Carl Deußen

 
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08/01/22
„Our Colonial Heritage”
An Exhibition Review of the Tropenmuseum´s New Permanent Exhibition
Entering the Tropenmuseum always fills me with a mixed feeling of awe and discomfort. The grandiose imperial architecture of its central hall has lost nothing of its power to instil these emotions in the visitor coming face to face with what was once the Koloniaal Museum of the Dutch Empire. Since then, the museum’s contents […]

DCNtR Debate #2
Thinking About the Archive & Provenance Research
In the debate about the colonial past of ethnological museums in Western Europe, provenance research has emerged in recent years as the main method for researching colonial legacies and addressing museums’ need for decolonisation. What has been lacking, however, is a debate about the theoretical implications of this approach – what kinds of knowledge can […]

DCNtR Debate
The Gender of Ethnographic Collecting
It has long been accepted that colonialism had a distinctive epistemic dimension, which was upheld by disciplines such as social anthropology and other knowledge-making projects. Under this colonial episteme, people and human experiences were hierarchically classified according to racial categories and ethnography and ethnographic collecting were key components in these processes. However, the colonial regime […]

 
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12/02/20
The Dangers of a Comfortable Debate
A Review of Across Anthropology. Troubling Colonial Legacies, Museums, and the Curatorial by Margareta von Oswald and Jonas Tinius
I was excited when I first read the announcement for the publication of Margareta von Oswald’s and Jonas Tinius’ edited volume Across Anthropology. Troubling Colonial Legacies, Museums, and the Curatorial. The long list of contributors, ranging from influential voices in the debate on ethnographic museums to positions from art and activism, promised a thorough discussion […]

 
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10/12/19
Colonial Collectors and their Legacy
Why Asking “Why?” Matters
At the time of writing, the conference Museum Collections in Motion lies only weeks in the past and its impacts, its questions and discussions still move me. For all its moments of connection and shared ideals, it was not a harmonious conference. Especially in the beginning, it seemed like mistrust could win over and end […]