For several years there have been demands from Ojibwe and other Native American Nations to the Karl May Museum in Radebeul near Dresden: several scalps that are in the museum collection should be returned. The museum had agreed to the repatriation of the human remains last year, but has now revoked this.
Red Haircrow, Native author and activist in Berlin, writes the following:
“The Karl May Museum is absolutely in the wrong, and no amount of their posturing, blustering or supposed concern for “doing the right thing” makes their attitude okay. They’re wrong. The scalp(s) need to be returned. This is an yet another ugly example of how the collecting of “native goods/items/remains” or cultural appropriation through Indian hobbyists or by museums and the like can cause international issues and continue historic trauma to Native Americans or other indigenous peoples.”
Beyond the Karl May Museum, there is also a current debate in Dresden about the handling of human remains in state museums, including in the Saxon Parliament through two small questions(here and here).
NOTfest for the Berlin Palace/Humboldt Forum on 11/12.6.2015
Invitation of the campaign alliance No Humboldt 21!
While some have been robbed of everything, others present the treasures of the world.
While some are still waiting for an apology for Germany’s first genocide, others are rebuilding the palace of Prussian slave traders and genocides.
While the bones of some are still being researched today, others honor the grave robber Humboldt and praise the European Enlightenment, science and humanity.
While some die in the Mediterranean, others invite the whole world to their castle.
Thursday, 11.6. at 22:30
Schinkelplatz at the Berlin Palace/Humboldt Forum
Event supported by transparent-lichtdesign / Ingo Stahl-Blood
Friday, 12.6. from 11 to 15:30
Pleasure garden at the Berlin Palace/Humboldt Forum
“THEY celebrate in white, WE mourn in black”.
Protest rally with speeches, poetry, spoken word art and singing
Contact: Tahir Della | 015254217327 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Christian Kopp | 1799 100976 | email@example.com
[Update to this blog post under Receipt of Bones Boycotted].
Joint Press Release of the International NGO Alliance “Genocide has no statute of limitations!” and the Central Council of the African Community in Germany
For Whites Only?
Germany excludes descendants of colonized people and critical public from return of further stolen bones to Namibia in Berlin Charité. 120 NGOs demand apology and reparations for colonial land theft and genocide in Namibia. Central Council of the African Community in Germany demands return of all bones and cultural treasures appropriated in Africa.
glokal is part of the alliance against the Humboldt Forum in the Berlin Palace. While criticism has so far been voiced more digitally, e.g. in a resolution that has already been signed by over 70 organizations and over 500 individuals, a series of exciting events around criticism of the Humboldt Forum will take place this fall. On 22.10. a central event will take place in the Werkstatt der Kulturen on the topic of “Prussian Cultural Heritage? Postcolonial and Development Perspectives on the Humboldt Forum – Dealing with Cultural Assets and Human Remains from the Colonial Era”. held. On 24.10. launches a series of dialogue forums with the event “No amnesty on Genocide!” at the House of Democracy.
On the political level, there was in the meantime a small inquiry of the Green Party Berlin to the Berlin Senate on the postcolonial discussion of the Humboldt Forum. Dr. Kwame Opuko questions the Berlin Senate’s response in a detailed article, “Did Germans Never Directly or Indirectly Hear Nigeria’s Demand for Return of Looted Artifacts?” and criticizes both the handling of colonial looted artifacts and the hypocritical political rhetoric.
Finally, we draw your attention to an open exchange of letters between Frank Holl and the No Humboldt 21! alliance. In his letter, the Humboldt biographer accused the campaign of portraying Alexander von Humboldt as a representative of European colonialism while suppressing his anti-colonial positions. In a letter of response, the alliance partners of No Humboldt 21! show in detail why its quotations, activities and basic attitude must very well be problematized from a postcolonial perspective.
We were recently in Munich for a workshop and were made aware of the Völkerkundemuseum. The museum celebrates 150 this year. The company is celebrating its 50th birthday with a new slogan: “Weltoffen seit 1862” (“Open to the world since 1862“). Given the close involvement of ethnologists with colonial conquest and exploitation as well as with race theory, such a slogan is more than cynical. While most ethnological museums refuse to return so-called collection items to their countries of origin, Munich’s Museum of Ethnology is celebrating its birthday with an exhibitionentitled “Network Exoticism“. The elementary connection between racism and exoticization is not only ignored. Through its cosmopolitan slogan, the Ethnological Museum actively rewrites history and denounces its own entanglement in violent history.
A week later in Göttingen, we stopped by the Institute of Zoology and Anthropology. Here the ethnological proximity to biologistic ideas is even anchored in the name.