21 July 2014

Africa Accessioned Project call for working group members

MEG is calling for any Africanists among our members to sit on the working group for the project Africa Accessioned. The Africa Accessioned project was initiated by the International Committee of Museums of Ethnography (ICME) which is working in partnership with the Southern African Development Community Heritage Association (SADCHA). The Africa Accessioned project has just started and is currently setting up a working group with two representatives from each county that is involved. 

The Africa Accessioned project was launched to coincide with International Museum Day 2014 - 'Museum Collections Make Connections'. The project aims to identify ethnographic collections in four different European countries that have links to four southern African countries. 

The project will also look at possible connections between collections in the African countries and museums and communities in Europe - for example, the David Livingstone Centre in Blantyre, Scotland might make links with the Livingstone Museum in Zambia. The four African countries that will be covered are: Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and the four European countries are: Britain, Finland, Germany and Sweden. 

The first task of the working group will be to develop a questionnaire for circulation to the museums in the eight countries involved so that we can establish an initial 'map' of potential connections that will form a network for further dialogue. The conversation will enable source communities to provide greater historical depth regarding the intangible cultural heritage and geographical places which can provide a more complete biography of an object in a collection. The use of collections to forge contemporary links between different places can also provide the basis for other forms of cultural exchange. As many ethnographic collections were formed during the colonial period such international exchanges can stimulate and inform debates about contemporary issues and emphasis the ways in which some traditions might endure, whilst others have faded or evolved. 

If you would be interested in being a member of the working group and would like to know more about the project please contact Jeremy Silvester for more information. 

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