobility Info Point.
Find out exactly what the rules are that a gallery, stage or theatre upholds, before engaging in a cooperation. If you find obstacles on your way, you will have enough time to apply for permits or find other solutions.
Disclaimer: The information given above is mainly provided by the Indonesian authorities. In case of any doubt or further questions, please contact the Indonesian Embassy in The Hague.
- 5. Are there specific things to keep in mind when it comes to safety in Indonesia?
Unfortunately, Indonesia is regularly plagued by natural disasters, such as volcano eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis or flooding, by terrorist attacks, or by general social unrest. Be sure to stay up to date with the most recent travel advise issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, see here. This website also informs you on security risks, traffic safety, recommended travel vaccinations, etcetera. You can also download the Travel app of the Ministry to stay up to date and inform them on your travel plans.
Your local partner in the cultural field in Indonesia may prove to be a valid, on-the-ground advisor when it comes to the current situation in the area that you are visiting.
- 6. How can I promote my work in Indonesia?
It is a good idea to engage local professionals and publicists that have an understanding of your art discipline, audience and region. There are many Dutch cultural professionals and organizations that are active in Indonesia or may have relevant experiences that can be useful for your own project. Using existing networks may also help you in promoting your work.
Make sure to contact the Netherlands Embassy in Jakarta to inform them about your projects, and do not forget to let DutchCulture know! This way you will be included in our Database and become part of our network.
- 7. How can I find a residency, venue at which to perform, exhibition space?
Through the DutchCulture Database you can figure out which artists from the Netherlands have worked at which venues, and start your research there. Go to the search icon on the upper left corner of the website, and search by discipline, country and city. A very important venue for Dutch cultural professionals in Indonesia is the Erasmus Huis, the cultural centre of the Netherlands Embassy in Jakarta.
For residencies in Indonesia, the organisation Transartists, which is a part of DutchCulture, is a great research tool. In order to successfully build an international career, and in order to find sustainable partners in a country, it is always wise to spend more than a few days somewhere. Residencies, which can last from a couple of weeks up to several months, can help you achieve this.