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Updates from CARMAH

Dear readers,

The CARMAH team hopes that you are all managing to keep safe and stay positive in these extraordinary and challenging times. 

In March and April, two events in the series Making Museums Matter dealt with concrete actions against right-wing populist practices in cultural institutions. Organised by CARMAH's Christine Gerbich and Julia Leser in collaboration with COMCOL Germany, the events were intended as a contribution to a whole series of initiatives in the cultural sector that are currently actively confronting this phenomenon. In a first event, invited guests shared their experiences in cultural institutions that are on the radar of right-wing politics in Germany. The second event broadened the scope by including international perspectives on populist politics across Europe

For an overview of all past and upcoming events, please see below or visit our website!

CARMAH / HZK Colloquium

This semester's colloquium will be organised in a hybrid format, taking place offline at the Helmholtz-Zentrum für Kulturtechnik (HZK) and online.

April 25th, 2022
Irene Hilden & Andrei Zavadski
The Museum as a Choir: Visitor Reactions to the Multivocality at the Humboldt Forum's 'Berlin Global'

May 23rd, 2022
Katharina Geis & Sarah Ullrich
Curating Digital Images

June 13th, 2022
Bastian Herbst & Johanna Stapelfeldt
Was ist und zu welchem Ende braucht man das Humboldt Labor?

June 27th, 2022
Flavia Caviezel
Toxische Überreste des Sammelns

July 11th, 2022
Katarzyna Puzon, Sharon Macdonald & Mirjam Shatanawi
Book Launch: Islam & Heritage in Europe

For updates and more information, please visit our website!

CARMAH Reading Group

May 2nd – July 4th, 2022

Reading Group

Heritage and Infrastructure

This informal 'reading' group will explore some key concerns of the 'infrastructural turn' in anthropology and how they might inform and challenge understandings of heritage. The group will draw upon short texts as well as recent documentary/experimental films to start the discussions. The emphasis will be on sharing ideas and creative approaches to theorizing heritage and infrastructure, rather than close textual analysis/film analysis.

The Zoom meetings will be biweekly, on Mondays from 4 to 5 pm.

For more information, visit our website or contact Jenny Chio (

Teaching at CARMAH

In the summer semester 2022, CARMAH researchers offer a range of teaching at the Institute of European Ethnology. 

Course by Tal Adler & Sharon Macdonald: Artistic Engagement with Archives and Collections

Course by Alice von Bieberstein: Nekropolitische Verflechtungen zwischen Rojava/Kurdistan und Berlin (MA research project II)

Courses by Magdalena Buchczyk: Eastern Europe – An Imagined Space (together with Masha Beketova) & X-Student Research – Reinventing plastic in everyday life. A challenge for science and society (together with Sumati Bhatia)

Course by Sharon Macdonald: Museum Matters

Course by Margareta von Oswald: X-Student – Reparatur, Brüche, Teilungen. Die Gegenwarten und Geschichten des Gropius Bau (together with Diana Mammana)

Course by Jonas Tinius: Welt der Kunst – Kunst der Welt. Anthropologie, Kunst und Weltkonstruktion

Call for Papers

Interdisciplinary Workshop

Awkward Objects, Curiosa and Varia: Exploring the Boundaries of the Holocaust Archive

The workshop aims to reconsider the boundaries of the accepted Holocaust archive by exploring sources that occupy its fuzzy frontiers. The CfP invites scholars who engage with silenced or overlooked categories of Holocaust witnesses and disregarded/awkward/strange/marginal documents or testimonial forms to reflect on new epistemological approaches and novel methodologies these sources require to reveal their testimonial value and permit their integration into mainstream debate. The CfP is addressed to a wide range of disciplinary experts, including historians, anthropologists, geographers, memory scholars, art historians, literature and media scholars, and museum experts. 

Co-organised by CARMAH and the Research Center for Memory Cultures at Jagiellonian University Kraków, the workshop will take place in Berlin on September 20th, 2022. The organisers envision a hybrid format, with participants joining in person (if possible) or via Zoom. Limited funds will be available to support travel to Berlin for invited participants. 

Please send an abstract (300 words) and a short biography (100 words) by May 15th, 2022 to
Magdalena Waligórska ( and Roma Sendyka (   


Employing the theoretical framework of participatory countermonuments, Andrei Zavadski and Irene Hilden discuss Philip Kojo Metz’s performance and sculpture SORRYFORNOTHING (2020), which can now be seen in the ‘Berlin Global’ exhibition at the Humboldt Forum, and the ‘Moving Mountains’ (2021–2022) exhibition of the artist collective PARA and artists Rehema Chachage and Valerie Asiimwe Amani, at the GRASSI Museum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig.

Outlining the institutional histories of colonial sound collections in Berlin, Irene Hilden, Jasmin Mahazi and Mèhèza Kalibani address the double sensitive nature of historical audio sources. Their essay aims to raise questions about the politics of access and presentation of sensitive sound material and argues for a plurality of interpretations of colonial sound archives.


Upcoming Events, Talks, Workshops...

April 29th, 2022
'Artistic Provenance Research' – talk by Tal Adler & Sharon Macdonald at the Visual, Material and Museum Anthropology Seminar, University of Oxford.

May 6th, 2022

Film Screening of the newly digitized short documentary 'Indiens steinerne Wunder' (1934) followed by a discussion with Habiba Insaf and Henning Engelke. Moderated by Prof. Eva Ehninger. A bilingual event of the Institute of Art History, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. 

June 3rd – 4th, 2022
Alice von Bieberstein will give the lecture 'The potentials of private property: heritage, spectre(s) of dispossession and land's historicity in present-day Mouse' at the annual conference 'Sites of Memory, Sites of Loss. Politics of Archaeology and Heritage in Turkey and Post Ottoman Lands' of the Keyman Modern Turkish Studies Program at Northwestern University, Evanston.

June 4th, 2022
Magdalena Waligórska will be part of the panel discussion 'Bedrohte Wissenschaftsfreiheit' at the Leibniztag 2022 of the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften. 

June 8th – 10th, 2022
'Transactions over Polish Holocaust-Themed Folk Art in West and East Germany as a Mode of Polish-German Reconciliation' to be presented by Magdalena Waligórska at the conference 'Art of the Holocaust until 1989: Beyond an East/West Divide' in Budapest.

June 9th – 10th, 2022
Sharon Macdonald will be speaking at the conference 'What can museum anthropology do?'  in Munich.

June 29th – July 9th, 2022
Under the title 'after/lives – spectrality, ruination, survivance,' Alice von Bieberstein will participate in the 'Pelion Summer Lab for Cultural Theory and Experimental Humanities.'

For more information about past and upcoming events, please visit our website!

Images included in this email have been provided by: HZK, Irene Hilden, Routledge, Andrei Zavadski.