Click the star to add/remove an item to/from your individual schedule.
You need to be logged in to avail of this functionality.

Accepted Paper:

Changing role of museums in the context of the return of objects from colonial times  
Hans Peter Hahn (Goethe-Universit├Ąt Frankfurt) Kodzo Gavua (University of Ghana)

Paper short abstract:

Changing the shape of museums through the integration of returned objects is a challenge for national cultural policies in many African countries. How do museum professionals in West Africa imagine a future of their institutions with the returned objects? This paper reports from ongoing research.

Paper long abstract:

The debate on the restitution of ethnographic objects has so far been largely dominated by so-called activists and representatives of local communities of specific places in Africa. What roles do the so-called national museums, established for many decades in most African countries, play in this context? In what way does the return of these objects influence national cultural policy, which in almost all countries is geared towards mainly the formation of a national identity? This paper will provide initial results from a research project currently underway to answer these questions and at the same time discuss a model of how the process of restitution can be organised between the different holders of interests. As we will show in the paper, the role of museums, the form of exhibition and the topics addressed will have to change substantially in order to do justice to the significance of the returning objects. In the context of the return of such objects, museums cannot be conceived simply as containers whose duty lies in custody and display. The plea at the end of our project is rather that museums must see themselves as open forums and networked structures for which lasting cooperation across continents is a fundamental element. Museums of the future, in Africa as elsewhere, will be collaborative places and part of a network. Only in this guise can the ideological limitations of colonial structures be overcome.

Panel Arts16
Rebuilding museums and museologies in Africa
  Session 1 Friday 2 June, 2023, -