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Managing the exhibition© Goethe-Institut Indonesien / Sancoyo Purnomo


Innovation, flexibility, participation, future viability – Museum work and the role of museums as social actors are increasingly in the focus of interest. In this area the Goethe-Institut is incorporating new perspectives on cultural education and international cooperation into a variety of projects.

Current projects

Final Reste Supreme Museum Performance © Alun Be

Cultural Heritage
Practicing Freedom – Regarding Decoloniality and the Afterlife of Cultural Heritage Objects

Practicing Freedom is a transcultural research and artistic project which aims to harness ongoing conversations and initiatives within the overriding concepts of decoloniality and restitution.

National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens © Anna Primou

Art education, intergenerative Learning
Across Generations – Learning from Art, Culture, and One Another

What potential do museums offer to intergenerational and heterogeneous visitor groups? The Across Generations project takes the dialogue between generations as its starting point, develops new methods for educational work at museums and contributes to the necessary diversification and inclusivity of cultural institutions.

Past projects

Zukunft Museum/Museum Futures © Bettina Kubanek

Event series
Zukunft Museum/Museum Futures (2022)

In a series of panel discussions, international experts address current issues and challenges that directly concern the future of the museum. The Goethe-Institut is organising this series of events together with its partners, Iwalewahaus in Bayreuth, Lenbachhaus in Munich and the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden.

MuseumFutures Africa Vumile Mavumengwana © Goethe-Institut

Museum management
MuseumFutures – change in African museums (2022)

The pan-African project “MuseumFutures Africa” promotes a conceptual change – away from European museology, with its partially colonial approach.

Sino-German Museum Conversations © Goethe-Institut China

Dialogue and cooperation
Sino-German Museum Conversations (2021–2022)

The Museum Conversations series between German and Chinese museums aims to establish a platform for discussion of topical issues relating to museum cooperation, with a focus on contemporary art, design and intercultural co-curation.

Stetl © Grigorij Heifez

Creating infrastructure
Belarus: Laboratory of Jewish Cultural Heritage

The Laboratory of Jewish Cultural Heritage contributes to the revival of Jewish cultural heritage in Belarus – with strategic planning of a museum, virtual securing of evidence at historic sites and popularisation of the Jewish culture.

International Museum Conference Rio © Felipe Varanda

Future concepts
International Museum Conference Rio de Janeiro (2022)

The National Museum in Rio de Janeiro suffered a major fire on 2nd September 2018. Since then, the German Foreign Office and the Goethe-Institut have been supporting them in their salvage work and the development of a concept for a new museum.

Dennis Opudo, Head of the Anthropological Department of the Nairobi National Museum, in the Museum's Ethnographic Collection Photo (detail): Gioia Forster © picture alliance

Colonial heritage
Kenya: International Inventories Programme – artworks between worlds (2021-2022)

The “International Inventories Programme” (IIP) is an international research, database and exhibition project that focuses on Kenyan artefacts that have been held in museums and collections outside the country since colonial times.

Cooperation Ethnological Museums Luanda Photo: Dralton Máquina © Goethe-Institut Angola

Researching, preserving and developing perspectives
Cooperation Ethnological Museums Luanda – Berlin (2018-2022)

The Ethnological Museum of Berlin houses one of the world's most important and oldest collections of Angolan art. It is closely linked to the collection of the Museu Nacional de Antropologia in Luanda.

Collecting Entanglements and Embodied Histories © Goethe-Institut Indonesien

South-East Asia and Germany: Collecting Entanglements and Embodied Histories (2019-2021)

The embodiment of history/ies in the diverse social contexts of South-East Asia and the West is at the heart of “Collecting Entanglements and Embodied Histories”.

Conference (Symbolic photo) Photo: varuna © Colourbox

Museum Academy Belarus (2019)

The Museum Academy brought specialists from museums, associations, educational establishments and public authorities from Belarus and Germany together to encourage dialogue about current developments on the international museum scene.

“Museum Conversations” 2019 in Namibia Photo (detail): CreativeLab for Goethe-Institut Namibia

Colonial heritage
Museum conversations (2018-2020)

In the “Museum conversations” series the Goethe-Institut brought together international museum experts to collaborate on the development of Africa’s museums of the future.

Heritage Deferred? Grafik: studio stg

Colonial heritage
Heritage Deferred? (2018)

The symposium Heritage Deferred? with case studies from China, Latin America, Oceania, and Namibia expanded the perspectives and offered a deeper explorations of how museums and collections may deal with these diverse emerging perspectives.

Museum of the Future © Goethe-Institut / Aarushi Surana

Role of museums
India: Museum of the Future (2017-2019)

What meaning does education have for the wellbeing of a society? Academics, museum specialists and other experts from Germany and India joined forces to investigate this issue.

Museal Episode Photo: Marcelo Resende

Future concepts
Museal Episode (2015-2017)

The international event series addressed the question of whether museums today continue to be appropriate spaces for presentation, documentation, mediation and archiving – or even for interaction between observer and object?

Installation view “Curvature of Events. Baroque. Romanticism. Video (2014)” 17.10.2014 - 04.ß1.2015. Galerie Neue Meister © Dresden State Art Collections, Photo: Martin Förster

Reversing the perspective
Curvature of Events. Baroque. Romanticism. Video (2014)

Many contemporary art exhibitions in African countries are developed by German or European curators from an ethnographic perspective. The project “Curvature of Events. Baroque. Romanticism. Video” reverses this perspective.

Why Museums Now? © Goethe-Institut Georgien / Gocha Nemsadze

International symposium
Tbilisi, Georgia: Why Museums Now? (2012)

How has the museum scene developed in the post-Soviet era? What new ideas are sparking the interest of directors, managers and architects from major museums in Europe, America and Asia? How are museums changing in the 21st century in the East and West?

MEEP © Goethe-Institut China

China – Germany: Museum Experts Exchange Program (MEEP) (2014-2016)

The three-year exchange programme between German and Chinese museums gave a number of museum employees the opportunity for in-depth exploration of the other country’s culture and museum scene.

Training courses and residencies

SAWA Museum Academy © Martina Kopp

Capacity building
SAWA Museum Academy

The SAWA Museum Academy is the first consistent transcultural capacity building programme for career starters at museums in Arab-speaking countries and Germany.

Master Arts and Cultural Management Photo: Goethe-Institut/Loredana La Rocca

Distance learning degree course
Arts and Cultural Management (M.A.)

The professional distance learning degree in Arts and Cultural Management, which is delivered in English, is aimed at cultural experts worldwide.

APIK © Goethe-Institut Indonesien

Training programme
APIK – organising an exhibition in Indonesia

How do I organise an exhibition? What do I have to consider? The APIK training programme prepares exhibition makers from Indonesia for the challenges encountered in this profession.

Jumper (Scribble) © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Residency programme
London: Goethe V&A residency

Every two years, the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) and the Goethe-Institut London welcome an artist to their residency programme to work with the V&A’s collection investigating a particular theme.

Learning German in the museum Photo: Goethe-Institut Georgien

Museum education
Georgia: Learning German in the museum

The Goethe-Institut Georgia has developed content packages for children and young adults in cooperation with the Georgian National Museum, which can be used to teach German in the museum.

MOOC Managing the Arts Photo: Loredana LaRocca

Training course
MOOC Managing the Arts (2015/2016)

More than 24,000 participants from 175 countries took part in the free-of-charge online course in cultural management spanning three months, which was provided by the Goethe-Institut and the Leuphana University of Lüneburg.

Themes and discourses

Practicing Freedom – The Afterlives of Objects © Michelle Eistrup: Ntanga Zuzu (All Suns Forever), Opening in Huts | 2019

Practicing Freedom
The Afterlives of Objects

With a series of events entitled The Afterlives of Objects we seek to inquire and interrogate publicly with and among different stakeholders, communities, artists and activist initiatives about the possibility of redress and awareness.

The Moving Museum © The Moving Museum

Practicing Freedom
The Moving Museum – Film screening

The video essay The Moving Museum by Theo Eshetu follows the process of moving the collections of the Ethnological Museum and the Museum of Asian Art into the Humboldt Forum Berlin.

Museum Dialogues © Goethe-Institut Rio de Janeiro

Museum Conference Rio de Janeiro
Museum Dialogues

As part of the anniversary celebrations of the National Museum/UFRJ, the Goethe-Institut, in partnership with the National Museum and institutions in Germany and South America, promoted the virtual event “MUSEUMS IN DIALOGUE - Cooperation and connections to society”.

“Invisible Inventories”, Installation, 2018 Photo: Shift Collective

International Inventories Programme
Database is online!

With the opening of the exhibition “Invisible Inventories” at Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum in Cologne that database of the International Inventories Programme (IIP) will be launched.

REOPENING MUSEUMS: live on YouTube © Goethe-Institut

Museum Conference Rio de Janeiro

Two years after the devastating fire at the Museu Nacional/UFRJ in Rio de Janeiro a digital panel discussion is focusing on the risks and opportunities of reopening museum during the pandemic.

“Invisible Inventories”, Installation, 2018 Photo: Shift Collective

International Inventories Programme
Invisible Inventories - the Zine!

A catalogue of the exhibition project “Invisible Inventories” was published together with iwalewabooks (Bayreuth/Johannesburg) and Kwani (Nairobi).

Collecting Entanglements & Embodied Histories © Cecil Mariani

Online events

Follow the monthly discussions and videos of the project “Collecting Entanglements & Embodied Histories” on this channel.