In front of the JP Coen statue in the city of Hoorn
In front of the JP Coen statue in the city of Hoorn

Romy Rondeltap

Romy Rondeltap, 33, she/her, Mother.

As the head of board and founder of Building The Baileo, she creates art; community care, activism, cultural events, to fight against colonial hangovers. The foundation educates about the shadow sides of Dutch Colonial History and tries to light and uplift the hidden stories, history and voices. She revitalizes the Indigenous Moluccan culture, which was influenced by the forces of Colonialism, and she tries to create a legacy for the youth but also connect with other people to learn about our decolonial identity and culture. On the Moluccas, a baileo is a shared space that is the physical and spiritual heart of the community and the location for all important events. Because it has no walls, ancestral spirits can come and go as they please.

Romy fights against the statue of JP Coen in Hoorn, who was the slaughterer of her ancestors on the Banda Islands. This Martin Luther King statue is dedicated to this cause. See also Coen Building.

 

Peaceful protest against the JP Coen statue in Hoorn, June 19, 2020, where hooligans started a riot
Peaceful protest against the JP Coen statue in Hoorn, June 19, 2020, where hooligans started a riot

JP Coen statue

Jan Pieterszoon Coen, 1587 - 1629, was director-general of the VOC and aimed to strengthen the VOC's position in the Far East. In 1671 he was appointed governor general. He was known for his conquest of Batavia (Jakarta). His greatest crime was the punitive expedition to the Banda Islands, part of the Moluccan Islands. In 1621 he had thousands of residents of the islands murdered after they delivered nutmeg to the English against agreements with the VOC. In 1893 he was honored with this statue on the central square of Hoorn, by Ferdinand Leenhoff. This statue has been controversial before it was even placed. Many protests have taken place for more than hundred years. In June 2020, Building the Baileo, Dekolonisatie Netwerk voormalig Nederlands Indië and WePromise organized a peaceful protest which still didn't result in removing the statue. The fight against colonial glorification and racism will continue, thanks to the persistence of heroes like Romy Rondeltap.

 

In 2011 the statue was toppled by a crane. They should have left him there.
In 2011 the statue was toppled by a crane. They should have left him there.
Protest against the statue in 2011 when the fallen statue was not back on its pedestal yet.
Protest against the statue in 2011 when the fallen statue was not back on its pedestal yet.

 

In 2012 a plaque was added to the statue in response to complaints that Jan Pietersz Coen had been a very brute despot, and shouldn't be honored with a statue. The city council chose to add a description instead of removing the statue. The fight to move the statue to the Westfries Museum will continue.

 

Visit www.jpcoen.com to learn more (Dutch)
Visit www.jpcoen.com to learn more (Dutch)
In 2016 activists of De Grauwe Eeuw tagged the pedestal
In 2016 activists of De Grauwe Eeuw tagged the pedestal
January 2, 2021 a slogan was tagged in Hoorn by WePromise, resulting in doxxing by alt right & resignation by her employer. Photo: Inter Visual Studio
January 2, 2021 a slogan was tagged in Hoorn by WePromise, resulting in doxxing by alt right & resignation by her employer. Photo: Inter Visual Studio