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 […]

“The truth is that Europe has taken something from us, which it will never be able to return”*
*Translation from French by Michael Dorrity Bénédicte Savoy and Felwine Sarr have finally delivered President Emmanuel Macron with a report concerning the restitution of African objects currently held in French museums. For understandable historic reasons, Emmanuel Macron had limited the reach of the mission to previous territories over which the Republic had exercised responsibility. It […]

Whoever’s Right
Remarks on the Debate about Provenance and Return from the Perspective of Social and Cultural Anthropology
by Larissa Förster Translation: Mitch Cohen In the debate about colonial provenances and the restitution of objects from German museums to formerly colonized countries there is always an elephant in the room. The elephant is the law – when we are dealing with a “context of injustice”, the question whether this is or should be […]

Everything Must Go: Looting the Museum as Compensation for Looting the World
Raubkunstforschung als angewandte Wissenschaft
Preliminary Remarks on: Felwine Sarr/Bénédicte Savoy, „The Restitution of African Cultural Heritage. Toward a New Relational Ethics“ (November 2018). http://restitutionreport2018.com Marx was right, but we can delve deeper into his famous dictum from „The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte“. History does not repeat itself by alternating from tragedy to farce. Farce is the covering of […]

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 […]