LAB 1: Museums and Indigenous Societies: New Forms of Working Together

Indigenous groups were often repeatedly marginalized by precolonial states, colonial powers and postcolonial nation states. Threatened by poverty and violent conflicts, they often had to sell their cultural property. What can museums as keepers of collections of indigenous heritage contribute to the empowerment of indigenous communities today? Together with representatives of indigenous cultural initiatives from Myanmar’s Karenni region, LindenLAB 1 experimented with new forms of sharing knowledge and resources, and of working together. The Linden-Museum’s collection from that region was studied from new perspectives and together a multivocal presentation was developed. In this process, both sides learned from each other: the Linden-Museum now knows much more about its collection and could develop new ideas for future responsible practice. Our indigenous partners, who spent four weeks at the Linden-Museum in November 2019 got to know our collections and to study our ways of curating exhibitions, preserving heritage objects and developing texts and educational programs. They gained many new insights and inspirations for their own cultural work that we will continue to support as advisors.