Next phase of exemplary partnership between SPK and Museums Association of Namibia starts

News from 05/24/2022

Objects travel from Berlin to Namibia – long-term, collaborative research process with cultural heritage communities, artists and scientists

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SPK-Präsident Hermann Parzinger, Esther Moombolah/Gôagoses (Direktorin des National Museum of Namibia), Kuratorin Julia Binter, Botschafter von Namibia Martin Andjaba (v.l.n.r.) © SPK / photothek.net / Thomas Imo

23 objects from the collection of the Ethnologisches Museum of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin will travel to Namibia on May 27 as part of the collaborative research project "Confronting Colonial Pasts, Envisioning Creative Futures" with the Museums Association of Namibia (MAN). These include historical everyday items, jewellery, tools and fashion. They were selected by a Namibian group of experts for their particular historical, cultural and aesthetic significance. Heritage communities, scholars and artists in Namibia will conduct in-depth research on these objects and the collections at the National Museum of Namibia, reactivating them with their knowledge. Moreover, the objects will serve as a source of inspiration for Namibian artists and, thus, help to envision a creative future. The objects’ journey to Windhoek marks a milestone in this project, as does the opening of the Museum of Namibian Fashion in Otjiwarongo on June 1st, 2022.

"Confronting Colonial Pasts, Envisioning Creative Futures" is funded by the Gerda Henkel Stiftung. In the first project phase, which will conclude with the travel of the 23 objects to Namibia, the focus was on strengthening the Namibian museum landscape. The storage facilities of the National Museum of Namibia were renovated and a conservator and a museologist were hired to inventory the collection there. Likewise, the Museum of Namibian Fashion in Otjiwarongo, which will open on June 1st of this year, was founded from this total of 400,000 euros in funding. The Gerda Henkel Stiftung is supporting the second phase, which consists of in-depth research on the Berlin and Namibian collections with heritage communities, artists and scholars as well as an exhibition on the project at the National Art Gallery of Namibia - with an additional almost 300,000 euros. Most of the project funds are used for the work on site in Namibia.

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