28/10/20
 
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 […]

A Human Skull for Sale: Is this possible?
On Oct. 18, 2018, under a title that translates as “Someone who buys something like this must be a bit crazy”, the Süddeutsche Zeitung published an interview with the business manager of the auction house Lempertz, Prof. Henrik Hanstein. The talk, conducted by Jörg Häntzschel, addressed an auction held on Oct. 24 in Lempertz’s Brussels […]

Empirical notes on the exhibition “L’Un et l’Autre” (One and the Other)
Palais de Tokyo, Paris 2018
“It is so much easier if you are an art museum!”[1] In the framework of the conference Exchanging perspectives: anthropologies, museum collections and colonial legacies between Paris and Berlin[2], I was asked to give an overview on the institutional changes of Parisian art museums with regard to colonial history. Indeed, I could have mentioned several […]

11/02/18
Presentation – Achille Mbembe on “The Capacity for Truth: Of ‘Restitution’ in African Systems of Thought”
A.W. Amo Lecture 14th November 2018, 18h15, Melanchthonianum XX, MLU, Universitätsplatz 8/9, Halle Achille Mbembe WiSER, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg The Capacity for Truth: Of ‘Restitution’ in African Systems of Thought The lecture will explore some of the meanings attached to the concept and practice of restitution in precolonial African systems of thought. It […]

11/02/18
[Announcement] Achille Mbembe on “The Capacity for Truth: Of ‘Restitution’ in African Systems of Thought”
A.W. Amo Lecture 14th November 2018, 18h15, Melanchthonianum XX, MLU, Universitätsplatz 8/9, Halle Achille Mbembe WiSER, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg   The Capacity for Truth: Of ‘Restitution’ in African Systems of Thought The lecture will explore some of the meanings attached to the concept and practice of restitution in precolonial African systems of thought. […]

10/30/18
Das Kulturerbe Benins auf dem Prüfstand der Zeit
Currently, this contribution exists only in the German version, translation under way.

Call for reviews of the “Guidelines on Dealing with Collections from Colonial Contexts” issued by the German Museums Association in May 2018
The colonial legacies of German museums have been discussed intensely over the past few years – also in this blog. In September 2016 the German Museums Association established a working group that is looking into the issue of “collections from colonial contexts” and developing guidelines for the care of such collections. In May 2018 the […]

Sleeping Objects
On the future of museum artefacts
Aquí leen la versión en castellano The news of the devastating fire at the National Museum in Rio de Janeiro calls to mind the following aspect of museums of a similar immense size: In keeping with their claim of representing the nation and the wealth of its cultural heritage, they have amassed large quantities of […]

Ambivalent Futures
On the restitution of objects and white innocence
The legacies of colonialism and imperialism are keeping the European museum scene busy. At first glance, colonial amnesia seems to be overcome and museums to pave the way for postcolonial restorative justice. A second glance, though, might reveal inconsistencies and shortcomings structuring present museum work. The current debate mainly focuses on objects being looted, exchanged, […]

Ethnological Collections and Municipal Displays
On September 14, 2018, Manuela Andreoni and Ernesto Londoño published an essay in the New York Times on the recent destruction of artifacts and records at the National Museum in Rio de Janeiro. They titled it: “Loss from Brazil fire felt like a ‘new Genocide’.” Their first major point was that this museum had housed […]

Unbearable simultaneity
On the correlation between mobile objects and people*
*Translated from the German by Jane Yager On Sunday afternoon, 27 May 2018, I am watching the podium and listening to Tom Holert introduce the second day of the conference “Deep Time and Crisis, ca.1930”, which is taking place at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin as part of the exhibition “Neolithic Childhood. […]