12/20/19
Voices from the Conference “Museum Collections in Motion, Colonial and Postcolonial Encounters“, Cologne, July 2019
We are pleased to present 15 film interviews from the conference “Museum Collections in Motion”, co-organized by the boasblogs and held at the Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum in Cologne in July 2019 with more than 300 participants.

12/20/19
To set museum visitors thinking
  Helen Verran: Historian and philosopher of science, Charles Darwin University, Australia’s Northern Territory Helen Verran is a historian and philosopher of science at the Charles Darwin University in Australia’s Northern Territory where she holds the position of University Professorial Fellow in the College of Indigenous Futures, Arts and Societies. Before taking up that position […]

12/20/19
For a new relational ethics
  Felwine Sarr: Economist, scholar & writer, University Gaston Berger of Saint-Louis, Senegal Felwine Sarr is a Senegalese scholar and writer born in 1972 in Niodior, in the Saloum Islands. He attends high school in Senegal before studying Economics at the University of Orleans where he obtains a doctorate in Economics in 2006. Full professor […]

12/20/19
Using collections in imaginative ways to speak to current problems
  Mary Mbewe: Doctoral student, University of Westen Cape / Historian, Mulungushi University, Zambia Mary Mbewe is a doctoral student in the Department of History at the University of Western Cape, Cape Town, where she also obtained her Masters in Museum and Heritage Studies and Postgraduate Diploma in Museum and Heritage Studies under the African […]

12/20/19
Create a new ethical footing and relate to historical injustices
  Ciraj Rassool: Historian, University of Western Cape, Cape Town Since 2015: Fellowship, Morphomata Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Cologne Since 2009: Professor of History at the University of Western Cape 2005 -2008: Associated Professor; History, University of Western Cape 1999 -2004: Senior Lecturer, History, University of Western Cape 1989 -1998: […]

12/20/19
Giving back what is not meant to be here
  Bebero Lehmann: Historian, Documentation Center and Museum of Migration in Germany, Cologne Bebero Lehmann is a historian based at the Documentation Center and Museum of Migration in Germany, Cologne (DOMiD e.V.). She studied history and German language and literature in Darmstadt, Paris and Cologne. Since 2017 she offers (post-)colonial city tours through Cologne. In […]

We can correct what was done wrong in the past
  Richard Tsogang Fossi: Curatorial research fellow at MARKK-Hamburg (former Ethnological Museum) Richard TSOGANG FOSSI is a PhD. Holder in the field of Intercultural German and Memory Studies. He received training as DaF-Didaktiker for High Schools level and is also busy as part-time lecturer at the University of Dschang in Cameroon. His fields of research […]

The question is really that of local agency
  Nicholas Thomas: Writer, museum director, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Cambridge Nicholas Thomas has written widely on art and cross-cultural encounters in the Pacific, as well as on museum histories and futures. His books include The Return of Curiosity: what museums are good for in the twenty-first century (2016). Director of the Museum of […]

12/20/19
We need a ‘Museum Truth Repatration and Restitutions Commission’
  Wandile Kasibe: Sociologist, museologist, Chevening scholar and public programmes coordinator at Iziko Museums of South Africa (but comments in his personal capacity) Wandile Kasibe is a UCT PhD Candidate in Sociology, his research focuses on “Museums and the Construction of Race Ideologies”. As a student, Kasibe was involved in the Rhodes Must Fall (RMF), […]

12/20/19
What we really need is a collaboration with the African diaspora here
  Rokia Bamba: sound designer and DJ, Brussels Since she picked up her headphones again, Rokia Bamba’s star is rising quickly in Brussels and Paris. She is not DJ-ing in just any circuit, but picks out the activist circles of Globalicious, La Colonie, Massimadi – where she curates the whole DJ-programming – and the New […]

12/20/19
Rewrite this archive
  Paul Tichmann: Historian, Iziko Museums of South Africa Paul Tichmann is a doctoral student in the History department at the University of the Western Cape. He is the Director of the Collections and Digitisation department at the Iziko Museums of South Africa and was formerly the curator of the Iziko Slave Lodge Museum in […]

12/20/19
Create a dialogue with people from all over the world about the objects we hold
  Stefanie Bach: Curator, State Ethnographic Collections Saxony Stefanie Bach is a curator for Global Art History with special reference to Africa at the Grassi Museum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig, State Art Collections Dresden, Germany. She was a curatorial assistant at the Museum für Völkerkunde Dresden and the Grassi Museum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig from […]

History is on our side
  Folarin Shyllon: Legal scholar, University of Ibadan, Nigeria Folarin Shyllon read law at King’s College London. He is the Chairperson of Nigerian Chapter UNESCO Memory of the World Committee. He specializes in cultural property law and intellectual property law. He is the author of Intellectual Property Law in Nigeria (C.H. Beck, Munich, Germany, 2003), […]

We must de-ethnographize the objects
  El Hadji Malick Ndiaye: Art historian and curator, Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar El Hadji Malick Ndiaye is an art historian based at Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar, Senegal. He holds a PhD in Art History (University of Rennes II. France) and is a former postdoc of the Center for Research in […]

The postcolonial museum has less objects and more people in it
  Bernard Mueller: Anthropologist and curator, Cologne Bernard Müller is an anthropologist and curator based in Cologne. He studies research devices inspired by the ethnographic field, as they develop today in and outside scientific institutions. He is particularly interested in staging processes, be they scenic devices (theater, rituals, performance, etc.), museum scenographies or any situation […]

Bring up what is hidden about German colonialism
   Mnyaka Sururu Mboro: teacher & board member of Berlin Postkolonial Mnyaka Sururu Mboro, born 1951 near the Kilimandjaro in today’s Tanzania, is based in Berlin. Retired as a teacher he is still an activist, co-founder and board member of the non-government organisation Berlin Postkolonial. Mboro is actively committed to commemorate German colonial crimes […]

VOICES FROM THE CONFERENCE 3 – Visions for the future
[Please find our collected voices from day one here and from day two here.] A very moving Day Two begged the question of how to conclude the conference. From our perspective, the question of how to move on, how to end a meeting like this, remained open. We do not know how the momentum of […]

VOICES FROM THE CONFERENCE 2 – Getting to the core
[Please find the collected voices from day one here.] Day two of the conference “Museum Collections in Motion” offered an insight into curating practices from different places. Among others, Malick Ndiaye gave a talk on his work as curator for the Theodore Monod Mueseum of African Art in Dakar, Senegal in which he described the […]

VOICES FROM THE CONFERENCE 1 – Are academics asking the right questions?
The Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum in Cologne has an impressive entrance hall: the ceiling is so high that it almost feels like being outside. Glass, dark brick stone walls, a shiny stone floor. For three days the museum is hosting the conference ‘Museum Collections in Motion’ (15-17 July 2019) that promises ‘colonial and postcolonial encounters’. The organizers are […]

07/17/19
Locating the Museum – Colonial Collections and their Publics

07/17/19
The Polity and the Ethnographic Museum: Where’s the Rub?

07/16/19
Restitution of African Artifacts: The Next Step, a New Relational Ethic

07/14/19
“Bringing home our Gods”
“I belong to my People” Support @IndiaPrideProj Recent years have witnessed overall debates about the legitimacy and the future of the museum, especially of the ethnographic museum. An important reason for this is the question of provenance. How did the objects we encounter when visiting a museum get there and what does that mean? These […]

07/14/19
Palace Museums in the Cameroon Grassfields
In an average year, the museums in the Cameroon Grassfields host a wide range of visitors including international tourists and expats, members of the diaspora who return home to visit, students, academic researchers, and Cameroonians interested in art and culture. The Grassfields museums consciously set out to serve the needs and expectations of these local […]

07/14/19
Challenges of rewriting the Khomani San/Bushman archive at Iziko Museums of South Africa
After many years of discussion and deliberation the controversial Ethnographic Gallery at Iziko South African Museum was finally de-installed on 15 September 2017. The response to the decision elicited an interesting and conflicting range of responses.  Several members of the public, including Khoisan descendants, complained about the closure, while a number of Khoisan chiefs and Khoisan […]

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 […]

07/14/19
A Contamination of Provenance?
  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 […]

07/14/19
BENIN BRONZES
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 […]

07/10/19
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 […]

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 […]

06/04/19
Museum Collections in Motion International Conference
Download the conference flyer here Download the detailed conference programme here. Download the poster here.