The Carceral Idyll: Imperial Legacies, Domestic Colonisation and the Will to Confine in the Netherlands
In the Netherlands, there are three distinct strands of carceral imaginaries: the fascination with prisons as spectacles, the experiences of camps during World War II, and the precarious living conditions in refugee camps and migrant detention centers. Surprisingly, colonial histories, despite being sites of confinement and surveillance experimentation, are often overlooked in discussions and depictions of confinement.
Hanneke Stuit aims to explore the development of the “carceral idyll” – the belief that confining people in the right way and in the right place will benefit society – as portrayed in literature, documentaries, and marketing materials related to three specific detention sites in the Netherlands: the Colonies of Benevolence, camp Westerbork, and the asylum center in Ter Apel. The project seeks to shed light on the often unacknowledged influence of Dutch colonialism.