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Accepted Paper:

“We don’t want another white guy to tell our story!”: Francis La Flesche in the Humboldt Forum  

Authors:

Ilja Labischinski (Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz)
Elisabeth Seyerl (Stiftung Humboldt Forum)

Paper short abstract:

We discuss questions on the possibilities and limits of cooperation with stakeholders from creator communities of the museumized objects based on the example of the exhibition "Francis La Flesche" in the Humboldt Forum in Berlin.

Paper long abstract:

Collaboration with so-called creator communities has become a new paradigm for ethnological museums. In this presentation, we discuss questions on the possibilities and limits of cooperation with stakeholders from creator communities of the museumized objects based on the example of the exhibition "Francis La Flesche" in the Humboldt Forum in Berlin.

Today, Francis La Flesche is considered to be the first indigenous ethnologist in North America. In 1894, the Royal Ethnological Museum Berlin commissioned Francis La Flesche to assemble a collection of his own culture, the Umoⁿhoⁿ.

“We don’t want another white guy to tell our story!” reacted Wynema Morris, professor at the Nebraska Indian Community College, when we told her about our plans to do an exhibition on Francis La Flesche together with the college.

Today, the collection of Francis La Flesche is the starting point of a research and exhibition project that the Ethnologisches Museum Berlin is realizing together with the Humboldt Forum Foundation and the Nebraska Indian Community College.

The experiences of racism, violence and loss of land still influence the living conditions of the Umóⁿhoⁿ community today. In this context, the Berlin collection is of particular importance, because it bears witness to the resistance against colonization. It offers people the opportunity to reconnect with their ancestors present their own history with pride. The joint work on the collection shows how deeply colonial contexts are inscribed in the collections of ethnological museums.

Panel Mat03
Collaborative curation as a means to transgress Western epistemologies