At CARMAH we regularly interact with other researchers and museum professionals, as well as with the interested public, through talks, panels discussions and other formats of critical engagement. In this section you can read further information on upcoming as well as past events at CARMAH.
The Second World War, the Holocaust, and the mass (forced) migrations triggered by the post-war power shifts have not only caused a gigantic death toll and material damage in East-Central Europe, but transformed the patterns of urban life in the entire region. While cities like Vilnius or Pinsk suffered a nearly complete loss of their pre-war population, others, like Minsk or Warsaw, got almost completely wiped out in their material substance (Ciborowski 1969, Vale and Campanella 2005, Bohn 2008, Bartetzky and Benthin 2017). Erasing entire cities off the map was not only a contingency of military activities, but also a conscious strategy of the German armed forces to wreak psychological terror and demoralize the enemy. For example, Himmler’s plan to level Warsaw with the ground after the uprising of 1944 was meant to “decapitate” Poland as a nation, and carry long-time geo-political consequences for the entire region (Borodziej 2010: 251).
While the physical destruction of the urban built environment during the Second World War turned out to be a reversible phenomenon, and all major urban centers of East-Central Europe were painstakingly rebuilt or even partly reconstructed (like Warsaw), the loss of the original ethnic structure, social networks, cultural heritage and even memory of their past, has been permanent and left a lasting, traumatic and culturally devastating influence on this part of Europe to this day (Snyder 2010, Meng 2011, Janicka 2011, Napiórkowski 2016). The greatest loss concerned the shtetls: small to mid-size towns with considerable Jewish population (often a majority) which constituted the key emanation of Jewish urban life and formed a unique socio-cultural communal pattern on a vast territory of the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. These urban pockets were, in the mid-eighteen century, the home of over a third of world Jewry, which made the largest Jewish community in the world. Three quarters of these East European Jews inhabited small to mid-size towns (Polonsky 2004: 14). Although they were all repopulated in the aftermath of the Holocaust, they underwent processes of abandonment, loss of heritage and social amnesia.
It is the lost Jewish town—as a built environment, a social geography, a “paradigmatic locus of communality,” and a metonym of traditional values—that constitutes the greatest lacuna in the East-Central European urban landscape (Shandler 2014: 44). Its central importance to Jewish life and traditions makes it also a key Jewish archetype and the source of “a transcendent Jewish cultural essence” (ibid.: 90). It is no wonder then that the lost Jewish towns have received a large amount of attention in the post-1945 scholarship: as a figure of nostalgia (Abramovitsh 1947, Zborowski and Herzog 1952), a concept or literary trope (Dawidowicz 1967, Roskies and Roskies 1975, Wisse 1986, Dymshits, Lvov and Sokolova 2008, Shandler 2014), or an actual space of Jewish life and death (Hundert 1992, Gross 2000, Hoffman 2009, Kobrin 2010, Tryczyk 2015, Engelking et al. 2018, Bartov 2018). At the same time, while individual shtetls and their pre-WWII history have been intensively examined, studies that concentrate on what became of the lost towns after 1945 (Polec 2006, Dymshits, Lvov and Sokolova 2008) and comparative studies (Bauer 2009) are less numerous. A systematic and transnational examination of how these urban centers were appropriated, repopulated and filled with new meanings still needs to be written.
The present workshop addresses this gap in the research, bringing together two international teams of scholars currently embarked on comparative projects exploring the post-1945 history of the shtetls in the Polish-Belarusian-Ukrainian borderlands. Bringing together some of the most renown experts on Jewish history and memory in the region and young scholars in the field, the workshop has the goal of presenting the first, preliminary results of the new cutting-edge research in this area, as well as addressing some overarching methodological questions about the challenges of investigating the Jewish absence (and presence) in the post-Holocaust and post-Soviet rural setting.
Focusing on contemporary cases of violent dispossession, appropriation and extraction as well as struggles for the commons, the workshop poses the question anew as to the relation between capital and sovereignty in the contemporary moment. The aim is to explore the current processes of capitalist accumulation against the background of the past and present histories of nation-states, empires and settler colonialisms, and to do so through two angles. The first focuses on the role and genealogy of sovereign logics and techniques in facilitating the movement and advancement of capital and on related value regimes. The second explores the intersection of forms and logics of violence and processes of dispossession and appropriation that cannot be reduced to the history of capitalism and extends to the relation of struggles over commons with the layered histories of multiple sovereignties.
Over the last two decades, the ubiquity of digital infrastructures has brought about numerous drastic changes to a globalized world. One of the most pressing socio-political questions on a global scale is how digitization has changed the ways in which particular truths are enacted and established in everyday life. Following these and further examples, the 7th conference of the dgv-working group “Digitization in Everyday Life” at the Humboldt University of Berlin will examine concrete practices of digital truth-making.
A virtual book launch with Jonas Tinius, Margareta von Oswald, Sharon Macdonald, Erica Lehrer, and Annette Bhaghwati.
The conference 'Now, to the Future. Transformations in Museums and Heritage in the 21st Century' is POSTPONED and will include inputs from James Clifford, Haidy Geismar, Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Henrietta Lidchi, Wayne Modest, Irene Stengs and others TBC. The exact date is yet unknown and will be determined according to any risks posed by the COVID-19 crisis.
‘A digital museum of restitution’. Conversation with artist Emeka Ogboh. Centre for Anthropological Research on Museums and Heritage (CARMAH), Institute of European Ethnology, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin/Germany. 22 January 2020.
A discussion on decolonising Islam in museums with Mirjam Shatanawi (Reinwardt Academie, Amsterdam), Stefan Weber (Museum für Islamische Kunst (SMB/SPK), and Katarzyna Puzon (CARMAH).
Open discussion on challenges and potentials of collaborative production in museum contexts.
On 21-22 September, Roger Sansi (Barcelona) and CARMAH research fellow Jonas Tinius organised the 2019 interim meeting of the Anthropology and the Arts (ANTART) Network, which they convened within the the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA). CARMAH was delighted to host the event, which was open to the public.
ODDKIN°labs are prototype workshops that explore the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin by questioning objects, spaces and narratives with a transdisciplinary approach.
In their collections and their buildings, museums often carry traces of religion, past and present, which they curate and narrate for diverse audiences. Increasingly, museums are called on to represent and acknowledge the politics embedded in these collections, whether by repatriating spiritually-charged objects acquired through colonial networks or by telling more complex stories of national histories of racism, antisemitism, and violence.
Convened by Katarzyna Puzon, the workshop brought together international scholars to discuss Islam and heritage in different parts of Europe and across various scales.
Screening of 'A început ploaia/It started raining: Fighting for the right to housing in Bucharest', the documentary directed by Dr Michele Lancione, Senior Research Fellow at the Urban Institute, University of Sheffield.
Organized by Christoph Bareither and Ingrid Tomkowiak, the 5th conference of the dgv working group „Kulturen populärer Unterhaltung und Vergnügung” (www.kpuv.de) in cooperation with the Centre for Anthropological Research on Museums and Heritage (CARMAH) raises critical questions at the intersection of popular culture and memory/heritage studies.
The workshop “On Common Grounds?” aims to bring together people from different parts of the world whose research critically reflects on the processes and impacts of various approaches towards museums and heritage sites.
Panel: ‘Time and Tradition: the temporalities in and of cultural production’ (convened with Prof Georgina Born), Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK and the Commonwealth (ASA), University of Oxford, UK. 18-21 September 2018.
Convened with Prof Georgina Born, Association of Social Anthropologists (ASA), University of Oxford, UK
Public Symposium: ‘Anthropology, Art, and Alterity’. Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW), Berlin/Germany, 13-14 September 2018.
Alterity describes the state of bring other or different. A concept entangling postcolonial critique with key debates around ontology, phenomenology, and anthropology. This symposium opens up discussions around alterity from the field between art and anthropology.
Conference/Humboldt Kolleg: “Anthropology and Performance Studies”, convened with Prof Tracy C. Davis (Northwestern) and Prof Lye Tuck-Po (Universiti Sains Malaysia). Funded by Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and Wenner Gren Foundation. Penang/Malaysia, 6-10 August 2018.
The research encounter features presentations on the three key areas of: Media, Affordances, and the Digital, Participation, Engagement, Activism & Collections, Colonialism, and the Curatorial. The event takes place at Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Berlin
On 28 June, the “Dead Images” exhibition opens with a conversation, facilitated by Sam Alberti (National Museums Scotland), between Tal Adler (Humboldt University of Berlin) and Charlotte Roberts (University of Durham). This will be followed by a one-day international conference on 29 June that brings together individuals concerned with collections of human skulls, including artists, archaeologists, historians, and anthropologists.
Peter McIsaac gives a talk about musealization, the history of medical collections, gender, and popular anatomy exhibition in Germany.
For this encounter, Alya Sebti (director, ifa-Gallery Berlin) and Jonas Tinius speak about the institutionalisation and destabilisation of curatorial and anthropological practices. Highlighting and concluding the Gallery Reflections series initiated in 2016, they are also addressing the complexities of creating such an exchange within the space of an institution itself. This dialogue within the Untie to Tie programme links On Colonial Legacies and Contemporary Societies (2017–18) to the upcoming section Movement.Bewegung (2018–19), for which Jonas Tinius will be coordinating a series of encounters on migration and movement entitled “All is in flux, nothing stands still”.
This event uses the motto of the European Cultural Heritage Year 2018 – Sharing Heritage – to critically explore the role of “Islam” in discourses about Europe’s heritage. Discussions will involve the motivations and practices that shape and are shaped by these discourses.
This upcoming semester, CARMAH is hosting the department seminar series jointly with the Institute of European Ethnology. The series is organised by Jonas Tinius, Tahani Nadim, Sharon Macdonald and features a set of international speakers as well as roundtables, panels, masterclasses, and evening lectures on transformations of anthropology and anthropological transformations. Feel free to join on Tuesdays, 12:15 - 1:45 p.m.
The e-book on the conference of the same name, held on April 7th & 8th of 2017 will be presented and discussed with a panel of guests and Larissa Förster.
Jonas Tinius, public discussion series "Gallery Reflections", #4 Protesting Identities with Dr Azadeh Sharifi (theatre scholar, LMU Munich), Natasha Ginwala (curator, Berlin), N.N. (tbc), and Dr Jonas Tinius (CARMAH, HU Berlin).
The workshop was a collaboration between CARMAH (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) and the Ludwig-Uhland-Institut für Empirische Kulturwissenschaft der Universität Tübingen.
Organised by Katarzyna Puzon and Christine Gerbich, the workshop brought together researchers and practitioners to discuss and reflect upon the ways in which Islam is represented in different museum contexts.
Organized by Duane Jethro (CARMAH) and Abdoulaye Sounaye (ZMO), the workshop brought into conversation scholars working in different disciplines and a number of projects engaged with questions of material culture, religion, heritage and difference.
Jonas Tinius in conversation with Federica Bueti (writer and editor, SAVVY Contemporary), Alanna Lockward (author, filmmaker, BE.BOP curator), and Kathy-Ann Tan (academic, American Studies, Berlin) for gallery reflections series moderated by Tinius.
The meeting brought together all eleven TRACES partners to think through the concepts of “Contentious Heritage” and “Reflexive Europeanisation” as well as discuss the progress of each Creative Co-production and work package.
Jonas Tinius in conversation with artist Nora Al-Badri (Berlin), anthropologist Silvy Chakkalakal (Berlin), and art historian Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll (Birmingham) at ifa-gallery Berlin as part of "Gallery Reflections" series
Closed two-day symposium at CARMAH on how we can think and do museums and heritage differently with academic and museum experts from Berlin as well as abroad.
Public Lecture given by Haidy Geismar (University College London) on 26 July 2017 at the Tieranatomisches Theater.
The medial roundtable was organised and moderated by Christoph Bareither. Participants: Beate Binder, Sharon Macdonald, Monique Scheer, Klaus Schönberger, Christoph Bareither and students of the Institute for European Ethnology.
One-day workshop at CARMAH, organised with the research team of the project "Museological Framings of Islam in Europe" (University of Gothenburg).
Jonas Tinius in conversation with Dr Noa Ha (Center for Metropolitan Studies, TU Berlin; Board member of "Migrationsrat Berlin-Brandenburg"), Trang Tran Thu (Berlin Asian Film Network/Anthropologist), Hyunsin Kim (Choreographer and Performer) at ifa-gallery Berlin as part of curated series "Gallery Reflections"
Tony Bennett from Western Sydney University gives a public lecture at CARMAH at 6pm.
The Colloquium for the Summer Semester 2017 at the Department of European Ethnology is organised by Martina Klausner (IfEE) and Jonas Tinius (CARMAH).
For the World Café section of its 2017 Conference, CARMAH invites early-stage researchers to submit proposals by 15th February 2017.
Sharon Macdonald and Jennie Morgan from the University of York present at the IfEE Museumslabor at 6pm, IfEE, Room 107a.
A Talk by Arjun Appadurai, followed by a conversation with CARMAH Researcher Jonas Tinius and curator Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung.
Organised by the IfEE's Museumslabor & CARMAH researchers Christine Gerbich, Jonas Tinius and Margareta von Oswald
A lecture by Prof. Laurajane Smith, followed by talks and a panel discussion with Berlin museum professionals.
Talk by Wayne Modest, Head of the Research Center for Material Culture in Leiden and former Head of the Curatorial Department at the Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam, followed by a panel discussion.
A presentation of the Labor Migration together with CARMAH researcher Jonas Tinius.
Two talks by CARMAH researchers Larissa Förster (together with Holger Stoecker), Tal Adler and Anna Szöke on the topics of provenance and contentious cultural heritage.
Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett from POLIN shares her experiences in curating at the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw.
Nick Thomas introduced his new book, followed by a lively panel discussion with Berlin museum professionals.
Colloquium for the summer semester 2016 at IfEE organised by CARMAH members Sharon Macdonald and Rikke Gram, together with Regina Römhild and Leonore Scholze-Irrlitz.
A joint collaboration of CARMAH and the Woolf Institute, Cambridge, UK, exploring the topics of difference and diversities with international scholars.