Janneke van den Brand, one of the Dutch participants in the International Summer School, portrays the meaning of pluralism through a painting. “Ik belangstellend voor afbeelding; ik verliefd en houden van schilderen,” she said, asserting how she is very fond of painting. Spending her spare time painting imaginary women as her image object, this student of Humanities Studies at Utrecht, the Netherland, asserted that she has been painting with various colors of paint so far. The paint she chose is Acrylic, for it appears cheerfully on the canvas. Unlike other palettes that tend to use only single color, Janneke often uses various colors on her painting. She believes that each color has its own meaning and it supports the existence of other color.
While showing some among hundreds of her painting collections on the computer, Janneke, 24, opined that various color can also represents various culture, human, and religion. As the color mixes beautifully one to another, so does the phenomenon of diversity within this world. “In painting, you see people in the same level and everybody is right,” said a young woman who once had an exhibition with some of her friends in the Netherlands.
Janneke also explains that the discourse on pluralism in the Netherlands is not as apparent as it is in Indonesia. The Dutch and other people who have stayed there for a long period of time, she said, are seeing pluralism as something hard to deal with. “It’s only because Muslim culture doesn’t fit with the Dutch culture; not to mention the major religion of Protestantism there.” To her, Indonesia is blessed by its phenomenon of diversity.
The best thing she can do for her country, said Janneke who is labeled “Democratic Princess” by her classmates at the International Summer School, is through art. And, she chose painting to express her emotions, messages, and hopes. She believes that delivering a message through art is very efficient in seeing that all people love art. She holds an immense wish that the major group of people in her country will soon be enlightened to see the existence of other people as a new color to complete the nuance of life.
However, she never thinks spending her entire life to be a professional painter. “I am looking forward to having a chance to endure an internship at the Kosmopolis Institute.” Being a pluralist-humanist is one among the aims she wants to pursue. The palette of Acrylic paints, canvases, and brushes, at all cost, will always follow her. (Gie)