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Meet the Expert | Gert Oostindie

This summer prof. dr. Gert Oostindie, director of KITLV and Chairman of LeidenGlobal, has appeared in multiple media in the Netherlands for his expertise in the colonial history and decolonisation of the Dutch Caribbean; on postcolonial migrations and the significance of colonial history to Dutch national identity; and on the decolonization war in Indonesia.

Gert Oostindie studied History and Social Sciences, with a specialization in Latin American history, at the VU Amsterdam and he obtained his PhD in 1989 at Utrecht University with a doctoral thesis on slavery and plantation economy in the Dutch Caribbean colony of Suriname. He became head of one of the departments of the Royal Netherlands Institute for Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV), a position he held until assuming the directorship of institute in 2000. After having a chair in Caribbean Studies at the Department of Anthropology of Utrecht University, in 2006 he was appointed Professor of Caribbean History at the History Department of Leiden University.

This summer Gert Oostindie has appeared in multiple Dutch media on multiple subjects:

In July minister Blok of Foreign Affairs made some controversial statements about multi-ethnic, multicultural countries/societies and the way they function. Thereafter Gert Oostindie was asked for his reaction to those statements by Newspaper Volkskrant.

In early August, Gert was interviewed by Stan van Houcke in an online video broadcast of Café Weltschmerz about the Daendels lecture that Gert had given in april. Next to his explanation of the person Daendels and his ties to colonialism, Gert also discussed the view people had on colonialism in the past and compared this to modern day views.

Radio programme Met het Oog Op Morgen interviewed Gert on August 13th about the constitutional changes in Cuba and the three-month plebiscite preceding the changes. He argues that these changes are mostly confirming the changes that are already occurring in Cuba. 

When in late August, the city of Rotterdam announced to have a full independent research to be executed by KITLV about the complete colonial history of the city, Newspaper Trouw published an article on this research project, that will be led by Gert Oostindie. 

Finally, Gert Oostindie told on VRT Radio1 programme "De Wereld Vandaag" about the slavetrade between Africa and America which began with a Fleming. Read the article on that appeared after the interview.