The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences announced today that dr. meLê yamomo is a recipient of the KNAW Early Career Award. The prize, an amount of 15,000 euros and a work of art, is intended for researchers in the Netherlands who are at the start of their career and who have an innovative, original research idea.

As a specialist in Sound Studies and colonial music history in Southeast Asia, yamomo has developed his own refreshing and interdisciplinary line of research in a short span of time. He used the very first sound recordings from Southeast Asia to analyse colonisation, decolonisation and globalisation in that region. yamomo’s research is recognised both in the Netherlands and internationally. His own compositions can be heard on podcasts and in the electronic music project Echoing Europa – Postcolonial Reverberations in Berlin. 

KNAW Early Career Award

The winners have been selected in the four Academy domains: humanities; behavioural sciences, social sciences and law; natural sciences and engineering; and medical, biomedical and health sciences. There are three winners in each domain. The KNAW Early Career Award consists of the sum of €15,000, made available from the Academy Fund. The winners are free to spend this sum on their research careers as they see fit. 

Work of art

In addition, all winners receive the art object Extended Jewellery by Laura Klinkenberg (1992). It is a brass screw with a twist, representing the ‘twist’ needed in both research and art to come up with new ideas and symbolising the contrariness of research. Extended Jewellerywon the art competition associated with the KNAW Early Career Award, with the artist receiving the €7,500 prize. Laura Klinkenberg studied jewellery design at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy and has her own company, Ritual Design.

Awards ceremony

The KNAW Early Career Awards will be presented on 15 February 2021.


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