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Museum of the Asia Africa Conference

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In 1955 Bandung played host to the first large scale meeting of delegates from 29 mostly newly independent Asian and African nations aimed at opposing colonialism and promoting economic and cultural cooperation—the Museum of the Asia Africa Conference (Museum Konferensi Asia Afrika) tells the story behind it.





Major discussions at the Bandung Conference centred on cold war politics and the affect of tensions between the United States, China and Soviet powers on less powerful Asian and African states as well as European colonialism and laid the foundations for the creation of the Non-Aligned Movement in 1961. A ten-point declaration promoting peace and cooperation was adopted unanimously.

Meet the freedom building. Photo taken in or around Museum of the Asia Africa Conference, Bandung, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

Meet the freedom building. Photo: Sally Arnold

To mark the 50th and 60th anniversaries, Asian-African Summits were again staged in 2005 and 2015 in Bandung and Jakarta. Gedung Merdeka (literally “freedom building”) the venue for the conference, has been turned into a small museum dedicated to this historic event.

Symbolically, the building itself was once the meeting place for Bandung’s wealthy colonial elite, the club house and ballroom for the Societeit Concordia who reportedly had a “no natives” policy. The museum displays interesting photographs, quotes and a handful of memorabilia from the event with signage in English and Indonesian. Exhibitions are well lit and well maintained, but you’re in for a lot of reading.

The main attraction. Photo taken in or around Museum of the Asia Africa Conference, Bandung, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

The main attraction. Photo: Sally Arnold

Part of the museum is the curved roof conference room set up much as it would have been at the time, lined with flags from participating nations watched over by Indonesia’s Garuda coat-of-arms. Although the exhibition (and the building itself) resonates with history, there isn’t that much to see. Folks interested in international politics will get more out of the museum than most who will probably just whizz through, however the opportunity to admire the curved lines of this splendid example of modern Tropical Art déco architecture adds to the value ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


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Museum of the Asia Africa Conference
5 Jalan Asia Afrika, Bandung
Tu–Th: 08:00–16:00 Fr: 14:00–16:00 Sa–Su: 09:00–16:00
T: (0224) 269 0705 F: (0224) 238 031;
reservasi.mkaa@kemlu.go.id
http://asianafricanmuseum.org/
Admission: Free

Location map for Museum of the Asia Africa Conference

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