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Open Access Thomas Karsten’s Indonesia

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Thomas Karsten’s Indonesia

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Modernity and the End of Europe, 1914–1945

Colonial Indonesia’s foremost town planner and prominent architect, Herman Thomas Karsten (1884–1945), was inspired in his work by contemporary discourses on modernity and critiques of Western civilization. Drawing on Karsten’s published and private writing, this article argues that his disenchantment with the West and criticism of contemporary Dutch colonial practice led him to imagine and direct his town-planning and architectural projects towards the realization of a post-colonial, post-imperial world in which East and West would be united. Despite (or because of) his utopian ideal of world unity, Karsten was unable to accept the demands of the Indonesian nationalist movement.

Affiliations: 1: Monash University joost.cote@monash.edu

10.1163/22134379-17001004
/content/journals/10.1163/22134379-17001004
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Colonial Indonesia’s foremost town planner and prominent architect, Herman Thomas Karsten (1884–1945), was inspired in his work by contemporary discourses on modernity and critiques of Western civilization. Drawing on Karsten’s published and private writing, this article argues that his disenchantment with the West and criticism of contemporary Dutch colonial practice led him to imagine and direct his town-planning and architectural projects towards the realization of a post-colonial, post-imperial world in which East and West would be united. Despite (or because of) his utopian ideal of world unity, Karsten was unable to accept the demands of the Indonesian nationalist movement.

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/content/journals/10.1163/22134379-17001004
2014-01-01
2016-12-11

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