The Carceral Idyll: Imperial Legacies, Domestic Colonisation and the Will to Confine in the Netherlands
In the Netherlands, carceral imaginaries tend to cluster into three seemingly unrelated strands: in popular culture there is a fascination with prisons as spectacles, collective memory tends to focus on experiences from camps during World War II, and contemporary media foreground precarious living conditions in refugee camps and migrant detention centers. Surprisingly, colonial histories that have structured these sites of confinement and surveillance, are often overlooked in discussions and depictions of these carceral forms.
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 on imprisonment, both at home and abroad.
Stuit, H. “Pastoral Entrapment and the Idyllic-Carceral Continuum.” Journal of Architecture. Special issue on Domestic Colonisation. Forthcoming.
Stuit, H, J. Turner and J. Weegels. Carceral Worlds. Bloomsbury Academic, forthcoming.
Stuit, H. (2020) The carceral idyll: Rural retreats and dreams of order in the colonies of
benevolence Collateral: Online Journal for Cross-Cultural Close Reading, Cluster 23[c]