Creator: Foto: Johannes Plenio, Pexels/HBS (M). All rights reserved.

Discussion series

Tuesday, 10. May 2022 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm Save in my calendar

Discussion series

Narratives of the "objects"

Part of the series "Decolonial Dialogues: Towards a New Relational Ethic between Africa and Europe"

An important focal point for dealing with colonial heritage are the countless objects from colonial contexts being held and displayed in European museums. The long-standing demands for restitution from the countries of origin have been mostly ignored, or even actively resisted in Europe. But the pressure is increasing and the first returns have been recorded. Many museums in Europe are now taking a self-critical look at their colonial “core” and searching for a post-colonial identity.

The emerging conversations about colonial collections and museum practices are creating a deeper understanding of the consequences of colonial violence on the societies of origin, for example the erasure of their cultural, spiritual, and religious identities. In Europe, the colonial dimension of exhibition practices by museums is revealed through an out-of-context, reductionist presentation that symbolically enacts the subjugation of “the others”.

How can a different relational ethic emerge from the object-related dialogues, one that understands the unconditional, permanent transfer of property rights to the societies of origin not as the end, but as the beginning of a new culture of cooperation?


Stefanie Bach, curator for Global Art History, GRASSI Museum für Völkerkunde, Leipzig / Germany

Dr. Mahret Ifeoma Kupka, art scholar / curator, Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Frankfurt a. M. / Germany

Dr. Yann LeGall, postdoctoral researcher "The Restitution of Knowledge: artefacts as archives in the (post)colonial museum", TU Berlin / Germany

Chao Tayiana, historian and digital heritage specialist, founder “Open Restitution Africa”, Nairobi / Kenya

Ibrahima Thiam, photographic artist, Dakar / Senegal

Moderation: Aisha Camara


» Here you can find more information about the Decolonial Dialogues.

Part of the series
Decolonial Dialogues
➽ Online Event
Heinrich Böll Foundation - Headquarters Berlin
Simultaneous translation