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Johannes Camphuys (1634-1695) is remembered in Dutch literature as a charismatic and religious
governor-general, responsible for the VOC's impressive economic progress under his leadership. The
trained goldsmith left for the Dutch East Indies at the age of 18, where he quickly found success. As
he was rapidly moving up in the VOC, he was appointed in 1671 as chief merchant for the VOC and
Japan (1). In 1684, he was promoted to governor-general of the VOC (2). His period of office was not
characterized by major conflicts with local leaders or other Western powers. Camphuys preferred
negotiation instead of military intervention.
Growth of enslaved population
Negotiation proved fruitful. The power of the VOC grew, having a major impact on Batavia, the
economic centre of the Dutch East Indies. The profits of the VOC were largely dependent on enslaved
people and a mass of unfree labour was brought to Batavia to work in a variety of roles. In 1689,
under the Camphuys regime, the number of enslaved people in Batavia was 26,071, with 3,501 of
these being children. This formed about 60 per cent of the entire population in Batavia (3).
Another example of the activism of Lombok's citizens can be found in this street. The street features
the work of sculptor Jules Enneking. In 2009, the art-community project Linken Leggen Lombok
invited Enneking to create a new work on the square by Johannes Camphuysstraat. This project was
the initiative of Kosmopolis Utrecht, who work with Museum Maluku, the Papua Cultural Heritage
foundation, artists, neighbourhood organisations and entrepreneurs in Lombok. Enneking carved an
oak trunk for Linken Leggen Lombok in which he was inspired by Camphuys' interest in overseas
plants and animals (4).