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Beyond the objects: decolonising work in scicomm and museums - Part 1

Commitment: Equity & inclusion

After a first session on decolonising museums at the 2019 Ecsite Conference 2019 in Copenhagen and a webinar for Ecsite Online in 2020, we would like to continue the discussion: decolonising museums, collections and education programmes remains important. In this session, we would like to set a greater focus on co-operating and co-creating with people from source communities in their home countries and in the diaspora, minorities, or marginalised groups. We will present case studies, where not just people from the museum in the Global North present their efforts, but where we have teams of presenters / speakers from both the Global North side and the side whose voice was previously not listened to.

This is the first part of that session, part two is here.


Curator Text and Language
Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz
Amparo Leyman Pino
San Francisco
United States

Session speakers

Dr. Elizabeth Rasekoala
African Gong- the Pan-African Network for the Popularisation of Science & Technology, and Science Communication
South Africa
Liz and Gabi Zipf will discuss the deep-rooted challenges inherent in the development and sustainability of inclusive, win-win, equitable partnerships between mainstream institutions and excluded communities in the realisation of the decolonisation agenda.
Gabriele Zipf Futurium
Head of Exhibitions at Futurium
In conversation with Liz Rasekoala.
Project director / researcher
Ethnological Museum of Berlin
Mariam will talk about the project “Can Heritage Objects Represent a Home?”, undertaken in Berlin's Ethnological Museum to study its Syrian collection with participatory methods. The project aimed to make the collection known to Syrians, primarily those in exile in Germany, and to engage them in the project as partners. Mariam, originally herself from Syria, acted as the project lead inside the museum. She thus represents both a Western institution and the Syrian diaspora.
Curator of Education
Unfortunately canceled! During Hamburg Pride 2020, which was partly canceled due to Corona, MARKK presented four stories from different regions for children and young people, which tell of queer characters. The program wanted to deconstruct the understanding of the binary gender system that is Eurocentric and sexist, instead showing stories from communities in Indonesia, India and North America where people believed in five or three genders, before missionaries during colonialism suppressed this belief. In this session Rilando June Lamadjido will talk about the process of creating the concept and organising the project. She will also be talking about challenges that she and her team managed to overcome and the ones that they are still trying to overcome.
Head of Collections and Exhibitions
Manchester Museum, the University of Manchester
United Kingdom
Together with Alex Alberda and Craig Ritchie, the newly appointed Curator of Indigenous Perspectives from the Manchester Museum will talk about their Indigenising Manchester Museum programme and particularly how that follows on from the unconditional repatriation of 43 secret sacred and ceremonial objects from Manchester to their Traditional Owners in 2019-20. Their talk will discuss how these relationships, between the museum, AIATSIS, and Traditional Owners, continue to build and seek reconciliation after repatriation.
woman with long brown hair and brown eyes smiling
Curator of Indigenous Perspectives
Manchester Museum (University of Manchester)
United Kingdom
In conversation with George Young and Craig Ritchie.
Chief Executive Officer
Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
In conversation with Alex Alberda and George Young.
Tibisay profile photo
Researcher & Community Engagement Coordinator
Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studiesl
Tibisay will speak about the co-creation of the international exhibition Caribbean Ties. Caribbean island partners collaborated to develop a common story about indigenous Caribbean heritage based on scientific research, that is presented in 6 languages and adapted for locally relevant narratives.
International Affairs Officer
A focus on the “Africa2020” cultural season whose aim is to invite the French public to understand the world from an African perspective. Presentation of Universcience projects and methodology developed within this context, totally upset by the Covid crisis. Caroline will be joined by Devina Lobine, post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Mauritius and particularly engaged in the promotion of STEM in Africa, who actively participated in the projects developed by Universcience in the framework of the "Africa2020 Season".
Post -doctoral fellow
University Of Mauritius
In conversation with Caroline Turré.
Museum of Us
San Diego, Californai
United States
This presentation will share ongoing decolonizing initiatives work at the Museum of Us from two very different perspectives. Eva Trujillo will discuss her lived experience as a Kumeyaay woman and the team member primarily responsible for the consultation and repatriation process with Indigenous communities. Micah Parzen will discuss his lived experience as a White man and the team member primarily responsible for paving the way with non-Indigenous stakeholders. Together, they offer insight into how their respective efforts are critical complements in any decolonial process.
Eva Trujillo
Cultural Resources Manager NAGPRA
Museum of Us
San Diego
United States
In conversation with Micah Parzen.