Accepted paper:

Congo Gaze - People, Encounters and Artifacts Radical trust - an unrealistic ideal or conceivable practice?

Authors:

Tone Cecilie Karlgård (Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo)

Paper short abstract:

The cooperative project Congo Gaze - People, Encounters and Artifacts emerged from a lasting relationship between Congolese diaspora and the museum. The paper explores how to engage colleagues, communities and collections in ways that facilitate for cooperation based on "radical trust".

Paper long abstract:

With Bernadette Lynch's concept "radical trust" in mind this paper briefly describes the project idea and organization of the project Congo Gaze - People, Encounters and Artifacts, a collaboration between employees at the Museum of Cultural History in Oslo and members of the Congolese milieu in Norway. The aim is to explore how and to what extent this particular project developed in terms of "radical trust". What kind of obstacles arose during the process and how could these be understood in terms of trust or also mistrust. The project idea was actuated when a group of people from the Congolese milieu in Norway, expressed their interest for the ethnographic Congo collection at the Museum. The group was invited to examine and discuss the significance, usage and plausible provenance of objects and to identify those which their views would be meaningful in the perspective of cultural heritage. In the end, in collaboration with museum employees the group should produce an exhibition. Based on this experience, questions to be addressed involve: how to best design a project process which ensure that museum employees and in this case, groups from minority communities hold a common understanding of what collaboration involving "radical trust", actually should imply? In what manner could the idea of "radical trust" be implemented within the framework of existing institutional structures of a Museum and within the frames of current public administration?

panel P125
Museums in transformation: linking places and people through migratory objects