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The Transforming Museum And Its Publics – Roundtable on museums in post/colonial societies

In the past, in Europe as much as in Africa, many museums and their exhibitions were catering to white European publics. In the globalized and postmigrant societies of today the colonial collections, with their painful histories and controversial present, draw together actors and groups that are affected in different ways by their sheer presence in the museums, the histories they embody, and the controversies that unfold around them.

The shift from “serving” to “creating publics” is a radical one and has to take place across national, cultural and social boundaries. It demands to go beyond hegemonic notions of inclusion and asks to transform the museum into a space of new epistemic and ontological happenings.

This panel will address the challenges museums in post/colonial societies face when they engage in transforming the museum radically. How can persisting forms of coloniality be overcome? How can different publics and their demands be addressed and met, be it local publics and stakeholders on site, so-called source communities around the world, or African diasporic communities in Europe and the States?


Ciraj Rassool (University of the Western Cape)

Martin Zillinger (University of Cologne)

Prof. Dr. Wayne Modest (Content National Museum of World Cultures and the Wereldmuseum Rotterdam)

Dr. El-Hajj Malick Ndiaye ( Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar)

Nanette Snoep (Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum Cologne)

Dr. of Mary Mbewe University of the Western Cape)


Global South Studies Center (GSSC), University of Cologne

The event is sponsored by the City of Cologne and the Volkshochschule Köln.


The Transforming Museum And Its Publics – Roundtable on museums in post/colonial societies


Jun 02 2023




FORUM Volkshochschule am Neumarkt


Eintritt frei

Program area

European Conference on African Studies (ECAS)
  • Language: English


Podiumsdiskussion / Vortrag / Lesung