Decolonizing the Africa Museum in Tervuren. Turns of the decolonizing debate

Maandag 27 Mei 2019, 20:00 - 21:30

How to decolonize a colonial museum? The reopening of the Africamuseum in Tervuren (Brussels) – founded by Leopold II - became the object of fierce debate. Anthropologist Bambi Ceuppens, the commissioner of the Museum’s renovation, was at the center. (Ex-)colonials wanted more respect for Belgium’s colonial heritage, others found the decolonizing half-hearted. Ceuppens will discuss problems and possible solutions. The reopening of the Africamuseum Tervuren (Brussels) last year led to fierce debates. For decades the museum – founded by King Leopold II (1908) and world-famous for its collection of Congolese objects - had become severely contested because of its marked colonial profile. The main issue for the renovation was therefore whether it should be ‘decolonized’ and how this could be realized. Dr. Bambi Ceuppens, senior researcher at the Museum and commissioner for the renovation was at the center of this debate. Criticisms came from all sides, from (ex-) colonials who still cherish Belgium’s colonial heritage, from others who wanted to maintain the museum rather as a memorial to the colonial horrors, and by people who thought the decolonizing did not go far enough. Bambi Ceuppens will discuss the problems and the solutions that were tried out. The discussants will compare with the thorny path of decolonizing in the Netherlands. In samenwerking met Onderzoeksgroep Globalizing Cultures (Anthropology UvA - Decolonial Lecture Series), FMG and Africa Museum Tervuren. Please register


Locatie Universiteit van Amsterdam Spui25
Spui 25-27