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 […]
Decolonising requires dialogue, expertise and support
The Heidelberg Statement
Statement approved on the occasion of the 2019 Annual Conference of the Directors of Ethnographic Museums in German Speaking Countries, in Heidelberg: Within the German speaking area, more than twenty public ethnographic and world cultures museums, university museums and collections, as well as the ethnography departments of composite museums, conserve a substantial number of collections […]
Mal D’Archives Revisited or Archive Evils from a Postcolonial Perspective. An Obstructed View
 In the current public debate about the restitution of non-European cultural legacy, one gap (among diverse others) is especially conspicuous: the conditions of the search for the Herkunft (provenience) and provenience are systematically disregarded. Postcolonial provenience research has been pointing this out for thirty years; accordingly, the various persons who have recently expressed themselves […]
Wessen Recht für wen?
This article is currently only available in German. A translation is being prepared.
Le patrimoine culturel à l’épreuve du temps au Bénin (Rapport de l’école doctorale au Bénin du 14 au 30 juillet 2018)
(1) Otoiu (2018), président du Vodoun, Dada Daagbo Hounon Hounan II et le groupe doctoral. L’école doctorale d’été « Processus de patrimonialisation, usages et muséification du passé » qui fait objet du présent rapport s’est déroulée à Porto-Novo au Bénin, du 14 au 30 juillet 2018. Dans cet article nous exposerons des discours temporels et […]
Curating Relationships Collaboratively – From Intertwined Objects to Intertwined Subjects
Sorry, this contribution is currently only available in German. It will be translated into English soon.
Eurocentrism still sets the terms of restitution of African art
A selective view of African cultural heritage continues the colonialist paradigm
This comment was first published in the journal The Art Newspaper and later translated into German for this blog. The original post in The Art Newspaper can be found HERE. The German translation on this blog can be found HERE.
Reversal of the gaze
Epistemic violence, epistemic reconciliation, response-able knowledge production
The reversal of the gaze – whether in anthropology or in art history –, is neither a banal nor a simple undertaking. Both the ability to reverse the gaze and the practiced reversal of the gaze are necessary conditions for the critical inquiry of the interrelatedness of contemporary power relations and the production of knowledge. […]
The ‘Restitution Report’
First Reactions in Academia, Museums, and Politics
This review gives an overview of the first reactions to the so-called ‘restitution report’ handed in to French president Emmanuel Macron on Nov 23, 2018 by Felwine Sarr and Bénédicte Savoy. The debate and reactions in politics, museums, academia, but also from the art market have been polarized and emotionally charged. Starting with first reactions […]
“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 […]
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 […]