Colonial Entanglements of Museums

Lecture by Jun.-Prof. Dr. Julia Binter on the „Colonial Entanglements of Museums” at Naturmuseum Dortmund, 11 July, 7pm.

Looted art. Provenance research. Restitution. It is not only ethnological museums that have had to face up to their colonial past in recent years. Natural history museums are also confronted with restitution claims. Art museums are investigating the question of whose wealth was used to establish their collections and which historically marginalised artists are not yet represented in them. By renegotiating social lines of conflict in the past and present, museums are questioning fundamental notions of historiography, knowledge formation and collective identities: How can global and local histories be thought of as intertwined, how can colonial entanglements be told not just from a European perspective but from multiple perspectives? How can knowledge creation in museums and cultural heritage be made more inclusive, sustainable and fair? And how can museums not only critically analyse their own history, but also contribute to shaping the future?

Photo: Nehoa Kautondokwa, Cynthia Schimming and Julia Binter mit okadina ‚(Kok)Olugondo, in the depot of the Ethnologisches Museum in Berlin.
Filmstill from Tracing Namibian-German Collaborations, a film by Moritz Fehr © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, 2020.

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