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A black man hangs upside down in a dance Theo Eshetu 2020

Lives of Objects

Decoloniality and the Afterlife of Cultural Heritage Objects

In recent years, ongoing debates about the restitution of cultural heritage objects that were stolen within various colonial contexts have gained momentum in tandem with a general awareness about the prevalence of various social injustices throughout society. While these discussions have primarily involved scholars, academics and museum professionals, artists, activists, and community members have also played an important role in reconfiguring and complicating the discourse around decoloniality, restitution, and reparations.


Artistic Residencies

We have two artistic residencies as part of the Lives of Objects programme: Pamela Tulizo and Theo Eshetu. 

A black woman in the water with floating bouys Maji

Artistic Residency
Pamela Tulizo

Pamela Tulizo (Goma, 1993) is a trained journalist and artistic photographer who runs the cultural project space Tulizo Elle Space for women and girls in Goma in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. 

Still from video Atlas Fractured installed at documenta14 ©Theo Eshetu

Artistic Residency
Theo Eshetu

Theo Eshetu has worked in media art since 1982 exploring various formats from essay-films to large-scale video installations that explore how electronic media shape and inform global perceptions. 

Aztec-style logo for Virtual Gatherings in blue, yellow and green © Eno Inyangete

Events Series
Lives of Objects: Virtual Gatherings

This new series of events, Lives of Objects: Virtual Gatherings, aims to form a platform for exchange and discussion about the decades-long and ongoing efforts for the recovery of looted cultural heritage and ancestral belongings to their countries and communities of origin. Curated by Sofia Lovegrove, these Virtual Gatherings seek to dissect the multiple meanings of restitution and stimulate active discussion amongst cultural workers, researchers, artists and a community of participants. Moderated by Sherry Davis, the gatherings will consider and interrogate the complex issues at the crux of restitution work, exploring a range of African and Diasporic initiatives and research that offer alternative and critical ways of thinking and doing such work. 

Final Reste Supreme Museum Performance © Alun Be

Cultures of Equality
Practicing Freedom

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. Working with cultural practitioners, researchers, museum professionals, and existing collaborative initiatives and research programmes, we envision Practicing Freedom to consist of workshops, residencies, panel discussions, lectures, podcasts, artistic interventions, and a final exhibition and publication which will tie together the numerous threads of the project. We are currently thinking of Practicing Freedom as Phase 1 of the Lives of Objects greater project. 

An image of Gala and James with the logo Pieter Hugo and Eber Lee

Talking Culture #15: Lives of Objects: Gala Porras-Kim and James Webb

This is the first podcast episode of the Lives of Objects series, which is an extension of our Practicing Freedom project. We invited eminent artists Gala Porras-Kim and James Webb to discuss the ways in which we think about the lives of objects through an artistic lens, particularly those that carry historical, socio-political and spiritual importance.