RENEE VAN BAVEL – ECHO
At the invitation of the Dutch War Graves Foundation, I joined the board on an inspection trip to Indonesia in March 2019. There, together with the Commander of the Royal Dutch Army, the Inspector General of the Armed Forces , I visited the the Field of Honour war cemetery Menteng Pulo and Ancol in Jakarta, the Field of Honour Kalibanteng in Semarang and the Field of Honour Kembang Kuning in Surabaya.
War cemeteries that confront you with the colonial past of the Netherlands.
After visiting Indonesia, commissioned by the War Graves Foundation, I wrote the lyrics and composition of the song Echo.
The song Echo is about how long a war has impact on the generations that follow. How the trauma of war echoes further in the daughter and the son. How the taste of hunger carries through, how the fear resonates in the dreams, how it echoes in the words and in the silence, how it carries through in the heroic stories but also in the shame and guilt.
And knowing that the echo of war continues for so many generations, yet today there is a child in whom the echo begins anew.
I performed the song Echo during the National Remembrance Service on the National Field of Honour in 2018.
In 2019 the singer Karsu performed my song Echo during the National Remembrance Service on the National Field of Honour in 2019.
During the official state visit of the Dutch king Willem-Alexander and queen Maxima to Indonesia in 2021, the text of the song Echo was performed by one Dutch and one Indonesian student, during the official commemoration ceremony on the Menteng Pulo National Field of Honour in Jakarta.