About DCNtR:
DECOLONIZING COLLECTIONS – NETWORKING TOWARDS RELATIONALITY   Decolonizing – This blog is aimed at decentering the debate on colonial and ethnographic collections, archives, and museums. Its goal is to rethink colonial knowledges and dominant epistemic practices in an attempt to undo them. We seek to destabilize center-periphery divisions by providing a platform for diverse voices […]

Provenance Research before Repatriation: The Limits of Museums’ Archives
DCNtR Debate #2. Thinking About the Archive & Provenance Research
As calls for cultural objects’ repatriations[1] are increasing and museums are being confronted with the colonial aspects of their collections and of the institution itself, one of the responses from the museum world is to highlight the need for research and documentation. The argument is that in order to know what to return, one needs […]

Archives Research on Chinese Government’s Preparation for the 1935 Royal Academy International Exhibition of Chinese Art
DCNtR Debate #2. Thinking About the Archive & Provenance Research
Fig. 1. The Poster of the 1935 International Exhibition of Chinese Art. Courtesy to the Royal Academy of Arts. The International Exhibition of Chinese Art (hereinafter 1935 Exhibition) was held at Burlington House, London, from 28 November 1935 to 6 March 1936.[1] As “one of a sequence of national art shows” at the Royal Academy […]

What’s the Use of the Archive? Questions of locality, accessibility, and digitalisation
DCNtR Debate #2. Thinking About the Archive & Provenance Research
Case 1 My (Larissa) first confrontation with issues surrounding the decolonisation and locality of archives between the Global North and South took place in 2018, through my visits to a private Nigerian archive.[1] When I boarded the airplane, I did not know of the existence of this archive yet. Once I had arrived at my […]

Documenting Coloniality
DCNtR Debate #2. Thinking About the Archive & Provenance Research
Ethnographic collecting in the late 19th and early 20th century was a method of colonial knowledge production and served the narrative of European cultural and scientific dominance. We understand ethnographic museums themselves as colonial archives. Although they are always incomplete and biased, as such, they are promising historical sources for the investigation of certain persons’ […]

The Gender of Ethnographic Collecting
The boasblogs paper no. 3 is now available online

49th Cologne Media Conversations and Master Class
PHOTOGRAPHS AND THE PRACTICE OF HISTORIES by Elizabeth Edwards (De Montfort University)
We kindly invite you to the 49th Cologne Media Conversations of the Zentrum für Medienwissenschaften und Moderne Forschung (MeMO) at the University of Cologne. The lecture will be held this time by esteemed visual and historical anthropologist Elizabeth Edwards on »Photographs and the Practice of Histories«   CMC Master Class, Thursday, 20 January, 6.00 – […]

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 […]

An exhibition for the future, but what future for the exhibition?
Hey Hamburg, kennst du Rudolf Duala Manga Bell? at the MARKK
If you don’t live in Hamburg and already know the story of Rudolf Duala Manga Bell, you will naturally ask yourself whether a visit to the latest exhibition of the MARKK, entitled Hey Hamburg, do you know Rudolf Duala Manga Bell? would be worthwhile. The exhibition is part of the special programs MARKK in Motion […]

Legba-figures and dzokawo
Unpacking a missionary collection from the Übersee-Museum Bremen
In the debate about colonial collections in ethnological and other museums, little attention has been paid to things[1] acquired in the context of evangelization in the “frontier zones” (Chidester 1996) of European imperial outreach. Conversion to Christianity in colonial contexts, as a rule, implied that converts were required to give up the material related to […]

DCNTR collective on summer break!
The DCNtR collective is going on summer break until 31 August – no new posts will be appearing during this time. You can still reach us as usual with ideas for contributions and debates at info@boasblogs.org. We are looking forward to new and rich debates in autumn.