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Research Center for Material Culture Will Host Workshop on Museums as Spaces of Care

Exhibition at the Tropical Museum, 1964
Jack de Nijs / Anefo

The Research Center for Material Culture (RCMC), a research institute that brings together ethnographic collections in the Netherlands through a partnership between Tropenmuseum (Amsterdam), Museum Volkenkunde (Leiden), the Afrika Museum (Berg en Dal), and the Wereldmuseum (Rotterdam), has announced a workshop titled “Caring Matters”.  It is a part of the collaborative research project “Taking Care - Ethnographic and World Cultures Museums as Spaces of Care” and will take place between the 21st and 24th of September, 2020. 

The intent of the workshop is to open up and ask museums for more critical contributions that lead to a better understanding of the “brutal legacies of colonialism on our earth” and to help encourage an acknowledgment of “the wisdom that peoples the world over have nurtured, adapted, and applied to dealing with such violence.” Critical to these activities is the establishment of strategies that do so without “re-inscribing earlier exploitative orders and imperial rights.” “Caring Matters” is part of the “Taking Care” research project that began on October 1st, 2019, which questions the ways that ethnographic and world cultures museums can reorganize their histories and collections in a fashion that will “address the growing precarity of our planet and the plurality of our human and non-human world.”

A talk with the Associate Professor at the Graduate Program in Social Anthropology, National Museum, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Olívia Maria Gomes da Cunha is scheduled for September 17th and is meant to function as a lead into the workshop. Cunha will lead a discussion of her most recent work, Things of Others: Ethnographies, Histories, and Other Artefacts. As part of the talk, Cunha will challenge “academic, ethnographic, and museum practices” through a discussion of the different ways one may “creat[e] artefacts of knowledge” and how this creation contributes to the “making of anthropological histories and practices.”

For more information: materialculture.nl.