Living Inside the Story – Humboldt Lab Tanzania

Maji Maji Memorial Museum, National Museums Tanzania, Songea, Tanzania
25 Feb 2017 - 27 Feb 2017

Living Inside the Story – Humboldt Lab Tanzania

Humboldt Lab Tanzania has been a multi-disciplinary project that has taken ethnological and museological questions of cultural heritage into a broad dialogue through collaboration with academics and cultural practitioners.

The exchanges have taken place between Tanzanian and German organizations from the academic and cultural sectors. They are the Ethnologisches Museum in Berlin, the University of Dar es Salaam, the National Museum and House of Culture, the Goethe-Institut Tanzania, Bookstop Sanaa Art Library, Nafasi Art Space and four individual Tanzanian artists.

The project Humboldt Lab Tanzania has placed at the center of its research-oriented “laboratorial” work so-called ethnographic objects from Tanzania which have been appropriated in the context of anti-colonial wars of resistance during German colonial rule 1885–1918. The artifacts in question – such as drums, weapons, musical instruments and ritual objects – have been at the Ethnologisches Museum in Berlin, Germany, for over a hundred years.

The “findings” of Humboldt Lab Tanzania are now creatively presented in this uniquely multi-disciplinary exhibition entitled, Living Inside the Story. Work by artists Amani Abeid, Nicholas Calvin, Douglas Kahabuka and Pia Rutaiwa will be the central feature of this exhibition.

The controversial notion of a “shared heritage” and the meaning of material culture and objects in a historical perspective, both in Tanzania and Germany are up for discussion. The question is: how can museums and societies deal with this heritage that links the past of two countries together via a difficult history and the legacy of material culture?

Living Inside the Story is a touring exhibition that first opened at the National Museum and House of Culture, Dar es Salaam on Friday 20 January 2017 and continued to the University of Dar es Salaam (03 Feb–10 Feb). The showing at the Maji Maji Memorial Museum in Songea will be the final stage of this tour (25–27 Feb) to coincide with the annual commemorations of the Maji Maji War of Resistance.

Follow the story on social media via the hashtag #LivingInside


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