Confronting Colonial Pasts, Envisioning Creative Futures

By Jun.-Prof. Dr. Julia Binter

How can we develop more equitable and sustainable ways of collaboratively researching, curating and returning collections from colonial contexts? The project ‘Confronting Colonial Pasts, Envisioning Creative Futures’ focuses on the preservation of tangible and intangible cultural heritage (ICH) and the unlocking of the healing and creative potential of the colonial collections from Namibia at the Ethnologisches Museum in […]

‘Decolonial’ heritage and public memories?

By Prof. Dr. Sophia Labadi

How can a ‘decolonial’ approach to heritage help to confront the urgent questions of our time and contribute to building more sustainable and just futures? How have African countries dealt with, revisited, and addressed Eurocentric public memorial approaches after gaining independence? These are some of the questions that Prof. Dr. Sophia Labadi seeks to address […]

Dissonant Heritage and Ontological Ambivalence

By Prof. Dr. Paul Basu and Dr. J. Kelechi Ugwuanyi

This pilot study explores the dissonant heritage and ontological ambivalence resulting from colonial/missionary encounters with Igbo cosmology, particularly in relation to the Igbo concept of nso ani, literally translated to sanction or taboo. Nso ani provided the principles for establishing rules and values that guided life and living among Igbo communities to maintain the rhythm […]

Mining, Metals and Manillas in the Atlantic Slave Trade: Pilot Study

By Prof. Dr. Paul Basu and Dr. Tobias Skowronek

Between the 15th and 20th centuries, hundreds of millions of species known as manillas were shipped from Europe to West Africa. These open horseshoe-shaped rings made of metal have been traded for the enslaved, as well as gold, ivory, palm oil, and many more commodities. However, despite the enormous industrial scale of their manufacture, alarmingly […]

‘The Representation of Black People in European Art and Material Culture: An Examination of the Tucher Family Coat of Arms’

By Eleonora Grammatikou

The representation of Black people in European art and material culture offers profound insights into historical perceptions and representations of people from Africa and the African diaspora in Europe. This research is dedicated to a detailed analysis of the Tucher family coat of arms, which since 1345 depicts a Black person in profile. This case […]

Pluriversal Dialogues on Environmental Ethics: Decolonising Scientific Practice to Build Futures Beyond ‘Development’

By Dr. Alejandro Mora Motta

Coordination Team: This project is being co-organized by a consortium of researchers from different institutes at the University of Bonn. Dr Alejandro Mora Mottaa (coord. TRA 5), Emilia Fernengel, Prof Dr Paul Basua, Dr Jan Linhart (coord. TRA 4 and Argelander) b, Prof. Dr Christiane Woopenb, Dr Dennis Avilés Iraholac, PD Dr Eva Youkhanac, & […]

The Stone Sculptures of San Agustín

By Emilia Fernengel

The promoted “peace” in Colombia changed the country’s image in the past years from one of the most dangerous places in the world to a booming travel destination. Besides the sun and sea destinations in the Caribbean Sea, Colombia primarily promotes its natural and cultural heritage sites. One ofthem is the UNESCO World Heritage Site […]

Artistic Research and Communal Knowledge. Building Trust for a Better Future

By Jun.-Prof. Dr. Julia Binter

How can art help to bridge rural-urban and generational divides? The project ‘Artistic Research and Communal Knowledge’ builds on and closely interrelates with the collaborative research, curation and restitution project ‘Confronting Colonial Pasts, Envisioning Creative Futures’. It brings together contemporary artists and communal knowledge keepers and creators in Namibia to develop new, more equitable ways […]

Restitution and Colonial Anthropological Knowledge in Ghana

By William Nsuiban Gmayi

Issues of restitution, repatriation and repair dominate contemporary debates relating to anthropological, world art and world cultures museums and collections. As part of a wider call to decolonise institutions of knowledge production such as museums, archives and universities, questions around African collections in European museums were brought to the foreground in a speech by the […]