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 Crisis of Anthropological Museums from the Perspective of an Anthropology of Museums, and some Remarks on the Agency of Restitution Conceived as a Restitution of Agency
(July 2019) (1.) Apart from royal societies and their art, f.i. Benin Bronze sculptures, most African ritual objects were not preserved for eternity or for permanent preservation, but were made for their cyclical reproduction and renewal in new artefacts. Once objects fell out of ritual use or were damaged by use, they were destroyed or […]
A Contamination of Provenance?
The Relevance of Extended Materialities to Provenance Research and Restitution Processes. Examples from the Linden Museum Stuttgart
Figure 1: the whip and bible ascribed to Hendrik Witbooi once prepared for transport to Namibia (February 2019, Linden Museum, photograph: Dominik Drasdow). In 2013, the Ministry of Sciences, Research and Art of Baden-Württemberg, in cooperation with the Linden Museum, initiated the process with Namibian counterparts that would lead to the restitution of the […]
SOMETHING GRAVE HAPPENED AND IMPERIAL RULE OF LAW IS SUSTAINING IT!
In 1897 a great tragedy befell the kingdom of Benin when a British punitive expedition looted the treasury of treasures in the royal palace and plundered artefacts including those of great spirituality to the Bini people. Benin kingdom is now part of Nigeria and since Independence in 1960 Nigeria and also the Benin Royal Court […]
A postcolonial moment in analytic engagement with museum ethnographic collections?
• A postcolonial moment emerges as happenings of political, cultural and epistemic work in institutional and organisational settings—it is passage, trajectory, going-on inflected in particular ways. • Postcolonialism is not a stoppage or reversal of colonialism, rather a re-gathering and diverting. It is using resources at hand, albeit in some way an outcome of the […]
“Stolen from Africa?”: Statement by the Basel Workshop on Namibian Cultural Heritage in Switzerland
by the Basel Workshop „Stolen from Africa? Restitution of Namibian Cultural Heritage in Switzerland“, 8 May 2019, organised by the Centre of African Studies of the University of Basel and the Basler Afrika Bibliographien in collaboration with the Swiss Society of African Studies and the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences Colonial heritage and, […]
Tribal Displays: Colonial Repositories and Community Reconciliation
The practices of a new museology have recently raised debates involving public forums and dialogues. However, these transformation processes have also sought to rethink museum practices in remaking persons and remaking society. The practice of displaying ethnic groups in the museum builds on the debates of decolonising museums especially of those having ethnographic artefacts. Having […]
Through the looking glass (excerpt)
From an anthropological museum…
Photographs as pdf prolog-ausstellung.info Anja Nitz is a Berlin based artist and photographer. Born in Hamburg (1971) she studied at Kunsthochschule Berlin Weißensee. In her work she deals with socially relevant institutions and she conceptually potrays the related buildings. Among others she has worked on the Berlin Charité Hospital and several important Berlin Embassies, the […]
Museum Collections in Motion International Conference
July 15-17, 2019, Cologne
Download the conference flyer here Download the detailed conference programme here. Download the poster here.
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 […]