Kees Ribbens is a senior researcher at the Netherlands Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies (NIOD) in Amsterdam and an endowed professor of Popular historical culture of Global Conflicts and Mass Violence at Erasmus University Rotterdam. His interest is in how memories of war, genocide and mass violence in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries are represented in words and images. More generally, he looks at how individuals, groups and societies appropriate these histories, revealing a diverse range of contemporary meanings of memory. He is fascinated by the ways in which the Second World War is given meaning, represented and appropriated, each time anew, across various communities.
Ribbens studied history at Radboud University and obtained his PhD at Utrecht University, and was editorial secretary of the Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis. His interest in public history leads him to be interested not only in commemorations, museums and history education, but even more so in popular imagery that, for changing target groups, is constantly transmitting new interpretations – within national and transnational frameworks – of historical war experiences. Studying this phenomenon, in tourism and games among other expressions, but especially in comics and graphic novels, reveals a diverse range of contemporary meanings of memory.
Machlien Vlasblom is researcher for the ImageLab project at NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies. She studied History at Utrecht University (BA) and completed the MA program in Holocaust and Genocide Studies (University of Amsterdam) with a thesis about the Nationaal-Socialistisch Studentenfront (the Dutch National Socialist student organization). She worked at the Anne Frank House for some years, mainly at the ‘Manuscripts of Anne Frank’ project. As an independent historian she has been involved in numerous projects related to World War II and the Holocaust. In recent years she worked on the double biography ‘Wij Waren Supermannen’ (‘We Were Supermen’) about the brothers Jan and Herman Heukels, who both were photographers and National Socialists. Herman Heukels was the photographer of the infamous photographs taken during a roundup of Jewish people in Amsterdam on June 20, 1943. Her research on the Heukels brothers introduced her to NIOD's large collection of visual materials and made her acutely aware of the importance of contextualizing images and the collections/series of which they form part.
Read more about Machlien's research here.
Project Assistant 2023
Iris Bouman is a research assistant for the ImageLab project at the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies. She has studied History at Utrecht University and is in the final stages of the Master’s programme Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the NIOD. She is currently finishing her Master’s thesis on the experiences of queer women in Nazi Germany, and on the ways in which Nazi ideology excluded queer women from the Volksgemeinschaft. Interested in representations of histories of mass violence and wanting to further develop her research and writing skills, Iris is excited to be part of the ImageLab team.
Project Assistant 2022
Annemarie van Dijk
Annemarie van Dijk is research assistant at the Netherlands Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies (NIOD) for the ImageLab project. She studied History at the University of Groningen, where she focused on how the Holocaust and (anti)racism in America are represented in media, culture and heritage. Her particular interest is in how storytelling in museums can be used to make these stories about racism and discrimination more known to the public. For her master thesis, she looked into how the representation of the Holocaust in the museum of Kamp Westerbork adapted to the needs of new generations. She did her internship at the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre in Canada and volunteered at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
NIOD ImageLab Interns 2023
Julie Koopman is an intern at the NIOD ImageLab. She recently finished her BA in History and International Studies at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam with a thesis on the scientific collaboration during the Cold War Space Race and an extracurricular minor about the intelligence community. During her studies, she also learned about a practical and computational approach to the humanities, which she applies now at her internship by taking up the task to create an interactive geomap for the 'Behind the Star' image collection at NIOD. Koopman also assisted the project as a Digital Humanities Intern in 2021.
Rianne Schleiffert obtained a bachelor in International Studies, with a minor in Cultural Memory Studies, at Leiden University in 2021. She is currently in the final stages of completing her Research Master in Asian Studies, where she specialises in the connections between politics and memories of history. Her passion for history motivated Rianne to join the NIOD ImageLab team, where she can put her skills into practice and contribute to meaningful projects.
NIOD ImageLab Interns 2022
Brenda Bakker is a second-year student of the BA History at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. During her studies she took great interest in Holocaust and Genocide studies. She is fascinated by pictures and the stories they tell, which is why she is excited to be a part of the ImageLab team.
After finishing her BA in Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences at the University of Birmingham, Chiara is now completing her MSc at Leiden University in International Relations and Diplomacy and expected to graduate in June 22. With an interdisciplinary research background, Chiara has focused on the study of genocide and conflict, particularly in Africa. Having investigated why ordinary individuals committed genocide in Rwanda in 1994 for her BA thesis, her current masters thesis investigates the aftermath of genocide and explores the topic of collective memory culture. In particular, what happens when certain experiences are excluded from collective understandings of violent pasts.
NIOD ImageLab Interns 2021
Hanna Nieuwenhuizen is an intern at the Netherlands Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies (NIOD) for the ‘Behind the Star’-project. She is studying History at the University of Leiden with a minor in Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Amsterdam. For her thesis project, she is researching the difference between how men and women experienced their imprisonment at the Nazi-prison ‘Het Oranjehotel’ during the Second World War. The Oranjehotel held over 25,000 people for interrogation and prosecution during the war. It was for this project that she first came in contact with NIOD while going through the archives for possible sources.
Amber Zijlma recently finished her BA Ancient, Medieval and Modern History at Durham University, where she focused her dissertation on the 1929 Women's War in Nigeria. She enjoys doing historical research on many different topics, but feels especially passionate about critically looking at dominant discourses and finding ways to restore the stories of marginalised people in the narrative. She also hopes to make more of these stories known and more accessible to the public. She is currently an intern for the 'Behind the Star'-project at NIOD, where she is able to pursue stories that she had not engaged with before. She is grateful to be learning something new every day.
Digital Humanities Project Intern 2021
Star Siripanich is a third-year BSc Sociology student at the University of Amsterdam. As a part of the course, ‘Digital Humanities and Social Analytics in Practice’ at the VU, she is participating in the NIOD ImageLab as an intern responsible for assisting with research and data visualisations.
Özgür Atlagan assists NIOD ImageLab with design and visual content. He is a visual artist and an alum of Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten.
Behind the Star project volunteer