Indonesia declared independence on August 17, 1945.
Driven from the Dutch East Indies when the Japanese landed in 1942,
the Netherlands refuses to recognize this declaration and
sets out to recover their colony. The Dutch government decides
to send a contingent to fight those it calls “terrorists”.
Among them, Johan Knevel, who was born “in the Indies”, hopes to
regain the lost paradise of his childhood. He is faced with
the reality of a war in which no one’s hands are clean.
Born to a mother with Chinese Indonesian roots,
Peter van Dongen set out to explore these roots and the stories of
his family. He shared what he found in Rampokan,
a graphic novel about the end of the colonial era and the changed
relations between the Netherlands and Indonesia. Extensively
researched and documented, and with love for Indonesian
culture, Peter van Dongen has created a highlight in
Dutch comic culture.
—Joost Swarte, Dutch cartoonist, graphic designer, architect
and illustrator for The New Yorker