Non-normative relations wanted: Testing queer methods at the Berlin Ethnological Museum
Dr. Isabel Bredenbröker, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, ZI: Hermann von Helmholtz-Zentrum für Kulturtechnik (HZK)
This course seeks to unpack theoretical approaches from within the anthropology of art, time and kinship, queer studies and museum studies in order to understand and co-create queer (non-normative) relations around objects in the collection of the Ethnological Museum Berlin. Right now, we find ourselves at a crucial moment in time which amplifies public calls for reconsidering the colonial encounter. Politics around ethnographic museums and their collections are seen to hold the potential for making up for harm inflicted on people in the past and for recognizing these wrongdoings retrospectively. Looking to the future, engaging with museum objects may help to affirm new relationships with the descendants of those who were harmed. Taking this outside of the realm of representational politics around the state and cultural institutions, realms which are known to formulate straight ‘norms’, the project seeks to offer an alternative outside this realm of power and consider what happens on the grassroots level. The aim is to develop and hands-on apply a queer methodology that informs and instructs the analysis and the creation of new relations around artworks and ‘ethnographic’ objects, queer here relating to non-normative kinds of relations that are of vital importance for intersectional practice in the arts and the museum.