Considering the radical changes that these societies have experienced, and the migratory flux these changes have provoked, the museums must necessarily redefine their priorities. Ten European ethnography museums propose to unite their experiences to organize scientific workshops on social questions related to the perception of populations of other continents, and focusing on two major themes (“modernity ” and “first encounters”), themes that will also be the guidelines of all activities and productions of the project: exhibition, symposia, spectacle, publications.

In an ever more globalizing and multicultural world, it is necessary to redefine the place and the role of ethnography museums. Usually created in the context of colonization, their framework drastically changed when these same colonies gained independence: as such, the ethnography museums had to abandon their original function of conservatory of exotic objects and of windows of political propaganda, and were forced to face a scientific and social conversion. Indeed, not only did the position of the populations that once were considered a privileged study topic change profoundly, also the political context of contacts that we maintain with them altered. Considering the radical changes that these societies have experienced, and the migratory flux these changes have provoked, the museums — as keepers of a considerable knowledge and a ditto heritage — must necessarily redefine their priorities. To achieve this goal, they can use the wealth of their unique collections in order to offer to the public keys to better understand other cultures.
Ten European ethnography museums, figuring among the most important on the international stage, propose to unite their experiences to organize scientific workshops on social questions related to the perception of populations of other continents, and focusing on two major themes (“modernity ” and “first encounters”), themes that will also be the guidelines of all activities and productions of the project: exhibition, symposia, spectacle, publications.

The teams of professionals and scientists of the partner museums will also concentrate on the constitution of an International Network of Ethnography Museums [INEM-RIME], inviting for this purpose other researchers to collaborate in the elaboration of the conditions to guarantee an enduring process and the necessary statutes. This network should be fully operational by the end of the project to allow many other European and other museums around the world to join in. A privileged place will be reserved for the museums located in economically underprivileged countries allowing them to fully benefit from the advantages of membership in such an elaborate network (exchanges of collections, transfers of data, mobility of professionals, works, publications, exhibitions, jointly realized events etc.).
The present project seeks to unite not only the main European ethnography museums, but also different scientific partners and associations around these new challenges; the ensuing treaty between the partner museums must position them as inevitable partners and as privileged mediators in the dialogue of the cultures that is today encouraged in the view of respect for cultural diversity.

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DATES:

November 2008 ► October 2013

PARTNERS:

Musée royal de l’Afrique centrale de Tervuren [BE], Musée du Quai Branly (Paris) [FR], Pitt Rivers Museum (Oxford) [UK], Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunde (Leiden) [NL], Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico «Luigi Pigorini» (Rome) [IT], Världskulturmuseet (Göteborg) [SE], Linden-Museum Stuttgart [DE], Museo de América (Madrid) [ES], Museum für Völkerkunde (Vienne) [AT], Nàprstek’s Muzeum (Prague) [CZ]

FUNDING:

4.840.000 €

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