Dr Sadiah Boonstra is a Historian and Curator with a broad cultural practice. Sadiah is appointed Asia Scholar at Melbourne University and Independent Curator based in Jakarta, Indonesia. Research-informed and audience-oriented, she combines her academic expertise with experience in curation, producing, and public engagement programs. Her research and professional interests focus on the entanglement and legacies of cultural history, heritage and the performing arts of colonial and contemporary Indonesia. She works with contemporary visual and performing artists to challenge dominant discourses and representations of artists and their artforms on contemporary stages, in museums and galleries.
Sadiah obtained her PhD in History from Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam in 2014, with research on colonial discourse, heritage formation and contemporary performance practice of wayang (Indonesian puppet theatre). For Asia TOPA 2020 she curated an extensive Public Program of close to 50 talks, events and workshops to provide the audience with ample possibilities for a deeper and contextual engagement with the featured artists and shows. Since 2005 she has curated a number of international exhibitions, including at the British Museum in London, Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam and Galeri Nasional in Jakarta.