Decolonize your gaze Photo (detail): picture alliance / Frank May Photo (detail): picture alliance / Frank May

How Colonial Are Your Travel Pictures?

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Survivor of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, Sylvestre Sendacyeye, speaks in the Johannesburg Holocaust & Genocide Centre about the importance of genocide education. Photographed next to a powerful exhibition installation of clothing and other items from victims of the genocide. Photo (detail): Anthea Pokroy © Johannesburg Holocaust & Genocide Centre
The Johannesburg Holocaust & Genocide Centre

Painful Pasts as a Catalyser

Based on their past experiences, South Africans tend to see all human rights violation through the prism of ‘white vs black’. The Johannesburg Holocaust & Genocide Centre remind that racism is beyond the colour line.

Talking about the museum of tomorrow © CreativeLab for Goethe-Institut Namibia
"Museum Conversations" 2019 in Windhoek

It’s About the People

The African cultural infrastructure is presently at a turning point. Klaus-Dieter Lehmann, president of the Goethe-Institut, highlights the positive and mutual interest in the urgent questions of postcolonial museum work in his keynote address at the opening of the final international Museum Conversations conference in Windhoek.

The rainforest is on fire: smoke and flames in the Amazon region near Porto Velho. Photo (detail): © picture alliance/Reuters/Bruno Kelly
Climate change and Neocolonialism

Climate colonialism as a new power structure

Wasteful use of the earth’s resources is a leading cause of environmental disasters, and the wealthy industrialized countries are benefiting from the exploitation of developing countries.

Human remains of the Moriori and Mâori will be covered with a cloth in a ceremonial ceremony on 18.05.2017 at the Übersee-Museum in Bremen. Photo (detail): Carmen Jaspersen © dpa
Controversial cultural artefacts

Bought, stolen, gifted, swapped, loaned?

​The restitution debate is creating quite an impact. And yes, it’s essential for it to be held – as publicly and passionately as possible, says Prof. Dr. Wiebke Ahrndt, Director of the Übersee-Museum Bremen.

The Prince of Wales watches a traditional dance in the Ugandan capital Kampala during a Commonwealth Meeting Photo (detail): Lewis Whyld © dpa
Intangible heritage

Invite the elders to the schools!

Is the orally transmitted cultural heritage of Africa in danger? An interview with Abiti Nelson, curator of ethnography and history at the Uganda Museum.

The artist Ndidi Dike on the opportunities Africa offers. Photo (detail): © Oleg Stepanov
Video interview

The chance of the continent

“Not everything good must necessarily come from the West”: The artist Ndidi Dike on the opportunities offered by the African continent – and why we should deal more closely with production conditions.

Art gallery and music shop in the historical Pelurinho District of Salvador Bahia Photo (detail): Lou Avers © picture alliance

Against Western thought patterns

Decolonisation has become a thing in the European cultural environment. The only question is how sustainable this development is.

Nanjira Sambuli Photo (detail): © Goethe-Institut
Video interview

Doesn't that ever stop?

The Internet reproduces the historical problems of our society: sexism and colonial patterns. Net activist Nanjira Sambuli fights for technologies against these traditional ideologies.

Achille Mbembe Photo: Erick Christian Ahounou
Achille Mbembe

“Why do we believe that difference is a problem?”

The Cameroonian philosopher Achille Mbembe talks about xenophobia, nationalism, the place of the foreigner, the dangers of “single cultures” and spaces for articulating difference.

Hendrick Fourmile, member of the Gimuy Walubara Yidindji, holds a traditional smoking ceremony at the Museum Five Continents during the ceremony to return the remains of an indigenous Australian. Photo (detail): Matthias Balk © picture alliance
Video interview

The museum inside-out

Are ethnological museums in the global North simply collections of colonial booty, as some critics have claimed since the end of the 20th century? In response to this accusation, Professor Nicholas Thomas, Director of the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology at Cambridge University, also demonstrates a different kind of museum work.

Nanjira Sambuli, Digital Equality Advocacy Manager for the World Wide Web Foundation, speaks during a press briefing on the report of the High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation, at the UN headquarters in New York, on June 10, 2019 Photo (detail): picture alliance/Photoshot

Equality in the Digital Age

The Challenges and Opportunities Ahead – an interview with Nanjira Sambuli: The policy analyst and digital equality advocate spells out the steps necessary for bridging the knowledge gap in the digital age.

A sea of flags Photo (detail): © picture alliance/Bildagentur-online
Rethinking international relations

How the Global South can protect itself from digital exploitation

Not everyone benefits equally from the internet by a long way: the Global South gets exploited by American and Chinese digital platforms in particular. To rein in this dynamic, affected regions of the world should be able to apply tariffs or prioritise their own economies, experts are demanding.

Mario Pfeiffer’s video installation “again” focuses on an incident in Saxony, where villagers presumably tied a refugee to a tree. Photo (detail): © picture alliance/Carsten Koall/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa
Anti-colonial Art

We Don’t Need Another Hero

The art world expected great things from the tenth edition of the Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art – the first to be curated by an African woman. But the show refused to produce a simplified and linear narrative of colonialism. 

Australian Aboriginal artist Turkey Tolson Tjupurrula at work. Photo (detail): © picture alliance / Mint Images
Non-European Art

“We don't want to be like you”

Western art museums rarely exhibit contemporary, indigenous art. Ethnologist Mona Suhrbier believes that the art world has to rethink how it approaches the unfamiliar.

MARIANA CASTILLO DEBALL | "NEWSPAPER WORKS" In: SOUTH AS A STATE OF MIND #7 [DOCUMENTA 14 #2] 2016, S. 76-77. Photo (detail): © Courtesy Mariana Castillo Deball
Global North

Learning from the South

Quinn Latimer, Editor-in-Chief of documenta 14 Publications, speaks about the South as a learning process, documenta’s public programme taking place in Athens and language as a liberating act.

Lieutenant General Lothar von Trotha, who was responsible for the Herero massacre, with his unit in the then colony of German South-West Africa in 1904; Photo (detail): © Bundesarchiv

The Past Is Never Dead

Germany’s colonial past entails a considerable burden of responsibility that continues to this day. This is evident in debates about ethnological collections, the renaming of streets – and in the question of how to deal with guilt.

Gabi Ngcobo Photo (detail): Carsten Koall © picture alliance

“We are all postcolonial“

“I live in South Africa, in a so-called ‘post-apartheid society’.” A conversation with the curator Gabi Ngcobo about ways to reconsider history and memory.

Today, many of the big challenges that governments face are international, including the climate crisis and financial stability. No nation state can manage these things on its own. Photo (detail): © picture alliance /ZUMAPRESS.com/Guillaume Payen
Postcolonial world order

International community must develop in global cooperation

The Colonial Era is generally considered to have ended in the final years of the past millennium. Though many former colonies are now among the least developed countries, it would be a mistake to blame this state of affairs entirely on Colonialism.

Fusion Food: Exchange or Appropriation? Foto (Detail): Paolo Bendandi/Unsplash Foto (Detail): Paolo Bendandi/Unsplash

"Fusion Food" - Exchange or Appropriation?

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Do we really live in an era of post-colonialism? © picture alliance / Westend61 © picture alliance / Westend61

Do We Really Live in the Era of Postcolonialism?

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How much cultural appropriation is in your tattoo? Photo (detail): © picture alliance/Westend61 Photo (Ausschnitt): © picture alliance/Westend61

When is a tattoo culturally appropriated?

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Projects on the subject discourses