TAKING CARE: Ethnographic and World Cultures Museums as Spaces of Care

The Chancellor, Masters And Scholars Of The University Of Oxford, England UK

Cooperation Projects

England

2019

Total project grant (euros)

2,000,000

Sub-programme

Culture

Funding scheme

Creative Europe

Call number

EACEA 34/2018

Location

Oxford

Number of partners in project

14

Lead organisation

Khm-Museumsverband, Austria

Partners

Culture Lab, Belgium

Institut De Cultura De Barcelona, Spain

Linden-Museum Stuttgart - Staatliches Museum Fur Volkerkunde, Germany

Musée Des Civilisations De L'europe Et De La Méditerranée, France

Musee Royal De L'Afrique Centrale, Belgium

Museo delle Civiltà, Italy

Museum am Rothenbaum, Germany

Nationalmuseet, Denmark

Slovenski Etnografski Muzej, Slovenia

Statens Museer For Varldskultur, Sweden

Separstichting Nationaal Museum Van Wereldculturen, Netherlands

The Chancellor Masters and Scholars of The University Of Cambridge, England UK

Alarming environmental shifts and crises have raised public awareness of and anxieties regarding the future of the planet. While planetary in cause and scale, the negative effects of this global crisis are unequally distributed, affecting most intensely some of the already most fragile, including indigenous and formerly colonised peoples and contributing to rising global insecurity and inequality. Some scholars have argued that these anxieties should be taken as connected with another prominent set of anxieties around the ‘announced’ failure of the plural democracies that have become commonplace in many countries across the world.

Taking Care places Ethnographic and World Cultures Museums at the centre of the search for possible strategies. The project is framed around the notion of care, and will explore under-tapped potential of these museums, for thinking critically about planetary pasts and about sustainable, convivial futures. Our claim is that World Culture Museums should no longer be conceived primarily as repositories of heritage to be preserved. They are places of encounter and practice, of social experimentation and innovation, of knowledge and skills, where diverse ways of knowing and being in and with the world, and narratives of diversity can be (re)discovered, co-created and publicly shared.

Within Europe, such caring/careful (full of care) spaces are needed more than ever.The project is organised around a set of interlinked/articulated themes, along a scale that starts from the museum as a site for care, opening towards thinking about the caring for the planet and its future, then on questions related to the unequal sharing of heritage resources and restitution. These themes will be explored in a shared programme of workshops, artist-based research, creative residencies and exhibitions, small-scale lab meetings, and collaborative publications, working through a range of participatory models, from small-group, hands-on sessions to wider public events.

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