Whose Heritage?
Conference, March 12th 2016
at Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Unversität, Bonn 

When we rethink the profile and missions of Museums we should not only consider the objects they retain, display and its origins but first and foremost, the mindset behind the collections and the concepts of cultural techniques involved. In 1999 Stuart Hall gave a seminal speech on this topic in a conference concerning and rethinking the impact of cultural diversity on Britain´s living heritage. For a rethinking and reinvention of the patronizing eurocentric categories and cultural techniques decades after postcolonial revisions, we invite you to examine approaches to the question of “Whose Heritage?”.

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Scientific Serendipity and the Museum Without Objects

The 3rd Weber World Café in Berlin Dahlem

“Every question is allowed.” – This was the guiding principle. In the foyer of the Ethnologic Museum in Berlin Dahlem, about 95 people had come together for a special format of exchange. But rather than a symposium, it was more a kind of scientific speed dating, as there was no audience. All participants were about to take part in a discussion about “Museum, Power and Identity”, the title of the 3rd Weber World Café (WWC), held by the Max Weber foundation, the Forum Transregionale Studien in cooperation with ArtHistories and the Staatliche Museen Berlin.

In the opening of the event, the hosts used the metaphor of speed-dating to illustrate their motifs: While speed dating in general is about friendship and love between humans, this particular dating experience was about the relation between humans and objects and the museum. “Museums tell stories about these relations”, Viola König, director of the Ethnologic Museum, pointed out in her opening statement. Apart from the intention to reflect together on these relationships and establish new contacts, the Weber World Café intended to bring questions to the tables: What is the role of museums and aesthetic practices in society today? How can we display the scientific knowledge about objects on display? Why are we collecting?


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Continue reading Scientific Serendipity and the Museum Without Objects

Some Objects say “Hello”

von Christoph Balzar | Info
Erschienen im Magazin der Kulturstiftung des Bundes #24 Themenheft Religion |

WARNUNG: Australische Aborigines und Torres-Strait-Insulaner können auf den folgenden Artikel möglicherweise empfindlich reagieren, da er Hinweise auf Verstorbene und religiöses Geheimwissen beinhaltet.

Warnungen wie diese sind im postkolonialen Australien keine Seltenheit, sondern finden sich in allen nur denkbaren Medien. Fernsehsendungen und Nachrichtenmagazine werden oft so angekündigt, genauso wie viele Schulbücher, Websites oder Kinofilme. Der Zweck der Hinweise ist es, spirituelle Risiken für die indigene Bevölkerung zu markieren und sie vor tabuisierten Inhalten ihrer Glaubenswelt zu bewahren.  Continue reading Some Objects say “Hello”

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