Thursday, December 8, 2022
Tuesday, October 25, 2022
There is no question that the Repatriation Movement is heating up. The campaign for the return of African cultural heritage looted from the continent during the colonial era by rapacious agents of empire took decades to gain steam. Now there is no going back! Little by little, one crucial step at a time, led in significant ways by the government of Germany in Europe and the Smithsonian in the US. Those who think that this campaign will simply fade away, as did earlier ones, are in for a different reality: the campaigners are in for the long haul, and there is enough air in their lungs to keep calling out the defenders of Empire's crimes 70 x 7 years to come.
In the meantime, I appreciate the gestures and actions of colleagues and officials in France, Germany, the UK, and the US who have steered their institutions to commit to the return of looted artifacts in their holdings, like the staff at Horniman. This includes frankly folks at the British Museum who must have to deal with the politics of Britain's new culture-warriors-in-government, like its former Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden MP who in this interview with BBC4 claims that he "loves Benin Bronzes", while defending, with a tremulous voice, why the looted Benin artifacts detained by the British Museum will not be returned.
Monday, July 25, 2022
|Illustration by Joshua Obeng-Boateng|
Here's the podcast synopsis:
The Bird of Prophecy staff has been locked up in a box unable to speak and when finally given the chance, he tells the story of his former glory as a ceremonial symbol of pride for his people.
|Bird of Prophecy (ahianmwen-oro), 32.4cm, 16-19th century, presently at Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.|
On this tour, Hanna Adan, with the assistance of experts, explores the history of the Benin Bronzes, from the Benin Kingdom. The sculptures include elaborately decorated cast plaques, commemorative heads, animal and human figures, items of royal regalia, and personal ornaments. They were created from the 16th century onwards in the West African Kingdom of Benin, which was part of the British Empire from 1897 to 1960, and is now part of Nigeria.
|Bird of Prophecy (ahianmwen-oro), 20.3cm, 16-19th century, presently at Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.|
Through this sonic museum tour we ask - what is the Museum’s duty towards contested objects of spiritual and cultural significance in their collections?
Produced and Presented by Hanna Adan
With story by George Bailey
Assistant Producer and Editor: Kwaku Dapaah-Danquah
Researcher: Seyi Bolarin
Starring: Oluwafemi Olugbade
Contributors: Oluwatoyin Sogbesan, Chika Okeke-Agulu, Sonita Alleyn
Production Mentors: Jane Thurlow and Corinna Jones
Sound Designer: Lauren Armstrong-Carter
Tech Producer: Bob Nettles
Executive Producers: Khaliq Meer & Leanne Alie
Commissioned for BBC Sounds Audio Lab by Khaliq Meer
Artwork by Joshua Obeng-Boateng
Sunday, May 8, 2022
Wednesday, May 4, 2022
Topic: “This House Would Repatriate Contested Artefacts”
Whether the Elgin Marbles should be returned is a perennial question. Amidst increasing scrutiny of symbols of Europe’s colonial past, multiple states and the UN have called for the return of contested cultural property. From the Koh-i-Noor Diamond and the Rosetta Stone, to the Benin Bronzes and Moai Statues of Easter Island, British institutions are full of artefacts claimed by nations across the globe. This poses the question of whether it is time for museums to heed the calls to ‘wash [their] hands of blood and return’ everything. Can any country ever legitimately own artefacts of collective historic significance? Can modern states truly lay claim to their countries’ history?
Artist, curator, and historian specialising in African and African diaspora art history. He is Director of African Studies at Princeton University and was appointed as the Kirk Varnedoe Visiting Professor at New York University.
Director of the Hunterian Museum. He has previously served as Director of Heritage Collections at the University of Amsterdam, and has worked for the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, and for the National Institute for Conservation in Amsterdam.
Art historian, art activist, and creator of ‘Uncomfortable Art Tours’, an educational project offering unofficial guided tours exploring the imperial background of major institutions. She also runs a gallery and museum review podcast, ‘The Exhibitionist’.
British actor, activist, broadcaster, comedian, director, and writer. He has repeatedly appealed to the British government for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece. He has written in support of the #LostMyMarbles campaign on Twitter, and has expressed his wish to see the statues steeped in the ‘blue lights of Greece’.
Academic and former Director of the Walters Art Museum in
Baltimore. He has curated a number of critically acclaimed exhibitions,
provides consulting services to cultural clients and pursues projects at the
intersection of the arts and sciences.
Monday, March 21, 2022
Wednesday, February 23, 2022
Sunday, January 30, 2022
Wednesday, January 26, 2022
Monday, January 17, 2022
Friday, January 14, 2022
Application for Postdoctoral Research Associate
The Program in African Studies (PAS) at the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS) at Princeton University invites applications for Postdoctoral Research Associate or more senior research positions for the 2022-2023 academic year. Up to two postdoctoral appointments will be made to exceptional recent PhDs in the humanities, social sciences, interdisciplinary environmental science or engineering, with a focus on African thought, art, media, population, activism, conservation, economics, urban and rural communities, post-colonialism, and other research related to the African continent and its diaspora. Appointments will be for one year with the possibility of renewal for a second year based on performance and availability of funding. Applicants must have already demonstrated outstanding scholarly achievement and excellence in teaching. This position is open only to scholars who earned a PhD after September 30, 2016 and who do not currently hold a tenure-track or permanent academic position.
Responsibilities include teaching (one semester-long course each year) and actively participating in research, discussions, and scholarly collaborations within PAS and PIIRS. In addition, the successful candidate may have the opportunity to advise students in their area of expertise or related areas. When teaching, the successful candidate will carry a secondary teaching rank. Any teaching role is contingent on sufficient course enrollment and prior approval from the Dean of the Faculty.
Appointments will be made through the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS). In addition to salary and benefits, the program will provide a research fund in the amount of $3,000 per year and office space. The start date of the position is anticipated to be for the fall 2022 or spring 2023 semester.
Applicants must apply online at https://www.princeton.edu/acad-positions/position/24221. The following application items are required and should be uploaded by the applicant:
* Cover letter
* Curriculum vitae
* Dissertation abstract
* Writing sample: one chapter of the dissertation or one published article related to the dissertation topic
* Research proposal
* Two course syllabi
* Details of prior courses taught and evaluation results if available
* Names and email addresses for three references
For fullest consideration applicants should apply by March 1, 2022. Due to the anticipated volume of applications, only final candidates will be contacted. Further information about The Program in African Studies can be found at: http://piirs.princeton.edu/afs.
Questions about the application process for this position may be directed to Tim Waldron at email@example.com.
The position is subject to the University's background check policy.