Collections from Africa finding a broader audience

By on April 20, 2018

Africa pågår/Ongoing Africa is a current project at the Museum of Ethnography in Stockholm, which explores what cultural heritage from the African continent means and how it can be used today. Now we are moving from the more internal processes by opening a new dialogue space at the museum. Together with visitors, researchers and artists, we want to explore and highlight new perspectives. The ambition is to make the collections from Africa more relevant for a broader and more engaged audience.

We are currently creating a showroom / dialogue space where various temporary exhibits, activities and events can take place. Here we will try out various ways to activate the object collections and stimulate interesting encounters with our visitors.

– This project is not easy to define – and that’s also the idea, says project manager Bianca Leidi. By means of program series, workshops, artistic exploration of our collections and new school programs, the project is constantly evolving. Together with us, visitors will also be able to socialize and reflect on the issues in the exhibition. There is also space for dance and music.

The project also entails outreach and collaborative activities with counterparts like Afro-Swedish associations, Tensta konsthall and Slöjd Stockholm.

– The name Afrika pågår /Ongoing Africa describes the project’s ambition to assume a continent of infinite diversity and restless change, says Michael Barrett, Curator for Africa at the Swedish National Museums of World Culture. But it is also about the many possible ways we may approach and activate the historical collections, archives, exhibitions and topics that our museums care for.

The dialogue exhibition Afrika pågår /Ongoing Africa is designed by British furniture designer Yinka Ilori. It opens on 20 May at the Ethnographic Museum – but all interested are welcome to a sneak peek behind the scenes on Saturday 28 April. We will be present answering questions and showing the space.

Helena Olofsson, Culture & Music | Stockholm