, museums in Africa have started to play a key role
in national development, education and leisure, as well as improving interactions between
countries and regions through joint research and cooperation, having developed some strong
relations with museums in Europe over time.
African museums as custodians of heritage in the face
of past and present political dynamics
As one of the institutional custodians of heritage, museums in Africa have become centres
of power as well as attractions. They are now knowledge banks, voices of communities’
pride in their heritage
we will certainly find many instances of artists consciously adopting, adapting,
quoting, decomposing, critiquing, and even transgressing European avant-garde
strategies, creating work that dramatizes the restless intellectual encounters of
artists engaged in a continuously evolving project of subject formation. (Okeke-
Agulu 2001: 33)
This variety of artistic positions was very broad and would have been influenced by indivi-
dual artistic strategies, art patrons and collectors, as well as the respective political circum-
stances (Harney 2004). The artists
, Rosmarie: Erinnerte Geschichte – Inszenierte Geschichte. Aus-
stellungen und Museen in der Zweiten Moderne, Frankfurt a. M.: Suhr-
Benjamin, Walter: »Das Kunstwerk im Zeitalter seiner technischen Reprodu-
zierbarkeit«, in: ders., Illuminationen. Ausgewählte Schriften I, Frankfurt
a. M.: Suhrkamp 1977, S. 136–170.
Bennett, Tony: Culture. A Reformer’s Science, London: Sage 1998.
Bennett, Tony: The Birth of the Museum. History, Theory, Politics, London/
New York: Routledge 1995.
Beöthy, Balázs: »Performativity«, in: Curatorial Dictionary, siehe http://tran zit
ones they considered the best. All the regional parliamentarians were persuaded
to compose texts for the photos. Finally, twenty-four text/image combinations were
selected, of which twelve were to be displayed in Styria and twelve in Graz at loca-
tions chosen by readers (We couldn’t get permission for 2 of them in Graz and 4 in
Styria; decisions in 5 cases were based on political reasons). This type of approach
makes the artist into a kind of director who ensures that the course of the process is
followed and his plans are carried out. Each of the double panels
institutions, such as
in this case from the Uganda National Museum, is finding out how the cultural politics of
representation evokes memories which lead to truth and reconciliation. The elders’ parallel
functions of mediating and performing the healing actions in the mato-oput both transmitted
memories to the younger people and seemed to create a positive attitude change towards
peaceful co-existence. The most important elements of the museum work seemed to be
creating a space for dialogue and advocating the significant cultural sites of reconciliation.
This was the
. Or does the failure to sustain a relationship with communities
stem from the lack of political will and vision that prevents the government from paving
the way for museums and cultural heritage in the country to demonstrate their social rele-
vance? In today’s global village where people are revisiting knowledge constructed in the
modern, colonial and postcolonial periods, when Frantz Fanon’s (1963) seminal book, The
Wretched of the Earth, is re-read with nostalgia, it is no longer possible to rely on one linear
and agreed-upon (true) history. Some French
establishes that not only the architectural form of the
building shall be redefined, but that it is also necessary to develop a new concept
for the permanent exhibition, focused on the issues of modern military history. Fol-
lowing the basic definition of military history coined by Rainer Wohlfeil in the late
1960s, “this discipline of historical science is an inquiry into armed force as an in-
strument and means of politics and concerned with the problem of leadership in war
and peace. It considers war not just a pure military matter, but puts it in the context
Display of Culturally Purposeful Objects.“ In: Karp, Ivan;
Lavine, Steven D. (Hrsg.) Exhibiting Cultures. The Poetics and Politics
of Museum Display. Washington/ London, 33-41.
Beier, Rosmarie (Hrsg.) (2000) Geschichtskultur in der Zweiten Moderne.
Frankfurt am Main/ New York.
Beil, Christine (2003) Der ausgestellte Krieg. Präsentationen des ersten
Weltkrieges in deutschen Museen und Ausstellungen zwischen 1914 und
1939. Tübingen, (angekündigt).
Belcher, Michael (1991) Exhibitions in Museums. Leicester.
Benjamin, Walter (1977) Illuminationen. Frankfurt am Main
occupied Belgium twice in the
course of the 20th century, as enemies is totally devoid of sense today. For the young-
er generations, Germany is an ally within the European Union.
In the case of the Second World War, it is difficult to limit explanations to the
“daily” aspects of war and to forget about the more sensitive political aspects. That
is why we offer more than traditional guided tours about the interwar period and
the Second World War. Indeed, students can participate in a workshop about propa-
ganda, based on political bills from times of war and times
. In: Museumskunde 66 (2001), S. 67-72.
31 Vgl. Macdonald (wie Anm. 26).
32 Vgl. Ivan Karp: Introduction: Museums and Communities: The Politics of Public
Culture. In: ders., Christine M. Kreamer und Steven D. Lavine (Hg.): Museums and
Communities: The Politics of Public Culture. Washington/London 1992, S. 1-18.
33 Vgl. Ivan Karp and Steven D. Lavine (Hg.): Exhibiting Cultures: the poetics and
politics of museum display: Washington DC/London 1991; Sharon Macdonald. Ex-
hibitions of Power and Power of Exhibitions: an introduction to the politics of dis-