Photographic subjects examines photography at royal celebrations during the
reigns of Wilhelmina (1898–1948) and Juliana (1948–80), a period spanning the
zenith and fall of Dutch rule in Indonesia. It is the first monograph in English
on the Dutch monarchy and the Netherlands’ modern empire in the age of mass and
amateur photography. This book reveals how Europeans and Indigenous people
used photographs taken at Queen’s Day celebrations to indicate the ritual uses
of portraits of Wilhelmina and Juliana in the colonies. Such photographs were
also objects of exchange across imperial networks. Photograph albums were sent
as gifts by Indigenous royals in ‘snapshot diplomacy’ with the Dutch monarchy.
Ordinary Indonesians sent photographs to Dutch royals in a bid for recognition
and subjecthood. Professional and amateur photographers associated the Dutch
queens with colonial modernity and with modes of governing difference across an
empire of discontiguous territory and ethnically diverse people. The gendered
and racial dimensions of Wilhelmina’s and Juliana’s engagement with their
subjects emerge uniquely in photographs, which show these two women as female
kings who related to their Dutch and Indigenous subjects in different visual
registers. Photographic subjects advances methods in the use of photographs
for social and cultural history, reveals the entanglement of Dutch and
Indonesian histories in the twentieth century, and provides a new interpretation
of Wilhelmina and Juliana as imperial monarchs. The book is essential for
scholars and students of colonial history, South-east Asian and Indonesian
studies, and photography and visual studies.
Joop van Bilsen (from left): Sultan Hamid, Indonesian Prime Minister Mohammed Hatta, QueenJuliana and Dutch Prime Minister Willem Drees during the transfer of sovereignty to Indonesia, Royal Palace on the Dam, Amsterdam, 27 December 1949
In this book, an examination of the rise of mass photography during Wilhelmina's reign and in the last half-century of Dutch rule in Indonesia has revealed how different modes of photography interacted to produce a participatory visual culture
This chapter charts the growing, diversifying circulation of the Dutch
monarch’s image for different audiences and purposes across the early
twentieth century. It discusses Queen Wilhelmina (r. 1898–1948) and Queen
Juliana (r. 1948–80), portraits of whom played an important ceremonial role
at government and viceregal occasions in the East Indies, and were also
adapted in creative ways by different ethnic groups as effigies at pageants.
In demonstrating how the queens’ portraits were used in imperial rituals,
rather than simply attending to representation, this chapter addresses
scholarship on royal tours, mass spectacle and empire that has to date
overlooked the role of photography in forging connections between monarchs
and their colonial subjects. The chapter assesses colonial audiences’
engagement with European monarchies beyond the parameters of the ‘royal
tour’, which was actually uncommon in most empires other than British
12 March 2000 General election.
Popular Party wins largest share of the vote (44.6 per cent).
27 April 2000 Aznar
re-appointed Prime Minister.
4 November 1948 QueenJuliana
becomes Queen of the Netherlands, following the abdication of her mother,
16 July 1951 Leopold