Accepted Paper:

European museums of ethnography in the global sphere: new complicities in the age of heritage communities?  


Sandra Ferracuti (Università Sapienza di Roma)

Paper short abstract:

A case study from the Linden-Museum Stuttgart: perspectives, methodology and aims of the foundation of the ABRAC (Advisory Board for the Representation of African Collections), a German "heritage community".

Paper long abstract:

In January, 2016, I have been appointed curator for the Africa collections at the Linden-Museum Stuttgart. I here wish to share and discuss the perspectives, methodology, and aims that guide my current dialogue with the members of the "ABRAC" (Advisory Board for the Representation of African Collections at the Linden-Museum Stuttgart, founded last July): a group of German citizens of African descent.

I view our collaboration in the light of the concept of "heritage community", introduced in Council of Europe´s Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society (Faro, 2005). Even though many of the most economically and politically powerful European countries have not signed - let alone ratified - this convention, its text has been giving food for thought to museum and heritage scholars, civil society organizations members, and professionals throughout the continent for a decade now.

In its light, heritage communities, consisting of "people who value specific aspects of cultural heritage which they wish, within the framework of public action, to sustain and transmit to future generations" (Council of Europe, 2005, art. 2 - "Definitions", comma b), are a fully eligible, possible new actor in the public arenas where cultural heritage´s "tournaments of value" (Appadurai, Introduction: Commodities and the Politics of Value, in "The Social Life of Things. Commodities in Cultural Perspective", Cambridge University Press, 1986, p. 21) are being played so as to contribute to craft the possible futures of a world in turmoil.

Panel Heri03
Imperatives of participation in the heritage regime: statecraft, crisis, and creative alternatives (Cultural Heritage and Property Working Group)