Walking piece details
The J.P. Coenstraat is a well-known street in Utrecht. Until the late 1900s J.P. Coen, who was alive in the 17th century, was seen as a Dutch hero: a strong-man and a born leader. But, he also committed heinous crimes against the local population in the Dutch East Indies (modern-day Indonesia) such as torture and murder. Does this make the street name bittersweet?
The Bitterzoete Route is a route in the city of Utrecht in the Netherlands. It takes you along several streets in the neighbourhood Lombok. Quite a few of these streets are named after heroes of the Dutch golden era. But, the route also tells the other side of these heroes’ stories, to increase our knowledge and awareness of the Dutch colonial past and to stimulate having a conversation.