Contested Property

Affect and Emotion in Transcultural Normative Conflicts Involving Ethnographic Collections in the Humboldt Forum

Issues surrounding the status and ownership of Germany’s ethnographic collections have sparked fierce debate as of late. Using the example of the Ethnologisches Museum Berlin’s Tanzania collection at the Humboldt Forum, this project focuses on the affective and emotional dimension of these types of ownership conflicts, in which not only different stakeholder groups, but also different conceptions of ownership compete with each other.

Through multi-sited fieldwork in Germany and Tanzania, the way in which property is institutionally transformed within these conflicts will be investigated. The goal is to be able to more precisely outline the role of affect and emotions in such socio-legal transformation processes.

Sub-project of SFB 1171 Affective Societies: Dynamics of Social Coexistence in Mobile Worlds

Feeling Colonialism Through Maasai Objects

Length: 8:21 Minutes


Institution: Ethnologisches Museum der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin
Funding: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
Cooperation partners: Freie Universität Berlin, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Botanical Garden & Botanical Museum Berlin, Universität Hamburg, descendants of the producers, users and previous owners of the objects
Project Management: PD Dr. Paola Ivanov (Ethnologisches Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin)
Project staff: Dr. Jonas Benz (research associate, Freie Universität Berlin), Laibor Kalanga Moko (predoc researcher, Freie Universität Berlin), Lisa Maier (student research assistant, Freie Universität Berlin) Kristin Weber-Sinn (associate researcher, Zentralarchiv/Ethnologisches Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin)
Duration: Juli 2019 bis Juni 2022