Indonesian Veterans, 2018
Defend your country, courage and pride. No questions but choices, between life and death.
The battle, the adventure of the naive young men. The sacrifice. But the country changes.
70 years ago and 7.500 miles far away. People are turning and forgetting.
It feels like treason ...
My father (1923 - 2015) was in Indonesia between 1946 and 1949 during the so called "politionele acties". He was a 'volunteer-soldier'. He did not want to be reminded at this period in his later life. According to my brothers, he has been traumatized.
In the spring of 2018 I came in contact with a group of veterans from Indonesia. They were housed in Bronbeek in Arnhem, a home for former soldiers. After a few conversations and after viewing various photos from my father's album (he took many pictures in Indonesia back then) some of the veterans allowed me to make their portraits.
Unfortunately, two of the men portrayed have died recently. Their stories are impressive and I am glad I could give them a form of remembrance with my images. A story of young boys sucked into war. Just like my father.
Erik van Cuyk, Arnhem, 2018