Magazine cover Holland-Indië

Design drawing for a cover of the Algemeen Tijdschrift Holland – Indië (General Magazine Holland – East Indies). This cultural magazine existed under this name from 1929 to 1932 and was published by the Dutch training institute Schoevers, which still exists.

Secretary’s for the Dutch East Indies
Schoevers trained many students for a job as a secretary or administrative assistant in the Dutch East Indies. They were not only trained in subjects such as shorthand, typing, commercial correspondence, English, German and French, but also in Malay. In addition to the Dutch offices, Schoevers also had offices in Soerabaja, Bandung, Weltevreden and Medan.

Through the magazine, Dutch students who aspired for a career in the Dutch East Indies could already get acquainted with colonial life. The magazine mainly contained articles about tourism, art, science, fashion, film, music, theater, but not about political matters. A trip by director Adriaan Schoevers to the Dutch East Indies was extensively reported. Other articles were about Javanese dance and Wajang songs, for example. The magazine was further filled with information about the training institute and lists of graduates.

Romanticized image
The cover design shows a romanticized image of the Dutch East Indies. A Dutch man in traditional costume with clogs and an Indonesian farm worker with a sarong and kain kepala (head cloth) together symbolize the unity of both peoples. In the background a windmill and factory for the Netherlands and rice fields, palm trees and a Sumatran house for the Dutch East Indies; cliché images that portray the Netherlands as an industrial country and the East Indies as an agricultural country.

The two men stand with their backs to each other. There is no contact between them. It is also striking that the Dutch man puts one hand in his pocket and that the Indonesian man looks very muscular, probably from the labour on the rice fields. This is perhaps the only realistic element of the design drawing: the Dutch filled their pockets over the backs of the hard-working Indonesians!

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