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Participation, Provenance, Presentation

Like many ethnological museums, the Linden-Museum is undergoing a process of transformation. In an increasingly diverse society, we must renegotiate the role and relevance of ethnological museums. The support provided through the Initiative for Ethnological Collections enables us to experimentally develop the basis for a new orientation. Following the principle of the laboratory, we develop and test new forms of museum knowledge production, mediation, and presentation in eight LindenLABs.

Selected collections and objects help us to address different aspects of social inequality and the effects of (post-)colonial structures in museums. Some of the LABs work on questions using a regional example, others focus on the work behind the scenes. All LABs deal with overarching themes: practices of ethnographic collecting, colonial structures and their aftermath in the present, the distribution of authority for interpretation in museums, and the role of ethnological museums today. For this purpose, we combine participatory formats with research on the origin of the collections in order to reveal and reflect on their entanglements. In this way, an innovative and experimental space is created in the museum, which enables an intensive exchange with actors - representatives of the source communities, members of the diverse urban society of Stuttgart, scientists, artists and designers.

Together we question existing structures from within and create multi-voiced presentations. This experimental and procedural approach also means that any conclusions reached can change over the course of the project, as we repeatedly review and advance what we have learnt and experienced. The process and results will be presented from spring 2020 onwards. Ultimately, the results will also be incorporated into new permanent exhibitions. They form the basis for the new museum concept in a future new building.

Overview of the eight LABs:

LAB 1: Museums and indigenous communities: New forms of cooperation
Focus: Kayan/Kayaw (Myanmar)

LAB 2: New ways to mediate provenance research
Exemplified by the collection areas selected for the LABs

LAB 3: Historical collections, contexts, and connections
Focus: Oceania

LAB 4: Entangled: Stuttgart - Afghanistan. Relationships in the past and present
Focus: Afghanistan

LAB 5: (in) relationships - challenging / (un)learning / breaking open

LAB 6: New forms of "heritage" in museums: what do we bring into the future?
Focus: Cameroon, Bertram Collection

LAB 7: Shared history, migration and restitution
Focus: Mapuche (Chile)

LAB 8: Ethnographic openings

Further information on

Project Coordination:
Henrike Louise Hoffmann
Tel. +49.172.4720579

The LindenLAB is funded by the Ethnological Collections Initiative of the German Federal Cultural Foundation.