Welcome to our Museum Lab!

 

Summer semester 2021

Due to the global pandemic and heightened safety measures, all sessions of this summer semester’s CARMAH Museum Lab will be held via Zoom. The sessions are open to practitioners, students, researchers and those working at the intersection of theory and practice. Every other week, invited guests present their ongoing research which inspire fruitful discussions.

Time: 2.15 – 3.45 pm (usually Wednesdays; exception: April, 13th)
Location: Zoom Meeting
Passcode: No code required

 

April 13th, 2021: Making Museums Matter: On the Socio-Political Relevance of Museums (in German language)

***please scroll down for German version***
!The event takes place from 1.30-3 pm!

Making Museums Matter: On the Socio-Political Relevance of Museums

Community Curator, Outreach Curator, Exhibition Interpreter – in German-speaking countries, such job titles are still relatively new. They are both the result and the indication of a museum world that is undergoing major change, a museum world that Stephen E. Weil described in his book “Making Museums Matter” already in 2002. The growing awareness of museums for their social relevance is accompanied by the willingness to actively involve diverse groups in museum work, to face up to their own socio-political relevance and responsibility. But to what extent is this willingness actually present in German-speaking countries? Is it a lived reality or merely wishful thinking? And how does this new self-image affect museum work?
Discussants:

Daniela Bystron, Curator for Outreach, Brücke-Museum, Berlin
Léontine Meijer-van Mensch, Director, Staatliche Ethnographische Sammlungen Sachsen, Völkerkundemuseen in Leipzig, Dresden und Herrnhut
Hortensia Völckers, Artistic Director and Board Member of Kulturstiftung des
Bundes

Moderation: Alina Gromova (ICOM COMCOL) and Guido Fackler (Universität Würzburg)

This first online-event is part of the series Making Museums Matter and will be in German.

For registration, please visit the events website:
http://comcol.mini.icom.museum/comcol-germany/series-of-online-discussions-rethinking-museum-work/

***Deutsche Version***
! Die Veranstaltung findet von 13.30-15.00 statt!

Making Museums Matter: Zur gesellschaftspolitischen Relevanz von Museen

Community Curator, Outreach Curator, Exhibition Interpreter – im deutschsprachigen Raum sind solche Berufsbezeichnungen noch relativ neu. Sie sind Ergebnis und Vorzeichen einer Museumswelt, die in einem starken Wandel begriffen ist, einer Museumswelt, die Stephen E. Weil in seinem Buch „Making Museums Matter“ bereits 2002 beschrieben hat. Mit dem wachsenden Bewusstsein der Museen für ihre gesellschaftliche Relevanz wächst die Bereitschaft, diverse Gruppen aktiv in die Museumsarbeit einzubeziehen, sich der eigenen gesellschaftspolitischen Relevanz und Verantwortung zu stellen. Aber wie stark ist diese Bereitschaft in den deutschsprachigen Ländern tatsächlich? Ist sie gelebte Realität oder lediglich Wunschdenken? Und wie wirkt sich dieses neue Selbstverständnis auf die Museumsarbeit aus?

Es diskutieren:
Daniela Bystron, Kuratorin für Outreach im Brücke-Museum, Berlin
Léontine Meijer-van Mensch, Direktorin der Staatlichen Ethnographischen Sammlungen
Sachsen, der Völkerkundemuseen in Leipzig, Dresden und Herrnhut
Hortensia Völckers, Künstlerische Direktorin und Vorstandsmitglied der Kulturstiftung des
Bundes

Moderation: Alina Gromova (ICOM COMCOL) und Guido Fackler (Universität Würzburg)

Die Online-Veranstaltung ist Teil der Diskussionsreihe Making Museums Matter . Veranstaltungssprache ist Deutsch.

Eine Registrierung ist unter der Veranstaltungswebseite möglich:
http://comcol.mini.icom.museum/comcol-germany/series-of-online-discussions-rethinking-museum-work/

April 21st, 2021: The Ocean as Thingspace. Presentation by Petra Beck (Centre Marc Bloch Berlin)

The Ocean as Thingspace. From the Ocean as ‘Master of Disappearance’ to the ‘Friendly Floatees’ and a new ocean cosmology.

In this talk I will explore the oceans as Thingspaces, and analyze the current Plastic Pollution of oceans within the long history of resurfacing objects from the sea. From the specific history of oceans as “Places of Away ” and “Places of No return” since the antiquity, where the ocean was valued for its property to “keep things under” (Lindenlauf 2003), – and a resurfacing object was regarded as a divine sign, like in the myth of Polycrates –, to a more recent event of recurring objects: The “Friendly Floatees”. Infamous 30 000 floating rubber ducks, that not only helped to map the ocean currents, but became icons for the plastic pollution of oceans themselves .
For that purpose, I will work with a discourse analytical perspective on the narratives, which have arisen around the event of the “Friendly Floatees”, including two children’s books and a Disney Channel Movie. The changing narratives around the “Friendly Floatees” can be used to describe the shift in human-ocean-relations within the growing oceanic Plastic Pollution and the shift in the ontology of the ocean itself.

Petra Beck is a PhD candidate, research associate at the Laboratory: Anthropology of Environment | Human Relations and research associate at the Centre Marc Bloch Berlin, where she co-organizes the research group “Experiences of Globalization”.
Her research interests are Material Culture Studies, Visual anthropology, (Material) Memory Cultures, Cultures of Exchange, Networks (of things), Thingspaces and Human-Environment Relations.
Her current work is focused on human-thing relations in urban contexts, human-thing-Umwelten, and Thingspaces, like e. g. Selfstorage Facilities.
She has been involved in several artistic projects and museum exhibitions in recent years.

May 5th 2021: Practicing Heritage in the Context of ‘labash’: The (A)Politics of Heritage in Contemporary Egypt. Presentation by Katrine Mandrup Bach (Aarhus University, Denmark)

Practicing Heritage in the Context of ‘labash’: The (A)Politics of Heritage in Contemporary Egypt.

Labash, an Egyptian-Arabic slang word, refers to the nervous atmosphere of doubt, paranoia and uncertainty which permeates the lives of my Egyptian interlocutors working with the country’s modern urban heritage. A heritage they believe is at risk of disappearing as development, demolitions, neglect and oblivion threatens old buildings not only in Cairo, but in all major cities across the country. The context of labash makes working with heritage a difficult matter as it has the potential of making every action political and thus problematic in the eyes of the state. Furthermore, it complicates what can be produced and disseminated about the work of alternative heritage initiatives in the country. This presentation seeks to explore the concept of labash further in order to investigate how the (a)politics of heritage are navigated and mobilised to create new futures based in an almost forgotten modern past.

Katrine Mandrup Bach is a PhD student at Aarhus University in Denmark. She has a BA in Anthropology and Museology (2013-2016) and completed her MA in General Anthropology at Aarhus University in 2019. Her PhD project, with the tentative title Using the Past to Build the Future is based on nine months of ethnographic fieldwork and centres on initiatives working towards increased recognition and preservation of Egypt’s late modern heritages – especially its buildings and urban environments. Outside of university, Katrine Bach has worked as a student assistant on the travelling exhibition project Towards Women’s Museums in the Middle East (2016-2017), which culminated in the exhibition “Doing Well, Don’t Worry”: Short Tales of Women’s Work and Mobility.

May 12th, 2021: Vernacular Creativity: On the Familiar and the Familial in Tibetan Student Films. Presentation by Jenny Chio (University of Southern California, USA)

Vernacular Creativity: On the Familiar and the Familial in Tibetan Student Films.

In autumn 2015, the Jigme Gyaltsen Tibetan Vocational School in Qinghai, China, inaugurated its first class in filmmaking. Funded by a Beijing-based philanthropy and organized by a Kunming-based NGO (From Our Eyes), twenty-three Tibetan students, ranging in age from the mid-teens to late twenties, set out to learn the basics of digital video production over the course of three years. The goal of the class was ambitious: to teach, encourage, and train a new generation of Tibetan filmmakers, following the footsteps of widely acclaimed Tibetan filmmaker and author Pema Tseden. Most of the films produced by these students were documentary in approach and aesthetic as a result of logistical, and I argue, ideological factors. In this talk, I discuss the interplay between genre (documentary) and content (the “everyday”) that marks both the distinctiveness and, arguably, the disappointments of this film training project. The expectation that these Tibetan students would participate in documenting “from their eyes” their everyday, vernacular lives both reinforces dominant ideologies of creativity as the practice and purview of mainstream urbanites rather than rural minorities, but also offers a potential opening to understanding how the familiar and the familial can serve as spaces for creativity. Thus, I analyze how under the guise of documentation and cultural heritage preservation, these Tibetan student documentary films push for a reconsideration of creativity as arising out of vernacular everyday lived experience and extend the possibilities of self-imagination and social collectivity for contemporary young Tibetans in China today.

Jenny Chio is Associate Professor of East Asian Languages & Cultures and Anthropology at the University of Southern California (USA). Trained in cultural anthropology and ethnographic filmmaking, her scholarship focuses on media ethnography, critical tourism studies, and comparative race and ethnic studies. She conducts research on the cultural politics of ethnic minority identity, rural social transformation, and vernacular media practices in the People’s Republic of China.

June 2th, 2021: On a Postsecular Approach to Museum Analysis. Presentation by Zuzanna Bogumił (Polish Academy of Sciences)

On a Postsecular Approach to Museum Analysis

The first two decades of the 21st century brought a museum boom in Eastern European and Russian memory landscapes. This focus on museums means that the traditional Churches, too, are constructing modern multimedia spaces similar to those founded in other contemporary historical museums. These Church-sponsored spaces follow the same principles, employ the same means and techniques, and are often conceptualized by the same professional design companies. But can they really be perceived as a part of the same museum phenomenon? Or they should rather be perceived as a new form of religiosity?
In my presentation I would like to look on the church museums as a postsecular phenomenon. I will refer to Talal Asad’s reflection on the religion and secularism interrelations to show how religious and secular in the Church museums are complex, multilayered and historically determined processes. My aim is to show that what one may find in the new Church museums is a kaleidoscope of different types of sacrality; from poorly religious, through sacred religio-secular to sacred secular, which may get a form of sacred national or universal human right values. By using examples of selected exhibitions of the church museums in Poland and Russia, my presentation will show how a postsecular approach may enrich our understanding of contemporary museum phenomenon.

Zuzanna Bogumił is a sociologist and cultural anthropologist, working at the Institute of Archeology and Ethnology, Polish Academy of Sciences. She is currently interested in the religious dimension of memory and coordinating the project sponsored by the Polish National Science Centre, “From Enemy to Martyr”, which examines the impact of Orthodox discourse on the official memory of Soviet repressions. She is an author of the books: Gulag Memories: The Rediscovery and Commemoration of Russia’s Repressive Past (Berghan Books 2018), co-authored Milieux de mémoire in late Modernity: local communities, religion and historical politics (Peter Lang 2019), and first author of Enemy on Display: The Second World War in Eastern European Museums (Berghan Books 2015). She also published in East European Politics and Societies, Europe-Asia Studies, Religion, State and Society.

June 9th, 2021: Kuratieren als Vermitteln: New Museologie in der deutschen Museumspraxis

This session is part of the discussion series Making Museums Matter. Please check again for more information in the next weeks.

June 16th, 2021: Activism and Ethics. Presentation by Richard Sandell (Leicester University, UK)

Activism as ethics

Over the last two decades, the idea that museums might be more socially purposeful in their work, more explicit about their ambition to contribute towards positive social change, has moved from the confines of specialist human rights museums and sites of conscience to gain increasing attention in mainstream global museum thinking and practice. However, as what might termed an ‘activist turn’ gains traction, we can begin to see attempts from both within and beyond the field to discredit and undermine it. The notion that museums might purposefully direct their resources and activities towards addressing inequalities and injustice has become characterised by some as damaging and dangerous, aligned with a partisan and extremist politics, and utilising a suite of tactics intended to agitate and disrupt in ways that draw on and fuel social division and polarisation. Using a range of recent collaborative research projects Richard Sandell seeks to challenge this framing and make the case for activism as a form of normative ethical practice to which all museums might reasonably subscribe.

Richard Sandell is Professor of Museum Studies and Director of the Research Centre for Museums and Galleries (RCMG) at the University of Leicester. Through RCMG he works collaboratively with cultural institutions on projects that generate new insights and advance thinking and practice around their social roles, responsibilities and agency. Recent collaborations have shaped major new gallery developments – such as Being Human at the Wellcome Collection in London – and large national public programmes such as Prejudice and Pride with the National Trust. In 2017 he published Museums, Moralities and Human Rights (2017) which explores how museums, galleries and heritage sites of all kinds – through the narratives they construct and publicly present – contribute to shaping the moral and political climate within which human rights are experienced, continually sought and fought for, realised and refused. In 2019, he published a major new international edited collection – Museum Activism, with Robert Janes, that explores the ‘activist turn’ in museum thinking and practice and makes the case for the socially purposeful museum.

July 7th, 2021: Vermitteln als Kuratieren: New Museology in der deutschen Museumspraxis.

This session is part of the discussion series Making Museums Matter. Please check again for more information in the next weeks.

ARCHIVE – Museum Lab

Winter semester 2020/2021

Due to the global pandemic and heightened safety measures, all sessions of the 2020/21 winter semester’s CARMAH Museum Lab were held via Zoom. The sessions were open to practitioners, students, researchers and those working at the intersection of theory and practice. Every other week, invited guests presented their ongoing research which inspired fruitful discussions.

 

Jan 27th, 2021: Presentation by Nina Samuel and Maxime Le Calvé

 

AJan 27th, 2021

Presentation by Nina Samuel (research associate within the project Object Space Agency) and Maxime Le Calvé (research associate within the projects Cutting and Object Space Agency) of the Cluster of Excellence Matters of Activity –Image Space Material.

The making of a virtual tour as digital fieldwork. A multimodal inquiry on the transitional, transformative and leaky nature of the exhibition space at the Tieranatomisches Theatre (Berlin)

“TATour” is the title of a virtual exhibition and fieldwork we are currently conducting at the Tieranatomisches Theater in Berlin (Humboldt University). This collaborative inquiry serves as a preamble to the creation of a physical exhibition in a cultural space based in a former veterinary anatomical theatre, through which we aim at giving presence the different forms of life that inhabit this building and its memory. Constrained by the COVID crisis, we have invested our efforts in the creation of a digital tour that focuses on the visible and invisible activities that remain there, even when visitors can no longer access them. How did the exhibition space become a site for artistic-anthropological research on non-human habitat? This paper describes the creation process of this collective work and a unusual approach to doing fieldwork. We offer a reflection on the institutional constellation within which it is embedded and on the interaction between our disciplinary practices through inventiveness and imagination.”

TatTour-logo

Cerebrum Spectacular. Exhibiting neurosurgical imaging and sensing practices at the Humboldt Forum and at the Tieranatomisches Theater

Brain tumours are a rare pathology, and brain surgery is only a small niche of human activities. However, our subjectivities are strongly impacted by the findings of its medical experts. The daunting images that come out of their computers are exhibited in museums as pinnacles of interdisciplinary research, of technological advancement, and of the extension the modernist cartographic conquest to the intimacies of our nervous tissues. My current fieldwork at “Matters of Activity” aims at showing these spectacular activities in the making through multimodal ethnographical methods. The practices of neurosurgery provide revealing case studies to think about the relations between image and gesture, between the map and the territory, and between the museum and the operation room.

 

Jan 13th, 2021: Heritage knowledge: the production of silk in Korea and Burkina Faso

 

Jan 13th, 2021

Presentation by Laurence Douny (research associate within the project Weaving) and Yoonha Kim (PhD candidate in the project Object Space Agency) of the Cluster of Excellence Matters of Activity –Image Space Material, moderated by Magdalena Buchczyk (CARMAH).

In this joint talk, we explore comparatively local notions of cultural heritage about silk production in Burkina Faso and South Korea. By focusing on local conceptions of heritage and tradition that are expressed through specific terms but also through practices, we examine aspects of the cultural significance of silks considered here as an ‘active matter’. By ‘active’, we understand the agential properties and qualities of this insect-produced material that is shaped by humans into two textiles of prestige: the Korean traditional garment hanbok and the tuntun wrapper of the Marka-Dafing women of Burkina Faso. By drawing upon humans and animals’ material relations in the collection of the material in the forests or the rearing of the animals and their cocoons in the domestic space and the making of textiles, we highlight the cultural significance of these precious materials in two distinctive societies and by emphasising the role of nature and culture, humans and non-humans in co-constructing this knowledge and practice-based form of heritage.

Dec 14th, 2020: Ein Jahr postkoloniale Provenienzforschung in Dahlem - Herausforderungen und Potentiale

 

Lecture by provenance researchers Julia Binter, Christine Howald, Kristin Weber-Sinn and Ilja Labischinski as part of the Kolloquium Provenienzforschung of the Deutsches Zentrum Kulturgutverluste, in collaboration with CARMAH. The event was held in German.

Dec 9th, 2020: Museums and Migration: Challenges and Paradoxes

Presentation by Susannah Eckersley (School of Arts and Cultures, Newcastle University), moderated by Christine Gerbich (CARMAH).

 

Migration is a ‘hot topic’ in media and public discourse, with controversial and populist political movements presenting it as a ‘crisis’ for the identity and culture of European ‘host’ societies. At the same time, it has become a popular theme around which to focus museum exhibitions and cultural participation projects, allowing connections to be drawn between contemporary social issues such as racism, integration, inclusion and exclusion, and historical themes including conflict and border change, colonial and nationalist histories.

Although museums internationally have long addressed migration, the European migration ‘crisis’ of 2015 brought the topic to wider public and institutional attention, with museums and cultural organisations seeing themselves as both well-placed and ethically-bound to respond to the needs of newcomers. Their responses have encompassed different aspects of museum work – collecting, exhibiting, communicating, educating and providing enjoyment – as set out in the ICOM 2008 definition, and cultural participation, but these responses also raise difficult questions about power and control, about boundary-keeping and about representation.

This talk will explore the challenges and paradoxes inherent to the ways in which museums have addressed the controversial contemporary issue of migration and belonging in relation to cultural participation, representation and populist uses of the past within the present.

Dec 2nd, 2020: Revenants: Toward an Inter-Imperial Perspective on Post-Imperial Heritage

Presentation by Jeremy Walton (Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Göttingen), moderated by Katarzyna Puzon (CARMAH).

 

Across the broad geography of central and eastern Europe, the Balkans, central Asia and the Caucasus, and the Middle East, bygone imperial projects are increasingly inseparable from contemporary political and cultural life. This presentation functions as a prolegomenon for grappling with the complex, overlapping post-imperial memories and legacies of the Habsburg, Ottoman and Romanov Empires. With reference to the concept of “inter-imperiality” (Doyle 2020), I examine how inter-imperial collective memories achieve articulation through ensembles of persons, places and things. My threefold heuristic of persons, places, and things determines three secondary questions. First, how and why do certain historical personages galvanize collective memories of empires? Secondly, how do specific places become sites of post-imperial memory? Thirdly, how are bygone empires embodied through a variety of objects and material culture? To illustrate the sort of analysis that my overarching research envisions, I briefly examine the inter-imperial historicity of collective memories of one specific person, Count Nikola Šubić Zrinski; one specific site, Istanbul’s Sveti Stefan Church (known colloquially as “the Iron Church”); and one thing, (Turkish) coffee.

Nov 9th, 2020: "Ei­ne wirk­li­che Nutz­nie­ße­rin der Na­zis"

“Ei­ne wirk­li­che Nutz­nie­ße­rin der Na­zis” – Ver­or­tung der Kunst­händ­le­rin Ma­ria Diet­rich

Lecture by provenance researcher Nadine Bauer as part of the Kolloquium Provenienzforschung of the Deutsches Zentrum Kulturgutverluste, in collaboration with CARMAH. The event was be held in German.

Nov 18th, 2020: Power and Possibility: The Return of Rwanda’s Stolen Bones

Power and Possibility: The Return of Rwanda’s Stolen Bones

Presentation by Annalisa Bolin (Postdoctoral Fellow in the UNESCO Chair in Heritage Futures at Linnaeus University, Sweden), moderated by Larissa Förster (Deutsches Zentrum Kulturgutverluste/CARMAH).

In the early twentieth century, German explorers took over a thousand skulls from what was then German East Africa, remitting them to Berlin’s Ethnologisches Museum to form part of an anthropological collection. Just over a century later, the Stiftung Preußicher Kulturbesitz, which now holds the skulls, initiated a project not merely to identify the remains’ provenance, but to ultimately return them to their place of origin. For most of the skulls, this means repatriation to Rwanda, which the SPK now proposes to do.

This presentation, based on an article in progress, takes the intended repatriation as a starting point for an investigation of the future. What options are now open to the Rwandan government, which leads a country with significant experience of managing human remains in the interest of public memory, as it decides how to handle these skulls? With the increasing accessibility of DNA testing, alongside Rwanda’s history of violent, racialized ethnic division, what new challenges could this repatriation pose for Rwanda’s domestic peace and politics? What transformations might the return produce in the relationship between Rwanda and Germany—where the former is seeking a decolonized, increasingly powerful sovereign position in its international relations, and the latter engages in an interrogation of its own colonial past? Drawing on long-term fieldwork within the Rwandan state heritage sector and recent research into the SPK project, this presentation examines the possibilities for the future that are opened up by processes of repatriation.

 

 

Winter semester 2019/2020

Starting in the winter semester 19/20, CARMAH’s Museum Lab was combined with our research meetings. The meetings were opened to practitioners, students, researchers and those working at the intersection of theory and practice. Each week, invited guests presented their ongoing research and inspired fruitful discussions.

 

Oct 23rd, 2019: Discussion on the new ICOM definition of ‘Museum’

The session dealt with the heatedly debated proposed new definition of the ‘museum’ by a special working group within the International Council of Museums (ICOM), with presentations by Léontine Meijer-van Mensch (Staatliche Ethnografische Sammlungen Sachsen) and Alina Gromova (Jüdisches Museum Berlin).

Oct 30th, 2019: Re-Imagining and Queering the Archive?, Princeton HU Strategic Partnership Grants

With guests Silvy Chakkalakal (Institute for European Ethnology, HU Berlin), and Elahe Heschemi Yekani (Department of English and American Studies, HU Berlin).

Nov 13th, 2019: Decolonizing museum practices? Reflections on the making of the exhibition ‘Connecting Afro Futures’

A discussion of the creation and reception of the 2019 special exhibition ‘Connecting Afro Futures. Fashion x Hair x Design’ at the Kunstgewerbemuseum (SMB) with co-curators Beatrace Angut Oola (Fashion Africa Now) and Cornelia Lund (fluctuating images), moderated by Duane Jethro and Christine Gerbich (CARMAH).

Nov 27th, 2019: Decolonization and Musealizing Human Rights on the Canadian Prairie

Robin Ostow (Wilfried Laurier University, Waterloo, Canada) presented her newest work decolonizing practices of and by Canada-based museum practitioners.

Dec 2nd, 2019 – Evening event: In Humboldt’s Shadow: A Tragic History of German Ethnology

Glenn Penny (University of Iowa) presented his newest book In Humboldt’s Shadow, which was followed by lively debate and an standing reception. Hosted at CARMAH in collaboration with the Deutsches Zentrum für Kulturgutverluste.

Dec 11th, 2019: The collections of the Museum for European Cultures in Berlin: Challenges of History and Future

A discussion of current collection strategies and archiving for the future with Elisabeth Tietmeyer (Museum Europäischer Kulturen), Iris Edenheiser (MEK), and Judith Schühle (MEK), moderated by Magdalena Buchczyk (CARMAH).

Dec 18th, 2019: Decolonising Islam in Museums

Discussion about the decolonization of Islam within museums and their exhibitions with Mirjam Shatanawi (Reinwardt Academie, Amsterdam) and Stefan Weber (Museum für Islamische Kunst,SMB/SPK), moderated by Katarzyna Puzon (CARMAH).

Jan 15th, 2020: Confronting Colonial Pasts, Envisioning Creative Futures

Discussion of the project Confronting Colonial Pasts, Envisioning Creative Futures – ein Projekt zur Namibiasammlung des Ethnologischen Museums with Larissa Förster (Deutsches Zentrum Kulturgutverluste/CARMAH), Julia Binter (Ethnological Museum Berlin, SMB/SPK), and Jonathan Fine (Ethnological Museum Berlin, SMB/SPK).

Jan 22nd, 2020: What does a digital museum of restitution look like?

Discussion with the contemporary multi-media artist Emeka Ogboh about his past works, moderated by Jonas Tinius (CARMAH).

Jan 29th, 2020: New Trajectories in Curatorial Experience Design

 

Talk by Colin Sterling (University College London) followed by discussion.

Feb 5th, 2020: Whole Earths Cataloguing

Presentation by Tahani Nadim (CARMAH/Museum für Naturkunde Berlin), followed by discussion.

Feb 12th, 2020: Queer(ing) Museums and Heritage

Presentation by Maria Mitsopoulou, director of the Athens Museum of Queer Arts, followed by discussion. Convened by  Nazlı Cabadağ and Hannes Hacke (CARMAH).

 

 

Summer semester 2019

Thematic focus: Working on the peripheries of Museums

Museums are no stable institutions, but are constantly co-produced through connections to other people, institutions, networks and practices. During this semester’s Museum Lab we are going to explore the peripheries of museums. What are they looking like? What kinds of connections emerge here? Who fosters or inhibits practices in them? What kinds of knowledges emerge? Where and how do such knowledges travel through museums? How are they translated? And where do they get stuck in dead ends?

The Museumslabor is open to researchers, practitioners and those working in the intersection of theory and practice.

In case of any questions, please contact Christine Gerbich or Chiara Garbelotto.

 

April 11th, 2019: Planning Session // gemeinsam Pläne schmieden

In unserer ersten Sitzung am Donnerstag, den 11. April 2019 werden wir konkrete Vorschläge sammeln, welche Ausstellungen wir besuchen werden, mit welchen Personen wir kooperieren möchten und welche Formate wir erproben möchten. Wir freuen uns über alle, die Lust haben, mitzumachen.

Zeit: 16-18 Uhr
Ort: CARMaH – Centre for Anthropological Research on Museums and Heritage
Institut für Europäische Ethnologie
Room 409
Möhrenstraße 40/41
10117 Berlin

Zur Vorbereitung schlagen wir folgenden Text vor:
Yanow, Dvora (2004): Translating Local Knowledge at Organizational Peripheries. In: Br J Management 15 (S1), S. 9-25. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8551.2004.00397.
Der Text steht zum download auf moodle zur Verfügung.

******English version*****

For the first session, we suggest the following article which is also available on the Museum Lab’s moodle:
Yanow, Dvora (2004): Translating Local Knowledge at Organizational Peripheries. In: Br J Management 15 (S1), S. 9-25. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8551.2004.00397.

During this first session we collect suggestions for readings, exhibitions to visit, people to invite, or any formats to experiment with, so please join in!

Time: 4 – 6 p.m.

Location:
CARMaH –
Centre for Anthropological Research on Museums and Heritage
Institut für Europäische Ethnologie
Room 409
Möhrenstraße 40/41
10117 Berlin

We suggest the following reading for preparation:
Yanow, Dvora (2004): Translating Local Knowledge at Organizational Peripheries. In: Br J Management 15 (S1), S. 9-25. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8551.2004.00397.
This text can be downloaded on moodle.

April 25th, 2019: What do we mean by "peripheries", "knowledge", "learning"?

*** for English version scroll down ***

In dieser Sitzung werden wir einige der theoretischen Konzepte diskutieren, die für das Museumslabor in diesem Semester relevant sind, wie z.B. “Peripherien”, “Wissen”, “Lernen”, “Verlernen”, “Museum/Organisation”, “Übersetzung”. Die Diskussionen werden durch kurze, literaturbasierte Inputs von Museumslaborierenden inspiriert.

Interesse? Dann kommen Sie einfach vorbei oder schicken Sie für Rückfragen eine Mail an die Organisator*innen Christine Gerbich oder Chiara Garbellotto .

Zeit: 16-18 Uhr
Ort: CARMaH – Centre for Anthropological Research on Museums and Heritage
Institut für Europäische Ethnologie
Room 409
Möhrenstraße 40/41
10117 Berlin

***English version***

During this session we are going to discuss some of the theoretical concepts underlying this semester’s museum lab, such as
“peripheries”, “knowledge”, “learning”, “unlearning”, “museum/organization”, “translation”. Discussions will be inspired by brief, literature based inputs provided my Museum Lab members.

Interested? Just drop in or send a mail to the organizers Christine Gerbich oder Chiara Garbellotto.

Time: 4 – 6 p.m.
Location:
CARMaH – Centre for Anthropological Research on Museums and Heritage
Institut für Europäische Ethnologie
Room 409
Möhrenstraße 40/41
10117 Berlin

May 9th, 2019: What do we mean by "organization", "translation", "unlearning"?

*** for English version scroll down ***

In dieser Sitzung werden wir unsere Diskussion über die theoretischen Konzepte fortsetzen, die für das Museumslabor in diesem Semester relevant sind, wie z.B. “Peripherien”, “Wissen”, “Lernen”, “Verlernen”, “Museum/Organisation”, “Übersetzung”. Die Diskussionen werden durch kurze, literaturbasierte Inputs von Museumslaborierenden inspiriert.

Interesse? Dann kommen Sie einfach vorbei oder schicken Sie für Rückfragen eine Mail an die Organisator*innen Christine Gerbich oder Chiara Garbellotto .

Zeit: 16-18 Uhr
Ort: CARMaH – Centre for Anthropological Research on Museums and Heritage
Institut für Europäische Ethnologie
Room 409
Möhrenstraße 40/41
10117 Berlin

***English version***

During this session we are going to continue our discuss on some of the theoretical concepts underlying this semester’s museum lab, such as
“peripheries”, “knowledge”, “learning”, “unlearning”, “museum/organization”, “translation”. Discussions will be inspired by brief, literature based inputs provided my Museum Lab members.

Interested? Just drop in or send a mail to the organizers Christine Gerbich oder Chiara Garbellotto.

Time: 4 – 6 p.m.
Location:
CARMaH – Centre for Anthropological Research on Museums and Heritage
Institut für Europäische Ethnologie
Room 409
Möhrenstraße 40/41
10117 Berlin

May 23rd, 2019: Lost in translation?!

This session will be devoted to the concept of translation:

What if we think about museums as spaces in which knowledge needs to be translated between different “cultures”? What acts of translation are visible and which go unnoticed? Who is translating and through which channels? What’s the scale of translation? What kinds of resources are allocated to it? And finally, is “translation” the right term? What if people already speak the same language?

After brief theoretical inputs based on the works of Homi Bhabha and Leigh Star & James Griesemer we are going to discuss these and other questions along examples from practice.

You are welcome to join in! In case of questions or suggestions please contact Christine Gerbich or Chiara Garbellotto.

Since the Museum Lab is run by an international group of researchers and practitioners sessions our main language is English. If you would like to participate, but struggle with English, please let organisers know in advance and we will very happily offer help.

Time: 4 – 6 p.m.
Location:
CARMaH – Centre for Anthropological Research on Museums and Heritage
Institut für Europäische Ethnologie
Room 409
Möhrenstraße 40/41
10117 Berlin

June 6th, 2019: Gün at Museum for European Cultures

Gün is Turkish for “day” and at the same time a term for a meeting among friends where you eat and drink together and get into a conversation.

Taking up this idea, we are going to meet at the Museum for European Cultures in Dahlem. After a joint walk through its permanent exhibition, we are going to discuss over a joint picnic with professionals working in the Museum about its work on the peripheries of Berlin.

We’re meeting at 4 p.m. at the entrance (Arnimallee 25, 14195 Berlin).
Please bring your own snacks, drinks will be provided.

June 20th, conversation about the new "Museum Lab" at the Museum for Islamic Art in Berlin

We are happy to welcome Roman Singendonk, curator in the Museum for Islamic Art, who is going to get with us into a conversation about a new learning space – the Museum Lab – that he and his colleagues are currently planning to expand the Museum’s interpretational repertoire.

Time: 4 – 6 p.m.
Location:
CARMaH – Centre for Anthropological Research on Museums and Heritage
Institut für Europäische Ethnologie
Room 409
Möhrenstraße 40/41
10117 Berlin

July 4th, Gün with Duygu Örs at KW Institute for Contemporary Art

Gün is Turkish for “day” and at the same time a term for a meeting among friends.

Taking up this idea, we are going to meet and discuss with Duygu Örs who does education and outreach work for KW Institute for Contemporary Art, and who has translated the format of Gün into the museum context.

time: 4-6 p.m.
Location: KW Institute for Contemporary Art, KUNST-WERKE BERLIN e. V.
Auguststraße 69
10117 Berlin

 

 

Winter Semester 2018/2019

During the semester’s Museumslabor we are continuing our practice of joint exhibition visits and reflections, and invite people who wish to
present parts of their research to a professional audience.

Suggestions about exhibitions to visit or people to invite will be
discussed during our first session on October 25th – join in!

October 25th, 2018. Planning Session

Join in from 4 – 6 p.m. if you have any suggestions about exhibitions to visit or people to invite!

Time: 4 – 6 p.m.
Location:

CARMaH –
Centre for Anthropological Research on Museums and Heritage
Institut für Europäische Ethnologie
Room 408
Möhrenstraße 40/41
10117 Berlin

November 8th, 2018: Visit to Untie to Tie at ifa-Gallery

***German version below***

Dear colleagues,

thanks to all of you who contributed their suggestions for this semester’s Museum lab. We are going to meet every second Thursday from 4-6 p.m to experience together a large range of different exhibitions.

We’ll start this Thursday, November 8th at ifa-Gallery to see the exhibition

UNTIE TO TIE

“With the transdisciplinary project Untie to Tie (2017–20), ifa Gallery Berlin invites visitors to take part in a discourse on colonial legacies, movement, migration and environment. ifa Gallery Berlin acts as a space of encounter; as a platform for subjective narratives that query the status quo and the construction of a normative universality.
The first phase, On Colonial Legacies and Contemporary Societies (2017–18), reflected on the impacts of colonial structures that have formed modern societies and continue to globally influence our realities and our everyday life today.
Following this, the second phase Movement.Bewegung (2018–19) perceives diversity and plurality as essential features that make it possible to grasp the present as an ever-changing reality. The programme encourages thinking beyond colonial borders, be they mental or territorial. Movement and migration are understood as natural, permanent phenomena, as emancipatory processes that facilitate interactions between people.
The four consecutive exhibitions of Movement.Bewegung are accompanied by a public programme, including a series of encounters with a focus on performances, sound art and theatre.
Concept: Alya Sebti” (see untietotie.org).

Jonas Tinius, together with Nikola Hartl from ifa-gallery will provide useful insights about the exhibition which has already on display in Dakar.

It’s going to be an interesting trip – so bring your colleagues, friends, or significant others!

Meeting point: 4 p.m at
ifa-Galerie Berlin – Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen
Linienstr. 139-140
10115 Berlin–Mitte
(in front of the Gallery, free entrance fee)

All best
Christine and Larissa

***Deutsche Version***

Liebe Kolleg*innen,

vielen Dank an alle, die beim letzten Mal ihre Vorschläge für die diessemestrigen Planungen eingebracht haben. Wir werden in diesem Semester jeden zweiten Donnerstag von 16-18 Uhr ganz unterschiedliche Ausstellungen besuchen und darüber ins Gespräch kommen.

Beginnen werden wir an diesem Donnerstag, den 8.11.2018 um 16 Uhr mit einer Ausstellung in der ifa-Galerie:

UNTIE TO TIE – mehr Informationen finden sich in englischer Sprache untietotie.org (Achtung: nicht auf der Website der ifa-Galerie!).

Unser CARMAH-Kollege Jonas Tinius sowie Nikola Hartl werden uns einige Hintergrundinformationen zur Ausstellung geben, die bereits in Dakar gezeigt wurde. Es verspricht interessant zu werden – Kolleg*innen, Freund*innen oder signifikante Andere sind selbstverständlich eingeladen zu uns zu stoßen!

Treffpunkt: 16 Uhr vor der Galerie;
Adresse:
ifa-Galerie Berlin – Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen
Linienstr. 139-140
10115 Berlin–Mitte
Der Eintritt ist kostenfrei.

Herzlich
Christine und Larissa

November 22nd, 2018: Visit to Naturkundemuseum

Time: 4 – 6 p.m.

Meeting point:
Naturkundemuseum
Entry space
Invalidenstraße 43
10115 Berlin

December 6th, 2018: Exhibition visit: "Alles Zucker! Nahrung – Werkstoff – Energie" at Deutsches Technikmuseum

Time: 4 – 6 p.m.

Meeting Point:
Deutsches Technikmuseum
Entry Space
Trebbiner Straße 9
10963 Berlin-Kreuzberg

December 20th, 2018: Exhibition visit: The Dead as far as [ ] can remember” at Tieranatomischs Theater

Time: 4 – 6 p.m.

Meeting point:
Tieranatomisches Theater
Entry space
Philippstraße 12/13
10115 Berlin

January 17th, 2019: Visit to the Museum of Islamic Art

Access curators John-Paul Sumner and Sarah Maupeu invite us to reflect together about ways of representing and communicating the arts and cultures of Muslim-dominated countries of the past.

Time: 4 – 6 p.m.

Meeting point:
Pergamon Museum
Cloakroom
Am Kupfergraben 5
10117 Berlin

We thank the Museum of Islamic Art for providing free entry to this session.

January 24th, 2019: Presentations by Tal Adler (Traces) and Rikke Gram (CARMAH)

We welcome you to hear and discuss Tal Adler’s presentation on: “The Sharing Stories Project at the Weltmuseum Wien: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”.

After this, we are going to have the chance to get insights into Rikke Gram’s research on the project Multaka, which was conducted between 2016-2017, and to reflect on what subjects from this study could be interesting to be taken up in the future. For a short insight into her work, please see the Carmah Reflections: http://www.carmah.berlin/reflections/multaka-tours-in-the-pergamon/

Time: 4 – 6 p.m.

Location:
CARMaH –
Centre for Anthropological Research on Museums and Heritage
Institut für Europäische Ethnologie
Room 409
Möhrenstraße 40/41
10117 Berlin

February 7th, 2019: Visit to "diversCity! Queer in Schöneberg und anderswo" at Jugend Museum Schöneberg

Our last session will take place in the exhibition diversCity, which has been organized as part of the project ALL INCLUDED!
This exhibition has been set up to introduce people to different dimensions of diversity and to reflect their own perspectives on the issue.

Time: 4 – 6 p.m.
Location:
Jugend Museum
Hauptstraße 40 /42
10827 Berlin

CARMaH –
Centre for Anthropological Research on Museums and Heritage
Institut für Europäische Ethnologie
Room 408
Möhrenstraße 40/41
10117 Berlin

 

 

Summer Semester 2018

The Museumlabor’s motto was ‘Participate!’

We critically reflected about the concept of participation: How has the concept been theorized? What kinds of participation do we encounter in museums in Berlin in 2018? Can all kinds of interaction in museums be described as ‘participation’ – or do we need to expand our vocabulary? How is the concept politically mobilized? What assumptions are being made about ‘the public’, and who is actually participating? Is it just people? Or can objects participate, too?

Meetings took place biweekly.

 

July 12th. Visit to "Zurückgeschaut" in Bezirksmuseum Treptow

This week’s museumslabor will take place at Bezirksmuseum Treptow, 12487 Berlin, Sterndamm 102, where we will have a guided tour through the exhibition

“ZURÜCKGESCHAUT – Die Erste Deutsche Kolonialausstellung 1896”

co-curated by Bezirksmuseum Treptow-Köpenick and Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland (ISD)

for further information, please check https://www.museum-treptow-koepenick.de/

In case of further questions, please contact Christine Gerbich.

June 27th. Reading Session

This week we’ll discuss Irit Rogoff’s seminal text “Looking Away: Participations in Visual Culture. In: Gavin Butt, ed. After Criticism—New Responses to Art and Perfomance.”

For download available at:

https://kvelv.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/irit_rogoff_looking_away_participations_in_visual_culture.pdf

In case of further questions, please contact Christine Gerbich.

May 30th. Reading Session

This week we are going to discuss introduction to Barbara Cruikshank’s book ‘The Will to Empower: Democratic Citizens and Other Subjects.’

Everybody is invited to join the discussion. For any questions, please contact Christine Gerbich.

Location:

CARMaH –
Centre for Anthropological Research on Museums and Heritage
Institut für Europäische Ethnologie
Room 409
Möhrenstraße 40/41
10117 Berlin

May 17th. Visit to FHXB - Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg Museum

This week we are going to visit the exhibition “Ortsgespräche” at FHXB – an exhibition developed in close collaboration with people from the district.

Exhibition free of charge.

In case you have not been yet to Museumslabor but would like to join in, please contact Christine Gerbich.

May 2nd. Reading & Reflecting Session

Location:

CARMaH –
Centre for Anthropological Research on Museums and Heritage
Institut für Europäische Ethnologie
Room 409
Möhrenstraße 40/41
10117 Berlin

For more information, please contact Christine Gerbich.

April 19th. Visit to [sound] Listening to the World Humboldt-Box (Berlin-Mitte)

Exhibition free of charge.

In case you would like to join in, please contact Christine Gerbich.

 

 

Winter Semester 2017/2018

How is knowledge about the past of Eastern and Western Germany and other former socialist states constructed in Berlin’s museums and heritage sites? Throughout this semester, we will take up the IfEE-Institutskolloquium‘s theme and engage with these sites to analyze them with regard to this question.

During this brown-bag-lunch-session we are going to reflect and discuss experiences collected at the DDR-Museum. Don’t worry if you haven’t been part of the experience – you will have the chance to speeddate some of its visitors.

Drinks included, please bring your own snacks.

Join in!

 

February 23rd. Final Session

For our final session of this term’s Museumslabor we will discuss our experiences from our many museum (or memorial) visits as a group, as well as exchange ideas and expectations for the summer term’s Museumslabor.

February 8th. Visit to Gedenkstätte Berlin-Hohenschönhausen

Together we will visit the Gedenkstätte Berlin-Hohenschönhausen with a guided tour.

Please note: This is not free of charge, it will cost 10-15 € depending on the number of participants.

Meeting point: 1.50 p.m. at the entrance gate.

In case you would like to join in, please contact Christine Gerbich.

Gedenkstätte Berlin-Hohenschönhausen – Further Information here.

 

January 26th. Presentation by Philipp Schorch (Staatliche Kunstsammlung Dresden)

Attempting to Materialise Two Germanys: (Post)colonial Exhibitions and the ‘Cold Odyssey’ of Objects between East and West

Many, if not most, will be familiar with the Humboldt Forum currently under development in Berlin, which attempts to reconfigure the rebuilt Berliner Schloss as a museum forum for the world. Most, if not all, will know that modern Germany was separated into two–the German Democratic Republic, or East Germany, and the Federal Republic of Germany, or West Germany–by the victorious allies after World War II up until its reunification in 1990. What is less known, however, is how postcolonial history as well as the corresponding histories of anthropology and ethnographic museums evolved differently in East and West Germany due to the different, ideologically-driven perspectives on a common past.In tracing this complex story, this paper extends the material-spatial (re)writing of history beyond the building, as the Humboldt Forum, to explore the internal process of museum exhibitions. In doing so, I show how the Museum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig (now Grassi Museum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig), located in the East, reconstructed its Pacific exhibition in 1969/70 and, through this, rewrote (East) Germany’s (post)colonial relationship with the Pacific. The paper then proceeds to a particular collection, the so-called Leningrad-Sammlung, which was taken on a ‘cold odyssey’ from the Königliches Museum für Völkerkunde Berlin (now Ethnologisches Museum Berlin) to Leningrad, Leipzig and back to Berlin between 1945-1992. The socio-political life of this collection is then broken down to the level of objects, through which the political-symbolic trajectory–separation, odyssey, reunification–became materialised. At the same time, as will be shown, it is the stubborn persistence of material presences–museum exhibitions, collections, and objects–which resisted the de/reformation by totalising ideological prescriptions, and ultimately rendered their discursive utopian ambition materially and spatially impossible.

 

Philipp Schorch – Curriculum Vitae

Philipp Schorch is Head of Research and Exhibitions, State Ethnographic Collections Saxony, Germany, and Honorary Fellow at the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University, Australia. He received his PhD from the Victoria University of Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand, and held fellowships at the Lichtenberg-Kolleg – Institute of Advanced Study, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, and at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich, Germany (Marie Curie, European Commission). Philipp is co-editor of the volumes Transpacific Americas: Encounters and Engagements between the Americas and the South Pacific (Routledge, 2016) and Curatopia: Museums and the Future of Curatorship (Manchester University Press, 2018).

January 11th. Visit to Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer

Together we will visit the Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer with a guided tour by Sarah Bornhorst

Meeting point: 15.50 at the visitor centre, Bernauer Straße 119 (Bernauer Straße at the corner of Gartenstraße, opposite the entrance to S-Bahnhof “Nordbahnhof”).

In case you would like to join in, please contact Christine Gerbich.

ARCHIVE – Research Meetings

Summer Semester 2019

03.07.2019
Damani Partridge (University of Michigan)
Afonso Dias Ramos (University College London) 

26.06.2019
Robin Ostow (Wilfrid Laurier University):
Decolonization and Musealizing Human Rights on the Canadian Prairie.

19.06.2019
Merve Reyhan Kayikci (University of Granada):
Islam and Museums: Attraction and Repulsion.

Christine Gerbich (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, CARMAH):
Tamam – the agency of objects for negotiating difference. 

Moderation: Katarzyna Puzon (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, CARMAH)

12.06.2019
Jonathan Bach (The New School, New York):
What Remains: Encountering Socialist and Colonial Pasts in Germany. 

05.06.2019
Diana Young (University of Queensland) and Jing Zhu (University of Warwick) giving inputs on: How does public discourse on diversity differ in different nation contexts and how do museums and heritage relate to them? 

29.05.2019
Tal Adler (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, CARMAH) and Anna Szöke (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, CARMAH) with Fred von Bose (Hermann von Helmholtz-Zentrum für Kulturtechnik, Humboldt-Labor im Humboldt Forum):
From the TRACES project to new artistic collaborations with the Humboldt Labor.