From Triple mountains to lebak

#SharedHeritage #Photography #Storytelling #MaxCremer

I’m going on a trip to discover the visual heritage between Lebak, Indonesia and Triple Mountains (Driebergen), Netherlands.

A camera, coffee and a bike.


Donate through this link: ‘Triple Mountains – Lebak –>

Please include your email in the message section so I can keep you updated.
The bank account is under the name of Eric Taal (the non-artist, official name of Max Cremer).

In April, I’m biking around the Triple Mountains (Driebergen), capturing photos of historical sites tied to Indonesia’s colonial past. Then, on April 19th, I’m flying to Jakarta and biking to Lebak to document the landscape and heritage. I’ll share our local history and buildings with the people in Lebak and Triple Mountains. When I’m back, I will edit all my images into several online artworks. The goal of this work is to visually communicate to people that there is a world to be discovered in our local and international heritage.

The book “Max Havelaar, of De Koffij-veilingen der Nederlandsche Handel-Maatschappij” from Multatuli sheds light on Dutch exploitation in Java, mentioning Triple Mountains and Lebak. Triple Mountains in the book is a place where rich people live that made there money in Java. Through “Max Havelaar,” Multatuli aimed to shed light on the harsh realities of colonialism in Lebak, advocating for social justice and sparking a wave of awareness and change. The funny thing is that the book does not talk about coffee. So, lets make photo’s, talk and drink coffee. Its 2024, right?

I’m excited to share my photos online and get people thinking about what our monuments represent. It’s crazy to think that for the past century, we haven’t really talked about where our wealth comes from. But I believe it’s tied to our colonial past. Places like Triple Mountains and Lebak are like characters in an ongoing conversation.

I want Lebak residents to understand this project and kickstart international conversations about our shared past.

We are currently developing a version in the Indonesian language, and all other communication will be conducted in Indonesian as well

I want to allocate a small budget to generate online PR on Instagram and Facebook. This way, I aim to reach people and motivate them to follow me and this project. During my journey, I’ll share photos and write short stories. I’ll do this in the Netherlands and on the Heuvelrug. In the Netherlands, I’ll ride around on a cargo bike (lebakfiets) that I’ve pimped out so people notice me and strike up conversations, maybe even have a coffee (a Lebakkie) with me. On the day of departure to Schiphol, I’ll cycle past other country estates in the Netherlands, via Utrecht, along the Vecht river. I’ll have flyers to get people interested in my project because Driebergen is not the only place in the Netherlands with a colonial history. I’ll end my trip at the Multatuli Museum. I hope to clarify the relationship between Amsterdam and Driebergen in this way. Many people from Driebergen also had houses in Amsterdam.

In Indonesia, I’ll also use a small budget for marketing, and there too, I’ll depart on a bike from Jakarta to Lebak. In collaboration with Arjan Onderdenwijngaard, we’ll have flyers there to promote our project.

When I return, I’ll seek PR opportunities in local media and reach out to organizations for lectures. As the ultimate goal, I would like my project to initiate a conversation with the National Monuments Authority in the Netherlands on how we can organize the online world in such a way that people engaged in or interested in our heritage can immediately see the overseas stories associated with our national bricks and estates.

No, I’ve met supportive folks like Arjan Onderdenwijngaard, Michel Jansen, Andreas Geursen, Jeroen van Beek, Henk Pagnier, Ruth Werkoven, Menno Stom, Harold K, Kamiel van der Laan, Annet Werkhoven, Elise Meier and Henk Tuinman. I’ve spoken to around 100 people and received symbolic support from various organizations.

People are eager to help, but they find it challenging to take an active role themselves. The topic of colonial history and slavery is complex. The way our ecosystem is build around heritage and Real estate is unique. In that regard, Driebergen, the Utrechtse Heuvelrug, is different from other towns and cities. With this project, I aim to take on an active and encouraging role to talk about this subject.

This topic also involves generational legacy. That’s why I’m bringing my father’s camera along—a Nikon D80 with an AF-S 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G VR ED DX lens. Many of our family trips were captured with this camera. The thought of sharing these photos I make with my children is something I find beautiful.

For my AI work I use Midjourney generative artificial intelligence and also the Adobe Suite. 

The “bakfiets” is a Big Baboe Bakfiets that I’ve painted black. It’s an old model and won’t break easily, i’ve been told 😉


I’ve got a bunch of other ideas and projects in the works to keep tackling this issue in our area. I won’t be slowing down anytime soon. But the big question is, what role do I continue to play as an artist? I aim to shake up how people think, and I’m hopeful that folks in Driebergen are up for changing our approach to things. Long-term, I’m aiming for a bigger shift in the system. How do we make sure all the stories about our past get told?”

I need around 5000 euros to complete this project. Your donations are vital. Significant contributors will receive a special bag of coffee beans inspired by “Max Havelaar.” Check out this link for more info about the coffee.

Those who donate won’t get a photo album, a t-shirt, or a print. Let’s face it, the world could use a little less stuff, right? Digital communities and charitable online heritage? Now, that’s where the real treasures lie.

Follow my journey on Instagram or Facebook, and join me in spreading awareness about this topic.


"A Le Bakkie? Send me a message and we'll meet at one of the national monuments on the Utrechtse Heuvel!"


Publisher of Ideas