Tropenmuseum Essay

837 Words4 Pages
The Netherlands has a long and dark history of colonialism, an expression of which was the foundation of the Museum of the East and West Indies Natural Resources in 1864. This museum displayed artifacts brought back from the Dutch colonies, both to be studied and to be a source of entertainment for the public. Over the years the name of the museum was changed several times and in 1950 it got its current name, the Tropenmuseum. This was after the colonial era and done to create some distance between the present and the colonial past and reflect the new values the museum hoped to carry out. Therefore, along with this renaming came changes regarding the collections and how they were displayed in order to show respect to the people these artifacts…show more content…
In the Tropenmuseum both of these aspects are represented. At the center of the exhibition a large screen displays film fragments that show the role of storytelling in contemporary India. An example of this is the story of a girl who wants to become a Bollywood actress. There is also information about Bollywood in general and how it is both similar to and different from Hollywood in America. Besides this there is also a traditional narrative scroll on display about the life of Pabuji, a hero who lived in the 14th century. A bard, or bhopa, would travel around with a tapestry like this and tell the story through song while playing a string instrument. This incorporation of music is something that continues in modern day Indian films, which often include elaborate musical numbers. A mix of the traditional and the modern is represented in a scroll that was created in 2006 which does not represent a traditional story but rather the life of a well-known Bollywood actor named Amitabh Bachchan. By incorporating all these elements, the new, the old and the blending of the two, this exhibition focuses on the development of Indian storytelling which continues into the present. The screen showing the contemporary aspect is the center of the exhibit and by placing it like this, the Tropenmuseum
Open Document