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Museum struggles: the transforming museum and its publics 
Martin Zillinger (University of Cologne)
Ciraj Rassool (University of the Western Cape)
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Anthropology (x) History (x) Decoloniality & Knowledge Production (y)
Philosophikum, S66
Friday 2 June, -
Time zone: Europe/Berlin

Short Abstract:

This panel will address the challenges museums face when they engage with different actors and communities across post/colonial social formations. It ask how persisting forms of coloniality can be overcome and whether or not different forms of co-operation can incite a new transnational public

Long Abstract:

In the past, in Europa as much as in Africa, many museums and their exhibitions were catering European publics. In the globalized and postmigrant societies of today the colonial collections, with their painful histories and controversial present, draw together actors and groups that are affected in different ways by their sheer presence in the museums, the histories they embody, and the controversies that unfold around them. Museums thus not only bring about new »communities of implication« (Lehrer) they also »spark new publics into being« (Marres), that often operate across borders. The shift from "serving" to "creating publics" is a radical one and has to take place across national, cultural and social boundaries. It demands to go beyond hegemonic notions of inclusion and asks to transform the museum into a space of new epistemic and ontological happenings (Verran). This panel will address the challenges museums in post/colonial societies face when they engage in transforming the museum radically. How can persisting forms of coloniality be overcome? How can different publics and their demands be addressed and met, be it local publics and stakeholders on site, so called source communities around the world, or African diasporic communities in Europe and the States? Can issue publics and "communities of implication" be transnationalized - and can one avoid power asymmetries the be re-instantiated?

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Friday 2 June, 2023, -