William Nsuiban Gmayi

Email: wgmayi@uni-bonn.de

My PhD research based at the Global Heritage Lab explores the restitution of knowledge held in colonial anthropological archives, focusing on the material culture, photographs and sound collections assembled by the Government Anthropologist R. S. Rattray, who worked in Ghana (then Gold Coast) in the 1920s and 30s.

My research focuses broadly on the status and value of these colonial anthropological collections in decolonial times, and to collaborate with the communities whose heritage the collections embody to consider their future. I studied at the University for Development Studies, Tamale and at the University of Ghana, Legon.

As a museum and heritage practitioner at the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board since 2012, I have been looking at museums and memories as agents of social change, with special emphasis on narratives in relation to identity formation, contested memories and reassessment.

I have worked as a guest curator with the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen and Moesgaard Museum in Aarhus (2015 and 2017) and as a partner of the British Museum’s Africa programme from 2013-2015. I was a Fellow of the British Museum’s International Training Programme in 2021 and am currently a member of an International Working Group for the Reimagining the British Museum project, which seeks to help shape the future stories to be told at the Museum.

I am also a member of a collaborative research project which engages with the present-day legacies of the complex history of slavery in Ghana.