Indra: a Wajang life

In Indra: A Wajang Life’ Lizzy van Leeuwen describes a fascinating, multi-faceted life and an underexposed part of late colonial history. Leo Broekveldt was born in the Dutch East Indies as the son of an Indian mother and a high-ranking civil servant from the Netherlands. Leetje’ moved to The Hague as an adolescent, studied law, but chose a life as a revue dancer. In the 1930s, he would become an internationally renowned stage performer. During the war, he transformed into Indra Kamadjojo. After 1945, he used his dancing skills to support the young Indonesian republic. He later became an influential figure in the new post-war world of dance, culture, radio and television. His ‘little deer Kantjil’ has stayed with an entire generation. With his art, Indra Kamadjojo softened for many the long and painful farewell to the Dutch East Indies. He lived with humour and swagger and resolutely resisted the most common question of the twentieth century: what are you and where do you belong?

About who Lizzy is, we might add:

Lizzy van Leeuwen is a cultural anthropologist and writer. For years, she researched the post-colonial era, and in particular the role of the Netherlands in Indonesia: Ons Indisch erfgoed (Our Indian Heritage) (2008) was the result. 

The Marinus Plantema Foundation has contributed to the realisation of “Indra: a Wajang life”.