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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Visiting With the Ancestors«

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Visiting With the Ancestors

Athabasca University Press | Campus Alberta Collection


In 2010, five magnificent Blackfoot shirts, now owned by the University of Oxford’s Pitt Rivers Museum, were brought to Alberta to be exhibited at the Glenbow Museum, in Calgary, and the Galt Museum, in Lethbridge. The shirts had not returned to Blackfoot territory since 1841, when officers of the Hudson’s Bay Company acquired them. The shirts were later transported to England, where they had remained ever since.

Exhibiting the shirts at the museums was, however, only one part of the project undertaken by Laura Peers and Alison Brown. Prior to the installation of the exhibits, groups of Blackfoot people—hundreds altogether—participated in special “handling sessions,” in which they were able to touch the shirts and examine them up close. The shirts, some painted with mineral pigments and adorned with porcupine quillwork, others decorated with locks of human and horse hair, took the breath away of those who saw, smelled, and touched them. Long-dormant memories were awakened, and many of the participants described a powerful sense of connection and familiarity with the shirts, which still house the spirit of the ancestors who wore them.

In the pages of this beautifully illustrated volume is the story of an effort to build a bridge between museums and source communities, in hopes of establishing stronger, more sustaining relationships between the two and spurring change in prevailing museum policies. Negotiating the tension between a museum’s institutional protocol and Blackfoot cultural protocol was challenging, but the experience described both by the authors and by Blackfoot contributors to the volume was transformative. Museums seek to preserve objects for posterity. This volume demonstrates that the emotional and spiritual power of objects does not vanish with the death of those who created them. For Blackfoot people today, these shirts are a living presence, one that evokes a sense of continuity and inspires pride in Blackfoot cultural heritage.

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“Perhaps most importantly, Visiting with the Ancestors provides a helpful commentary on current and future practices that may help to breathe new life into discussions about reconciliation and museums.”

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“The book reveals the ways that collaboration is less about knowledge or culture in the abstract and more about bringing people, objects, and knowledge together into a meaningful social process of talking, thinking, sensing, and sharing while respecting cultural boundaries and flowing through the tensions, questions, and contradictions that often arise in such encounters.”

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Laura Peers is interested in the meanings that heritage objects hold for Indigenous peoples today and in relationships between museums and Indigenous peoples. Her publications include Museums and Source Communities (with Alison K. Brown), “Ceremonies of Renewal: Visits, Relationships and Healing in the Museum Space,” and This Is Our Life: Haida Material Heritage and Changing Museum Practice (with Cara Krmpotich).

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Alison K. Brown’s research addresses the ways in which artifacts and photographs can be used to think about colonialism and its legacies. Before joining the Department of Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen in 2005, where she is a senior lecturer and co-director (with Nancy Wachowich) of the Northern Colonialism: Historical Connections, Contemporary Lives program, she was Research Manager for Human History at Glasgow Museums.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »We Are Coming Home«

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We Are Coming Home

Conaty, Gerald T. (Hrsg.) | Athabasca University Press


In 1990, Gerald Conaty was hired as senior curator of ethnology at the Glenbow Museum, with the particular mandate of improving the museum’s relationship with Aboriginal communities. That same year, the Glenbow had taken its first tentative steps toward repatriation by returning sacred objects to First Nations’ peoples. These efforts drew harsh criticism from members of the provincial government. Was it not the museum’s primary legal, ethical, and fiduciary responsibility to ensure the physical preservation of its collections? Would the return of a sacred bundle to ceremonial use not alter and diminish its historical worth and its value to the larger society? Undaunted by such criticism, Conaty oversaw the return of more than fifty medicine bundles to Blackfoot and Cree communities between the years of 1990 and 2000, at which time the First Nations Sacred Ceremonial Objects Repatriation Act (FNSCORA)—still the only repatriation legislation in Canada—was passed. “Repatriation,” he wrote, “is a vital component in the creation of an equitable, diverse, and respectful society.”

We Are Coming Home is the story of the highly complex process of repatriation as described by those intimately involved in the work, notably the Piikuni, Siksika, and Kainai elders who provided essential oversight and guidance. We also hear from the Glenbow Museum’s president and CEO at the time and from an archaeologist then employed at the Provincial Museum of Alberta who provides an insider’s view of the drafting of FNSCORA. These accounts are framed by Conaty’s reflections on the impact of museums on First Nations, on the history and culture of the Niitsitapi, or Blackfoot, and on the path forward. With Conaty’s passing in August of 2013, this book is also a tribute to his enduring relationships with the Blackfoot, to his rich and exemplary career, and to his commitment to innovation and mindful museum practice.

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“I wish Gerry Conaty were still on this earth so that I could call him up to express my heartfelt congratulations for this not-to-be-missed book for anyone interested in museum collections, repatriation, Blackfoot culture, or Indian-white relations in North America. [...] Every chapter is well written, thoughtful, and engaging. [...] The volume provides an insightful, firsthand history of this groundbreaking repatriation process. Read this book!”

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“… deeply informative and readable…. An absence of Canadian texts in the museum field and in cultural communication leaves open the mistaken idea that we are mere ciphers for practices from abroad. By making an important Alberta story available in this fascinating and important volume, AU Press has performed an essential cultural service for all Canadians.”

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“A narrative of hope and perseverance by individuals, organizations, and communities. […] It speaks to the benefits of respectful listening and collaboration in furthering cross-cultural understanding, building cross-cultural relationships, and fostering reconciliation.”

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“This would be an excellent resource for Native peoples who are interested in learning about repatriation or about how communities revitalize ceremonies and cultural knowledge; anyone working in repatriation in North America; and, undergraduate and graduate classes in anthropology, Native American studies, oral history, and religious studies.”

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Gerald T. Conaty was the director of Indigenous studies at the Glenbow Museum. He leaves as his legacy more than thirty articles and books, including Power Images: Portrayals of Native America, co-authored with Sarah E. Boehme. In 2003, he was inducted into the Kainai Chieftainship and given the name Sikapiistamix (Grey Bull).

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Handbuch Ausstellungstheorie und -praxis«

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Handbuch Ausstellungstheorie und -praxis

ARGE, schnittpunkt (Hrsg.) | UTB GmbH


Geschichten, Praxisfeldern und Diskursen in Museen und Ausstellungen gilt das Augenmerk in diesem Band.

Der Band bietet MuseologInnen, KuratorInnen, AusstellungsgestalterInnen, Kunst- und KulturvermittlerInnen, KünsterlInnen, KunsthistorikerInnen u. a. eine Orientierungshilfe in der boomenden Begriffsvielfalt der Ausstellungstheorie und -praxis.

Das Überblickswerk vernetzt Handlungsformen aus dem Kunstfeld und dem kulturhistorischen Bereich und lässt Raum für Sidesteps, um Studierende und im Feld Tätige mit nicht kanonisiertem Museumswissen vertraut zu machen.

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Herausgeberinnen für schnittpunkt. ausstellungstheorie & praxis: Martina Griesser-Stermscheg, Christine Haupt-Stummer, Renate Höllwart, Beatrice Jaschke, Monika Sommer, Nora Sternfeld und Luisa Ziaja schnittpunkt. ausstellungstheorie & praxis ist ein offenes, transnationales Netzwerk für AkteurInnen sowie Interessierte des Ausstellungs- und Museumsfeldes. Als Plattform außerhalb des institutionalisierten Betriebes bietet schnittpunkt seinen Mitgliedern die Möglichkeit für interdisziplinären Aust

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Die Wiederkehr der Wunderkammer«

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Die Wiederkehr der Wunderkammer

Carl Hanser Verlag GmbH & Co. KG


Das Kunstmuseum, eine der erfolgreichsten Erfindungen der europäischen Kulturgeschichte, durchlief eine dramatische Entwicklung. An seinem Beginn stand die Auflösung der Wunderkammer fürstlicher Provenienz. Erst in der Zeit der Französischen Revolution, als Vandalismus die Kunst bedrohte und Napoleons Kunstraub Gemälde und Statuen aus ganz Europa nach Paris brachte, fand es im Louvre zu einer vorläufigen Form. Am Beispiel der Museumsinsel in Berlin zeigt Ritter schließlich die kontroverse Geschichte des Museumsgedankens selbst. So sollte ausgerechnet die Integration von Gegenwartskunst – in diesem Fall jener des späten 19. Jahrhunderts – dem Museum als Hort und Symbol der Vergangenheitsbewahrung neues Leben einhauchen.

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Henning Ritter, 1943 geboren, starb 2013 in Berlin. Von 1985 bis 2008 verantwortete er das Ressort Geisteswissenschaften der Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung. Zuletzt veröffentlichte er Notizhefte (2010), für die er 2011 mit dem Preis der Leipziger Buchmesse ausgezeichnet wurde, Verehrte Denker (2013) und Die Schreie der Verwundeten (2013).

 
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