Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Chair for the History of Science

M.A. Dwirahmi Suryandari

M.A. Dwirahmi Suryandari
dwirahmi.suryandari (at)

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Dwirahmi Suryandari has an M.A. (2016) from Brandenburgische Technische Universität, Cottbus, in World Heritage Studies. Her M.A. thesis delves into the issue of urban heritage preservation from the lens of social justice. She has an extensive experience in heritage and museum while working with Southeast Asia Museum Services (SEAMS) in Indonesia. Notable projects include the nomination process of the Cosmological Axis of Yogyakarta for UNESCO World Heritage Site, provenance and significance assessment of the 18th century furniture collection of Jakarta History Museum, and the development of an interpretation strategy for Ombilin Coal Mining Heritage of Sawahlunto, West Sumatra.

She is currently a part of the International Max Planck Research School at the Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte (MPIWG) in Berlin.


Research interests

  • Museum and collecting practice
  • The politics of cultural identity
  • Missionaries and colonial entanglement


Current project

Contestation of Knowledge in the Collection and Exhibition of Indigenous Objects by Catholic Mission Museums

This project is intended to answer how indigenous knowledge is contested through the exchange of objects that happened between indigenous groups and Catholic missionaries by looking at how the value and function of the of the objects changed. It focuses on the collection and presentation history of two museums in Indonesia that were founded and managed by Catholic missionaries or foundations - namely the Nias Heritage Museum in Nias, North Sumatra and Museum Bikon Blewut in Flores, East Nusa Tenggara and will focus on the periode between late 19th century until after the Indonesian independence on the mid of 20th century.

The research aims to sheRaja Sika.jpgd a light on how the Catholic Church and her missionaries responded to cultural, social and political context in mission lands as manifested through material culture and museum practice, and how this affects the shift of knowledge in indigenous communities. These questions will be addressed through archival research and ethnographic method.

De Radja van Sika omgeven door eenigen zijner Krijgers (King of Sika surrounded by some of his warriors) photographed by Jesuit missionary Antonius Ijsseldijk in 1899 (© Archive of the Indonesian Province of the Society of Jesus).


Suryandari, Dwirahmi. ‘Reinterpreting Museum Objects through Rituals: Stories from Yogyakarta and Surakarta’. Insights Asef Culture 360 (2020). Online at: