Please click here if the newsletter is not displayed correctly.

In this newsletter:

Updates from CARMAH

Dear readers,

Despite these challenging times, CARMAH has been able to start the new semester with exciting activities and new developments.

We are pleased to congratulate Margareta von Oswald on her successfully defended PhD 'Working through Colonial Collections: 'Africa' in Berlin's Humboldt Forum.' Her work is the first doctoral research completed within the larger CARMAH project 'Making Differences: Transforming Museums and Heritage in the 21st Century.'  

This semester's series of public talks started with a lecture by provenance researcher Nadine Bauer. As part of the Kolloquium Provenienzforschung of the Deutsches Zentrum Kulturgutverluste, Nadine Bauer presented her research on the female art dealer Maria Dietrich.

In their text 'Decolonising Museum Practices?,' Harriet Merrow, Christine Gerbich and Duane Jethro reflect on the past exhibition 'Connecting Afro Futures' at Berlin's Kunstgewerbemuseum. For more reflections, please visit our website!


Katarzyna Puzon was invited to give a lecture at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity in Göttingen. Her talk 'Germans without Footnotes: Islam, Belonging and Poetry Slam in Berlin' was concerned with the ways in which young Muslims of the i,Slam collective combine oral traditions of 'Islamic heritage' with a contemporary format of poetry performance and negotiate their belonging through the medium of poetry slam in the current German context. 

As part of the exhibition 'Down to Earth' at Berlin’s Gropius Bau, Alice von Bieberstein temporarily became a museum object herself. The exhibition project included a daily changing unplugged programme with live art, music, lectures and spontaneous interventions along with expert talks and workshops. Alice was a live speaker in Tino Seghal's piece 'The Situation.'

Magdalena Buchczyk presented her field reflections on weaving in Poland during the online workshop 'Weaving Practices – An Exploration into the Materials, Techniques and Design of Fabrics' organised by Matters of Activity  Image Space Material.

Goodbyes & Welcomes

Starting the new semester, we welcome new CARMAH members as well as guests and say goodbye to others.  

We thank Anna Szöke for her immense and diligent work as our Research Manager. We hope that Anna, in her new curatorial post at the Tieranatomisches Theater – Exhibition Research Space, will establish new and future links between CARMAH and the Helmholtz-Zentrum für Kulturtechnik.  

Debbie Onuoha, who has been developing audiovisual projects in collaboration with other researchers at CARMAH over the past two years, has now begun the PhD programme in Anthropology at Harvard University. We will miss her especially as the organiser of the CARMAH Kino: a monthly screening and discussion series centred on films made in and/or about spaces like museums, libraries, archives, zoos, aquariums etc.

Joining the extended project 'Making Differences' on a subject called 'Realisations and Reception in the Humboldt Forum,' we welcome Andrei Zavadski and Irene Hilden

Andrei has a PhD in Media and Communication Studies from the Freie Universität Berlin. Focusing on 'Mnemonic Counterpublics' in Russia, his work looks at how memories of the past can become a constituent element of counterpublics in non-democratic contexts. He is the co-founder and editor of the The Garage Journal: Studies in Art, Museums and Culture.  

Before joining CARMAH, Irene has been a Fellow of the Research Training Group minor cosmopolitanisms at the University of Potsdam. She has recently defended her PhD 'Absent Presences in the Colonial Archive: Dealing with the Acoustic Legacies of the Berlin Lautarchiv' at Humboldt University’s Institute for European Ethnology. 

At the beginning of October another new project started: CHAPTER - Challenging Populist Truth-Making in Europe: The Role of Museums in a 'Post-Truth' Society. Along with colleagues at the JU Krakow and UCL, we are delighted to welcome new CARMAH researchers in Berlin. In the next CARMAH newsletter we will present the project in detail and introduce all new project members.  


Annalisa Bolin is a Postdoctoral Fellow with the UNESCO Chair of Heritage Futures at the Linnaeus University of Kalmar. She is looking at a repatriation project of the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz and the Institute of the National Museums of Rwanda.  

Marina Carvalho Rocha is a Chancellor’s Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung with a background in film and media. Her one-year research project 'Widening Perspectives: Film Curation as a Tool for Cross-Cultural Dialogue and Social Recognition' investigates the paths, subjects and institutions that guide the selection of images and narratives to be preserved for the future in the construction of the audiovisual heritage. 

Susannah Eckersley is a Senior Lecturer at the International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies, University of Newcastle and is with us for a 3 month stay funded by the DAAD to work on her new book. Susannah has been involved in several EU projects about museums and migration (among other things) and currently leads the HERA-funded project 'en/counter/points: (re)negotiating belonging through culture and contact in public space and place.'

Fiona Potter is a Social Anthropology PhD student at the University of Manchester, spending three months at CARMAH as a visiting researcher. In her time at CARMAH, she will participate in discussions with other researchers exploring heritage and the way it is communicated to tourists and the wider public. This will inform her engagement with such ethical and methodological concerns in her own research on heritage tourism, ethno tourism and eco tourism in western Mongolia.

Research Meetings & Museum Lab

Due to the global pandemic and heightened safety measures, all sessions of this winter semester’s CARMAH Museum Lab will be held via Zoom. The sessions are open to practitioners, students, researchers and those working at the intersection of theory and practice. Every other week, invited guests present their ongoing research and inspire fruitful discussions. 

Time: 1.30 – 3 pm (usually Wednesdays)
Location: Zoom Meeting
Passcode: No code required

Nov 18th, 2020
Power and Possibility: The Return of Rwanda’s Stolen Bones
Presentation by Annalisa Bolin (Postdoctoral Fellow in the UNESCO Chair in Heritage Futures at Linnaeus University, Sweden), moderated by Larissa Förster (Deutsches Zentrum Kulturgutverluste/CARMAH). 

Dec 2nd, 2020
Revenants: On post-imperial persons, places and things
Presentation of the project 'Empires of Memory' by Jeremy Walton (Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Göttingen), moderated by Katarzyna Puzon (CARMAH). 

Dec 9th, 2020
Presentation (title TBA) by Susannah Eckersley (School of Arts and Cultures, Newcastle University). 

Dec 14th, 2020 – Evening Event, 6 pm
Ein Jahr postkoloniale Provenienzforschung in Dahlem – Herausforderungen und Potentiale
Lecture by provenance researchers Julia Binter, Christine Howald, Kristin Weber-Sinn and Ilja Labischinski as part of the Kolloquium Provenienzforschung of the Deutsches Zentrum Kulturgutverluste, in collaboration with CARMAH. The event will be held in German.

Registration possible until December 11th via 

Jan 13th, 2021
Presentation by Laurence Douny (research associate within the project Weaving) and Yoonha Kim (PhD candidate in the project Object Space Agency) of the Cluster of Excellence Matters of Activity – Image Space Material, moderated by Magdalena Buchczyk (CARMAH).

Jan 27th, 2021
Presentations by Nina Samuel (research associate within the project Object Space Agency) and Maxime Le Calvé (research associate within the projects Cutting and Object Space Agency) of the Cluster of Excellence Matters of Activity – Image Space Material.

For more information about the Museum Lab, past and upcoming events, please visit our website.


'System box (tray) with wasp' by Tahani Nadim in 'Boxes: A Field Guide' (2020) edited by Susanne Bauer, Martina Schlünder, Maria Rentetzi. Now available to download for free, or to buy as a hard copy direct from Mattering Press.  

Sharon Macdonald has contributed the epilogue 'Laying the foundations of the anthropology of Europe. An ethnography of culture theory' to the new edition of Michael Herzfeld’s 'Ours Once More. Folklore, Ideology and the Making of Modern Greece' (2020), Oxford: Berghahn.

Magdalena Buchczyk has published a paper on her research of learning practices in Bristol. The paper includes the case study of the controversial statue of Edward Colston.

In the recently published book 'Das Indernet. Eine rassismuskritische Internet-Ethnografie' (2020), Urmila Goel deals with ethnographic material on the Internet portal 'Indernet,' collected by the researcher over the past seventeen (!) years. 

Margareta von Oswald and Jonas Tinius have published the edition 'Across Anthropology. Troubling Colonial Legacies, Museums, and the Curatorial' (2020), Leuven: Leuven University Press. The entire book is free to download here. In December, the editors will present their book at the Pitt Rivers Museum Research Seminar in Visual, Material and Museum Anthropology, among other places. 

The results of the project 'Heritage Futures' have been published in a book that explores the role of heritage and heritage-like practices in building future worlds: 'Heritage Futures. Comparative Approaches to Natural and Cultural Heritage Practices' (2020), London: UCL Press.

Upcoming CARMAH Presentations, Talks, Workshops...

Nov 18th, 2020
Katarzyna Puzon will give the talk 'Beirut's Museum Alley: Missing Objects and Lost Memories' as part of the Material and Visual Culture Seminar Series at Edinburgh College of Art.  

Dec 3rd, 2020
Sharon Macdonald will be part of the panel 'Museum Futures Beyond the 2020 Crises: A Transatlantic Conversation' at the German Historical Institute in Washington DC.  

Dec 4th, 2020
Jonas Tinius and Margareta von Oswald will discuss their recent volume 'Across Anthropology' with Roger Sansi in a seminar session entitled 'Anthropology and the Curatorial' at the Pitt Rivers Museum Research Seminar in Visual, Material and Museum Anthropology, Oxford University.  

Jan 8th – 29th, 2021
Erdem Evren and Alice von Bieberstein will organize the workshop 'Capital in the Web of Sovereignty: Anthropological Reflections on Extraction, Appropriation and Violence.' Focusing on contemporary cases of violent dispossession, appropriation and extraction as well as struggles for the commons, the workshop poses the question anew as to the relation between capital and sovereignty in the contemporary moment.  

More upcoming and past events on the website!

Images included in this email have been provided by: Margareta von Oswald, Tal Adler, Angekila Leuchter, Magdalena Buchczyk, Debbie Onuoha, Andrei Zavadksi, Irene Hilden, Mattering Press, Leuven University Press, UCL Press.