Accepted Paper:

The concept of mutuality and diversity in the socialist and post-socialist period: the Museum of African Art, Belgrade  


Emilia Epstajn (The Museum of African Art)
Marija Licina (Museum of African Art)

Paper short abstract:

The main politics of museum activities is to represent culture/cultures. The Museum of African Art is a unique institution of its kind in the region of south-east Europe. The MAA in Belgrade can be observed in the light of today’s discussions on mutuality and diversity by examining the MAA’s programs in the time span dating its establishment in the late ‘70ies to the present day.

Paper long abstract:

In dealing with the methodology, programs and main concepts of the Museum of African Art's work in the 30 years of its existence there can be revealed several points of interest for anthropological discussion on diversity and mutuality:

1) The socio-political climate at the time of founding and the changes that influenced the Museum's field of work;

2) Working in accordance with cultural dynamics and trends of technological development.

The Museum of African Art with its collection opened its doors to the public in 1977 in the light of Tito's non-aligned movement and its specific understanding of what is today termed (to a certain extent) as diversity. The changing socio-political climate which weathered this institution: the disintegration of Yugoslavia, the 10-year-sanctions and the following period of a budding democracy have defined the policies of representations (through different programs) and offer insight into the changing concept of diversity.

Panel W015
Diversifying anthropology: politics of research or research in politics?