Sharing the Ride: Stuttgart, Cameroon
Paper short abstract:
This paper focuses on the theoretical and methodological relevance of a collaborative research, acquisition, and networking project focused on the Linden-Museum's Cameroonian collections.
Paper long abstract:
For the past year and a half, I have been sharing the process of getting acquainted with the histories of the African collections of the Linden-Museum and the path leading to a new concept for their permanent exhibition with the ten representatives of the African diaspora in Germany who give life to the ABRAC (Advisory Board for the Representation of African Collections). Our dialogue is a means for us to regularly share activities, knowledges, experiences, concerns, and perspectives with the common view to enhance the social relevance of African heritages in Europe. This paper focuses on the theoretical and methodological relevance of a collaborative research, acquisition, and networking project focused on the Linden-Museum's Cameroonian collections. The project entailed a journey to Cameroon aimed to explore Hans-Joachim Koloß's (curator for the Africa collections at the Linden-Museum Stuttgart between 1973 and 1985) research relations with the Oku Kingdom in Northwest Cameroon. Koloß's collections from the region are a relevant focus of the museum's permanent exhibition, and they have been especially occasioned by his membership in the kwifon, Oku's most important male secret society. Travelling back to Oku together with Stone Karim Mohamad, one of the Cameroonian members of the ABRAC, meant breaking a long-standing vision of the curator as the sole protagonist of the interpretation and selection processes that lead to the creation of museum collections and their exhibition, and experimenting a methodology which grants the members of heritage communities access and participation in the same processes.
Museums in transformation: linking places and people through migratory objects