In the past few years, quite a lot has been happening in Indonesia’s cultural sphere. The number of independent artistic initiatives is growing and artists are more frequently and emphatically concentrating on social-economic and political themes.
The demand for an exchange of information with other countries, and specifically with the Netherlands, is also growing. A young and engaged Indonesian generation is becoming interested in the historic ties between the Netherlands and Indonesia. Their open attitude makes cooperation opportune and promising in a wide variety of disciplines, including the creative industry, documentary film, contemporary visual art and the performing arts, particularly music and dance.
Indonesia and the Netherlands’s shared history also offers many possibilities for Dutch heritage experts and forms of cooperation, for instance in relation to current questions with regard to maintaining and opening up archives, preserving and keeping historical inner cities liveable, and the management of water.
The Erasmus House is situated on the terrain of the Netherlands Embassy in Jakarta. Ever since it opened 1970, the Erasmus House has been more than just a cultural centre. Its programme of exhibitions, lectures and performances helps promote discussion on social and economic issues.
Many cultural exchange projects also take place beyond the walls of the Erasmus House, especially in Kota Tua, Jakarta’s historical city centre, and in other cities on Java and Sumatra.
Indonesia is a priority country in the Netherlands’ international cultural policy for 2017-2020. Various organisations work closely in supporting cultural exchange between the two countries. Besides the Netherlands Embassy in Jakarta, those active in Indonesia are the National Archives of the Netherlands, the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands, the Mondriaan Fund, the Performing Arts Fund NL, Het Nieuwe Instituut, the EYE Institute, IDFA and DutchCulture.
Advise about Indonesia
Are you a cultural professional and you want to work with or travel to Indonesia for your latest project, but you are not sure how to start? Feel free to contact our Indonesia advisor Remco Vermeulen for your questions. He can inform you on the latest developments in the country, relevant contacts, stages and other cultural venues, and basically help you with setting your first steps in Indonesia.
Indonesia at a glance
featuring 90 artists
12 months (2019)
discipline in 2019
Frequently Asked Questions
- 1. Where can I find funding within the Netherlands?
In the Netherlands the national cultural funds offer incentives for international cultural cooperation. Below you will find an overview of the different funds, which cover various disciplines. To make sure an incentive is a match with 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
> Grant Program for Internationalisation
for Visual Arts
> Subsidy for foreign contemporary art platforms to present work by Dutch(-based) living artists. Invited artists can also apply
> Travel grants to travel to foreign contemporary art platforms for a lecture, workshop or performance
Performing Arts Fund
for 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
Netherlands Enterprise Agency
for the Creative Industries
Looking for more funding options? DutchCulture’s Cultural Mobility Funding Guide offers the most complete overview of funding possibilities for international mobility and exchange for artists and cultural professionals in the Netherlands. Our updated 2019-2020 guide includes a total of 85 different funding opportunities that allow for incoming and outgoing mobility of artists and cultural professionals. You can download the Cultural Mobility Funding Guide here.
- 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.