Symposium Heritage Deferred?

Symposium: Heritage Deferred? Grafik: studio stg

22. and 23. November 2018

Museen Dahlem - Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Symposium: Heritage Deferred?


International Symposium organized by Goethe-Institut and Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz

The issue of unjustly appropriated objects and human remains within European museums and collections – as well as the demand for their return – is currently at the forefront of debates on the handling of colonial heritage. However, when these questions are approached from the perspective of the objects’ ‘countries of origin’, a different set of questions and concerns often emerge. These reflect the friction between a global economy and regional specificities that can be traced back to the colonial past. The symposium Heritage Deferred? (22 – 23 November 2018) organized by the Goethe-Institut and the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz draws on case studies from China, Latin America, Oceania, and Namibia in order to advocate for expanded perspectives and a deeper explorations of how museums and collections may deal with these diverse emerging perspectives. The symposium invites international museum experts to present their practices and approaches at the Dahlem Museums in Berlin. By fostering a discussion into the relationship between the history of museum collections and power relations, the symposium aims to critically unpack possibilities for undertaking joint action in addressing restitution and provenance.
Speakers include: Okwui Enwezor (NGA), Nydia Gutierrez (COL), Edmundo Pereira (BRA), Ema Tavola (FJI), Philip Jones (AUS), Goodman Gwasira (NAM), Monica Hanna (EGY), Richard Drayton (UK), Chika Okeke-Agulu (USA), Yannis Hamilakis (USA), Larissa Förster (DE), Bennett Kangumu (NAM), Nzila Marina Mubusisi (NAM), Eva Bentcheva (UK), Raphael Gross (DE), Christine Howald (DE), Susanne Leeb (DE), Barbara Plankensteiner (DE), Thomas Schnalke (DE), Jonathan Fine (DE).
This symposium is the fourth event in a series of workshops focusing on questions of museology, curatorial practice, and collection policies that were initiated in 2013 by the Goethe-Institut and the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz, which have taken place in Sydney, Wellington, São Paulo, and Johannesburg.
Partner: Technische Universität Berlin

Registration is required for the symposium. The evening event is open to the public without prior registration.

Thursday, November 22, 2018 (advance registration obligatory)
09:15: Registration
09:45: Welcome by Hermann Parzinger, president of the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz and Johannes Ebert, general secretary of the Goethe-Institut.
10:00: Introduction by Stefanie Peter, Goethe-Institut and Jonathan Fine, Ethnologisches Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
10:15–12:15: COLLECTING AND ITS RELATION TO POWER [Session I]. With Yannis Hamilakis (USA), Monica Hanna (Egypt), Philip Jones (Australia) Edmundo Pereira (Brazil), and Susanne Leeb (Lüneburg).
12:30–13:30: REMARKS ON THE DEBATE [Break Out Session A]. With Barbara Plankensteiner (Hamburg).
14:30–16:30: OPENING A DIALOGUE: DEFINING COLONIAL INJUSTICE IN CHINA [Session II]. With Susanne Knödel (Hamburg), Shuzhong He (China), Shouyong Pan (China), Zichao Yan (China), and Christine Howald (Berlin).

Evening event (no prior registration required)
19:00: Doors open
19:30–19:45: Welcome by Klaus-Dieter Lehmann, president of the Goethe-Institut and Lars-Christian Koch, director of the Ethnological Museum and the Asian Art Museum Berlin, and director of Collections at the Humboldt Forum Berlin. (German with live translation into English).

19:45–21:00: Panel discussion HERITAGE DEFERRED? COLONIALISM’S PAST AND PRESENT. With Okwui Enwezor (via video link), Chika Okeke-Agulu, Barbara Plankensteiner, and Ema Tavola. Moderated by Susanne Leeb. (English with live translation into German).
FRIDAY, November 23, 2018 (advance registration obligatory)
09:30: Registration
10.00–12:00: NAMIBIA: CURATING COLONIAL LEGACIES [Session III]. With Raphael Gross (Berlin), Goodman Gwasira Namibia), Bennett Kangumu (Namibia), Nzila Marina Mubusisi (Namibia), Thomas Schnalke (Berlin), and Larissa Förster (Berlin).
14:15–16:15: MATERIALITIES, COLONIAL AND POST-COLONIAL NARRATIVES [Session IV]. With Richard Drayton (UK), Nydia Gutierrez (Colombia), Chika Okeke-Agulu (USA), Ema Tavola (Fiji), and Eva Bentcheva (Munich)
16:30–18.30: A QUESTION OF TIME: COMING TO TERMS WITH THE COLONIAL ERA. RESULTS AND PROSPECTS. With Susanne Leeb (Lüneburg), Eva Bentcheva (Munich), Larissa Förster (Berlin), Christine Howald (Berlin), and other guests.

The symposium (22/11/2018: 09:30–17:00 and 23/11/2018: 10:00–18:00) is open to the public and will be in English. Advance registration by 20/11/2018 is necessary in order to attend. In order to register, please contact:
The evening event on 22/11/2018 is open to the public (without advance registration), with simultaneous translations into German and English.
For press accreditation and interview requests please contact: Hannah Cuvalo,

Partner: Technische Universität Berlin