Working Through Colonial Collections

An Ethnography of the Ethnological Museum in Berlin
Engels | 25-11-2022 | 320 blz.
Bindwijze: Paperback
ISBN/ISBN13: 9789462703100
What are the possibilities and limits of engaging with colonialism in ethnological museums? This book addresses this question from within the Africa department of the Ethnological Museum in Berlin. It captures the Museum at a moment of substantial transformation, as it prepared the move of its exhibition to the Humboldt Forum, a newly built and contested cultural centre on Berlin’s Museum Island. The book discusses almost a decade of debate in which German colonialism was negotiated, and further recognised, through conflicts over colonial museum collections. Based on two years of ethnographic fieldwork examining the Museum’s various work practices, this book highlights the Museum’s embeddedness in colonial logics and shows how these unfold in the Museum’s everyday activity. It addresses the diverse areas of expertise in the Ethnological Museum – the preservation, storage, curation, and research of collections – and also draws on archival research and oral history interviews with current and former employees. Working through Colonial Collections unravels the ongoing and laborious processes of reckoning with colonialism in the Ethnological Museum’s present – processes from which other ethnological museums, as well as Western museums more generally, can learn.
Reckoning with colonial legacies in Western museum collections
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What are the possibilities and limits of engaging with colonialism in ethnological museums? This book addresses this question from within the Africa department of the Ethnological Museum in Berlin. It captures the Museum at a moment of substantial transformation, as it prepared the move of its exhibition to the Humboldt Forum, a newly built and contested cultural centre on Berlin’s Museum Island. The book discusses almost a decade of debate in which German colonialism was negotiated, and further recognised, through conflicts over colonial museum collections. Based on two years of ethnographic fieldwork examining the Museum’s various work practices, this book highlights the Museum’s embeddedness in colonial logics and shows how these unfold in the Museum’s everyday activity. It addresses the diverse areas of expertise in the Ethnological Museum – the preservation, storage, curation, and research of collections – and also draws on archival research and oral history interviews with current and former employees. Working through Colonial Collections unravels the ongoing and laborious processes of reckoning with colonialism in the Ethnological Museum’s present – processes from which other ethnological museums, as well as Western museums more generally, can learn.

Korte omschrijving

Reckoning with colonial legacies in Western museum collections

Details

Details
Titel Working Through Colonial Collections
Auteur(s) Margareta Von Oswald
Productvorm Paperback
Taal Engels
Aantal pagina`s 320
Uitgever Universitaire Pers Leuven
Publicatiedatum 25-11-2022
Afmetingen 235mm x 157mm x 16mm
Gewicht 692gr
ISBN/ISBN13 9789462703100

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