70 for 70: Celebrating US-Indonesian Relations, 1949 -2019
Over the past 70 years, the United States and Indonesia have recognized how essential it is that their two nations— with the world’s third and fourth largest populations, respectively —understand each other as deeply as possible, and continue to develop areas of shared interests.
In 1949, President Harry Truman’s administration adopted a crucial policy toward the Netherlands, which had fought to maintain its colonial territories. This facilitated final negotiations for Indonesian independence, thus leading to official U.S.-Indonesian relations beginning on December 28, 1949.
The ensuing 70 years have traversed momentous periods: the geopolitical and Cold War issues of the 1950s and 1960s, Indonesia’s sustained economic development beginning in the 1970s, and its transition to democracy in the late 1990s. The desire to discuss and pursue important joint regional and global issues has emerged from these seven decades stronger than ever. In 2015, the two countries formally enhanced their relationship through a new U.S.-Indonesia Strategic Partnership that acknowledges and encourages the essential role of civil society, the private sector, universities, voluntary organizations, and people-to-people contacts.
The 70 images in this exhibition explore the depth and range of the various dimensions—including official visits, humanitarian aid, economic development, education, and culture—that have shaped and defined U.S.-Indonesia relations over the past 70 years and into the future.
Ambassador David Merrill
US-Indonesia Society (USINDO)