150 Years Max Havelaar
Sketch design for a commemorative coin for 150 years Max Havelaar.
Commissioned by The Dutch Ministry of Finance.

Max Havelaar is a culturally and socially significant 1860 novel by Multatuli (the pen name of Eduard Douwes Dekker) which was to play a key role in shaping and modifying Dutch colonial policy in the Dutch East Indies in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. In the novel, the protagonist, Max Havelaar, tries to battle against a corrupt government system in Java, which was a Dutch colony at the time.

Eduard Douwes Dekker’s whole life was dominated by his battle against injustice, both during his official career as through the pen. I tried to design a coin seen from his perspective on the world as it is today. A research paper ‘The World Distribution of Household Wealth’ from 2008 by UNU-WIDER reveales that the richest 10 per cent of adult individuals worldwide own 85 per cent of all global wealth. I translated this information on to the coin in the shape of a diagram and this way showing the literal distribution of wealth worldwide.