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Words by Loretta Paderni

CREATIVE STUDY LAB - Creating Shared Futures through Contested Heritages

Museo delle Civiltà – Museo Preistorico Etnografico “Luigi Pigorini”

 21 October 2021 Rome and online

It is an increasingly widely held view that environmental crises and injustices are correlated to forms of racial discriminations, which are both rooted in colonial domination and in the imbalances of power and access to resources that this historical legacy has generated. Putting at the centre of reflection difficult memories linked to colonialism and adopting a post-colonial perspective can therefore generate a rethinking of the historical and social assets created, and contribute to achieving forms of reparation for the past.

The event is organised within the framework of the project TAKING CARE - Ethnographic and World Cultures Museums as Spaces of Care which explores the connections between ethnographic collections and questions regarding the climate crisis, the Anthropocene and issues related to the afterlives of colonialism ( These museums speak directly to the urgent and defining challenges of the twenty-first century – planetary precarity, inequality, and the futures of plural democracies – and are at the forefront of the search for possible strategies in response to growing questions about the success or failure of Europe's multicultural polities, as we now know them.

What role do ethnographic museums play in dealing with difficult memories and in enabling the dissemination of values of social and environmental justice? In what ways can these museums mobilise their collections and histories in shaping more convivial and equitable futures?

The aim of the workshop will be to reflect on the theme “Care in a World We Share with Others/Caring in a Precarious World” and to exchange experiences and perspectives of past or ongoing projects that have created or intend to create museum narratives shared with audiences (diasporas, source communities, artists, activists, stakeholders) starting from contested heritages, difficult memories, colonial legacies.


09:00 Registration

09:30  Welcome and Introduction:
Loretta Paderni | Museo delle Civiltà

09:45  Theoretical introduction Keynote speech: Gaia Giuliani | University of Coimbra
Privilege, Resistance and Care in a time of catastophre

10:45   Coffee Break

11:00 PANEL 1 Collaborating through collections: worldwide networks and co-operations with source communities

Keynote speech
Maria Camilla De Palma | Castello D’Albertis Museo delle Culture del Mondo
DECOLONIZE AND CHILL. Refocusing museums on people, values and equity relationships

Monica Galassi | University of Technology Sydney (UTS)
Aboriginal archives in Italy. A space for reciprocal collaboration

Zelda Franceschi, Caterina Fidanza | Università di Bologna
Art, craftsmanship, indigenous artefacts. Giving back what? To whom? From Guido Boggiani to Ogwa Flores Balbueno

Chair: Claudio Mancuso | Museo delle Civiltà Q&A

12:45   Lunch Break

14:00 PANEL 2 Collections under scrutiny: artists, activists, outsiders

Keynote speech
Giulia Grechi | Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera
Can a wound be exposed? Posthumous coloniality and decolonial (after)life in museums

Carine Ayélé Durand | Musée d’ethnographie de Genève
Implementing the Principal of Free, Prior and Informed Consent as a museum practice. The case of the Environmental Injustice-Indigenous Peoples’ Alternatives exhibition

Cristina Da Milano | ECCOM - European Centre for Cultural Organisation and Management
Contested Desires

Ralf Čeplak Mencin | Slovenski etnografski muzej
Kanika Gupta, an Indian activist-in-residence in SEM

 Chair: Anna Maria Pecci | Museo delle Civiltà Q&A

16:00 Coffee Break

16:15 PANEL 3 Building plural narratives from contested heritages: dialogues with diasporas and stakeholders

Keynote speech
Sandra Ferracuti | Università degli Studi di Udine
Stone Karim Mohamad | ABRAC Advisory Board for the Representation of African Collections at the Linden-Museum Stuttgart
The ABRAC: You, and I. Tales from a heritage community of practice

Luigi Christopher Veggetti Kanku, Marzio Emilio Villa, Carolina Orsini | Museo delle Culture
No more tokenism?
The new Mudec permanent exhibition between participation and contestation

Annette Krämer | Linden-Museum Stuttgart
“Entangled: Stuttgart – Afghanistan” – Dialogues in pandemic times"

Tareke Brhane | Comitato 3 Ottobre
The Museum of Trust and Dialogue for the Mediterranean

Nadja Haumberger | Weltmuseum Wien
Re:presenting the museum

Chair: Rosa Anna Di Lella | Museo delle Civiltà Q&A

18:30 End of session

Pre-registration link here

Co-Author Rosa Anna Di Lella