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NEMO’s 25th Annual Conference and Birthday, 9-12 Nov, Ghent, Belgium

OPEN HEART SURGERY – The Value of Museum Collections

NEMO’s 25th Annual Conference and Birthday!

9-12 November 2017 | Ghent, Belgium

From 9-12 November 2017, Ghent will be home to NEMO’s 25th Annual Conference and birthday event! For three days, NEMO gathers representatives from European national museum organisations, museum experts, and policy makers and stakeholders from the European cultural sector to exchange expertise, discuss, liaise and network.

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Collections are at the heart of museums. As their core and basis, NEMO wants to take an open look at how museums operate with their collections nowadays. How do museums make their heart beat, how is it connected to other organs in the museum-body and to society?

We want to debate questions about how museum collections can help develop a sense of identity – both for the museum itself and their community. What are the contemporary approaches to museum collecting today? How must we challenge traditional museum thinking and practice, and redefine the museum's role in socially and politically changing times?

Museum experts from all over Europe will present museum concepts and projects reaching into political and social spheres or opening up collections to participative, modern and exceptional approaches. Museums need to deal with new tasks, new challenges and opportunities within a digital and diverse society, preserving intangible heritage, representing diverse and shared heritage. These tasks have to be met with changing resources, structures, expertise and skill sets to make sure collections are accessible for current and future audiences.

Additionally, this year’s conference offers various hands-on workshops that look into different aspects collection handling. NEMO also offers the unique opportunity to connect to European museum-related projects and initiatives during a EU Project Slam.

Join us for two intensive days with the European museum and cultural sector in Ghent, Belgium! (Registration closes ion 6 November 2017)

Learn more about our venues and how to get to Ghent here.

Communicating World Heritage Conference, 7-10 October 2017, Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site

A friendly reminder that the early bird booking deadline for Communicating World Heritage is 31st August. Please take advantage of the great discounted rate and join us for networking, discussions and talks around the communication of World Heritage. Full details below:

Communicating World Heritage Conference

7-10 October 2017

Enginuity, Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site, UK 

www.communicatingworldheritage.wordpress.com

 

About the conference

The Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage, University of Birmingham and World Heritage UK have joined forces to hold special four-day international meeting  at the World Heritage Site of Ironbridge Gorge, near Telford, Shropshire. The first two days will bring together academics from around the world to discuss research and global policy focusing on the communication of World Heritage Values from 7-8 October.

This will be followed by the third annual conference of World Heritage UK where practitioners will join to explore the many ways to communicate World Heritage to different audiences on 9-10 October.

Together, this joint event will take place within the Ironbridge Gorge which, in 1986, became one of the first UK sites to be awarded World Heritage Status by UNESCO.  The designation of the Ironbridge Gorge as a World Heritage Site recognised the area’s unique contribution to the birth of the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century, the impact of which was felt across the world. The surviving built and natural environment with its museums, monuments and artefacts, serve to remind us of this area’s unique contribution to the history and development of industrialised society.

 

About the conference programme

From 7-8 October, the conference sessions will explore heritage research and global policy, drawing its themes from an AHRC Collaborative doctoral research project between the AHRC, IIICH and the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust which examines the relationships that World Heritage Sites share with different communities of interest, and how World Heritage Values are communicated with these groups. The sessions will focus on sharing and discussing research undertaken by four PhD candidates from the Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage (IIICH) at the University of Birmingham, which taken together comprises 12 years of research on a single World Heritage Site, while placing it in combination with comparative and contrasting case studies presented by researchers and practitioners from around the world. The sessions will focus on the following research themes:

  • Education within the World Heritage Site
  • Specialist Groups and World Heritage: Ironbridge Gorge as an Industrial World Heritage Site
  • Tourism within Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site
  • The communities of the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site

From 9-10 October, delegates will hear from some of the most influential leaders in Heritage before considering the key audiences to target in a series of session themes which will explore how we can best communicate with ‘Governments and the Public Sector’, talk to ‘Business and Funders’, and address the needs of ‘Young People and Communities’, as well as how we communicate with each other (World Heritage Sites, Europe and the UNESCO family) and with the wider world, including the media.

Book your tickets

To see our programme, and book your tickets for the conference, please visit our website at:

www.communicatingworldheritage.wordpress.com

Don’t forget to take advantage of our early-bird booking discount by 31st August!

Taiwan’s Palace Museum digitises its massive collection of Chinese art

This article first appeared on the Smithsonian's online magazine:

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/taiwanese-museum-just-digitized-its-massive-collection-chinese-art-180964257/#5YVsdBBtFBYeuU5S.99 

In 1948, amidst the chaos of China's civil war, Nationalist forces evacuated thousands of priceless artifacts from Beijing to Taiwan. The preemptive decision proved timely: By the following year, Mao Zedong’s Communist Party had seized power. In lieu of this regime change, the evacuated collection never returned to its home country. Instead, the artifacts remained in Taiwan’s National Palace Museum.

Now, the Palace Museum, which houses one of the world’s largest collection of Chinese artifacts and artworks, is opening its (digital) doors to a new audience. BBC’s Kerry Allen reports that 70,000 high-resolution images of items ranging from paintings to antiquities are available in a new digital archive. It’s free to download the images, as well as accompanying background information about artifacts.

The Palace Museum isn’t the first institution to digitize its holdings. This February, the Metropolitan Museum of Art announced an Open Access policy that allows users free reign to “use, share and remix” more than 375,000 photographs of works in the Met collection. The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., has a similar program. The Palace Museum, however, is the first to offer such an extensive library of Chinese art.

According to The Paper, a state-funded Chinese news site, museum officials plan to add 500 photographs to the database every year. While nothing matches the allure of seeing an ancient masterpiece in person, these web images offer several advantages over a visit to the physical museum: Online, there are no glass panels between viewers and objects, no lighting restrictions and no passersby jostling for a spot in front of a display case.

Much of the museum’s collection comes from the original Palace Museum in Beijing’s Forbidden City. Established in 1925, the museum housed remnants of imperial history, with most artifacts dating to the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. A.J. Samuels of Culture Trip writes that during the 1948 evacuation, 608,985 items were transported from Beijing to Taiwan. Since its official opening in 1965, the Palace Museum has expanded its holdings to more than 690,000 artifacts.

Collection highlights include the Jadeite Cabbage with Insects, a small piece of carved jadeite said to represent fertility, and Zhang Zeduan’s Along the River During the Qingming Festival, which Marc F. Wilson, a Chinese specialist and the director of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri, describes to the New York Times as “China’s Mona Lisa."

Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/taiwanese-museum-just-digitized-its-massive-collection-chinese-art-180964257/#60LxzuEq6UbGkjJ0.99

Follow us: @SmithsonianMag on Twitter

Announcing international professional exchange programme in Wales for creative changemakers!

As part of a series of events produced for Creative Tracks, aimed at connecting creative entrepreneurs worldwide, Visiting Arts will host Kick Start: Cardiff - a special exchange and networking event in Wales from 16-19 October 2017 - coinciding with the launch of the European Network EASTN 2, SWN Festival, and celebrations for Creative Cardiff's Second Birthday.

Kick-Start: Cardiff aims to be a catalyst event bringing together emerging international creative voices with the thriving arts and creative industries scene in Wales to explore their value and role in regeneration. The programme will focus on key themes of urbanisation, workspaces and new ways of working, and how the arts and creative industries are driving regional/ rural economies.

Among the high level speakers and trainers including design and media entrepreneurs, lawyers and policy makers, we are pleased to announce that John Howkins, author of 'The Creative Economy' and Ann Harrison, author of 'Music: The Business: The Essential Guide to the Law and the Deals' will be joining us.

Call for applications
Artists and creative entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply. Travel expenses and accommodation are included as part of the opportunity.

UK/Welsh applicants apply HERE before 22 September 2017.

Find out further details on the programme at Creative Tracks and share the call for applications with your network.

Why a German museum is exploring its colonial past

This article first appeared in Deutsche Welle online: http://www.dw.com/en/why-a-german-museum-is-exploring-its-colonial-past/a-39952358 

For the first time in Germany, a museum is publically digging into the colonial roots of its own collection. Curator Julia Binter tells DW how looking at the past can change how we view "foreigners" today.

The Kunsthalle Bremen is the first museum in Germany to identify and explore the concealed colonial and racist references among its collection.

Anthropologist Julia Binter curated the exhibition "The Blind Spot" (August 5-November 19), which aims to reflect on the colonial past of the museum and the city of Bremen, a hub of international trade during the 18th and 19th centuries - the peak of European colonialism. The exhibit also seeks to rethink pressing current issues such as globalization, migration and identity.

DW:  Why is it so important to focus on art from the colonial period in the present day?

Julia Binter: Colonial world views and imagery continue to exist long after the colonial era. We are still surrounded by racist and "exotic" images that influence how we approach people we consider to be "foreign."

The aim of the exhibition "The Blind Spot" is to examine the colonial implications in artworks that were created during the colonial era.

It was also important to us to include individuals in the making of the exhibition who are impacted by racism today. Kunsthalle Bremen is very pleased that the Afrika-Netzwerk Bremen [Eds.: a Bremen-based umbrella organization that focuses on topics related to Africa and of importance to members of the city's African communities] and the Nigerian-German artist Ngozi Schommers collaborated with us.

Self-portrait, Ngozi Schommers, 2017 (Ngozi Schommers)Nigerian-German artist Ngozi Schommers collaborated on the exhibition; this is her self-portrait

It is significant that this is the first museum in Germany to explore its colonial history. Why is this? Is there a taboo surrounding the topic?

In Germany, the German Historical Museum and the State Museum Hanover explored German colonial history. But the Kunsthalle Bremen is the first art museum in Germany to examine its own collection.

Art museums have been seen and continue to be seen as white institutions that hone our taste for European art and culture.

Read more: Does Berlin have racist street names?

My research has shown that both the patronage of the Kunsthalle museum and the collection itself held many colonial connections and had a great deal to do with what was considered "foreign."

What makes Bremen an interesting place to explore the collection through a post-colonial lens?

The city of Bremen had already been involved in the Dutch and British colonial trade system for centuries by the time German colonialism began. [Eds.: The German colonial empire, with territories in Africa and Southeast Asia, existed from 1884 to 1918.] During German colonialism, Bremen became a leading hub for the trade of colonial goods and for people who wanted to emigrate overseas.

Norddeutscher Lloyd, founded in Bremen in 1857, was the second largest shipping company in the world at the turn of the century. All of these colonial connections in the city left their mark on the Kunsthalle Bremen as well.

It was the international merchants who founded the Kunstverein (art organization) in Bremen in 1823, and it was because of their foundation that the Kunsthalle museum received a very valuable collection in 1900.

Read more: Why Robinson Crusoe Day isn't something to celebrate

"The Blind Spot" exhibition focuses on the role of the "other" and breaking down the construct of the foreigner. How is this done through the items in the collection?  

Modern European artists dealt extensively with art and people they considered to be "foreign." Those artists include Emil Nolde, Max Pechstein, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Fritz Behn, whose works are part of the Bremen collection.

They often consciously integrated stereotypical representations, which were spread by science and the media during the colonial period, into their art.

Cui Bono by Hew Locke, 2017 (Hew Locke/Hales Gallery/VG Bild-Kunst)Scottish artist Hew Locke tackles colonialism in his work, like "Cui Bono" from 2017

In the exhibition, these European perspectives are presented in dialogue with historical and contemporary artistic positions from various global contexts.

Included are works like Amrita Sher-Gil's "Self-Portrait as a Tahitian," in which the Hungarian-Indian artist in 1934 critically questioned the eroticizing and exoticizing view white artists like Paul Gauguin took of women of color.

Do you think this exhibition will open the door for similar exhibitions?

I hope so. Research on Germany's colonial past has been extensive. Now it's time to start a discussion in society and ask what we can learn from it.

Many of the prejudices we have about people we consider "foreign," such as refugees, came into existence during the colonial period. At the same time, little has changed in the global economic and political balance of power.

It isn't until we get to know our own history with all of its dark sides that we can shape the present and the future in a positive way. That is vital in a globalized society.

Julia Binter studied social and cultural anthropology, as well as theater, film and media studies in Vienna and Paris. She is currently completing her doctorate at the University of Oxford on trade, cultural exchange and imperial contact in West Africa. She is a fellow and guest curator at the Kunsthalle Bremen.

The exhibition "The Blind Spot" is being shown at the Kunsthalle Bremen from August 5 through November 19, 2017.

Creative Europe: COLLABORATE! panel and networking event, 23 August, Edinburgh

Following on from their COLLABORATE! forum on international working in London in July, Creative Europe Desk UK invites you to take a moment in the heart of Edinburgh's festivals to reflect on how and why we collaborate across borders, and to shine some light on success stories of European collaboration.

When: Wednesday 23 August, 6.30 - 8.30pm (panel 7 - 7.30pm)
Where: Dovecot Studios, 10 Infirmary St, Edinburgh EH1 1LT

Chaired by Julia Amour, Festivals Edinburgh, the panel includes Liz Pugh, Walk the PlankAlex Smith, XpoNorthCeline Verkest, Miramiro, and Maolíosa Boyle, RUA RED.

For the networking drinks we'll be joined by Creative Europe Desks from Ireland, France and the Netherlands, among other international guests.

Book your COLLABORATE! place
Free, RSVP essential

Harnessing soft power internationally

This article first appeared in the NMDC August newsletter: https://www.nationalmuseums.org.uk/

The thinktank ResPublica has produced a report recommending making better use of the UK’s cultural assets abroad to maintain influence post-Brexit. It was produced in partnership with the British Council and Science Museum Group.

Britain’s Global Future: Harnessing the soft power capital of UK institutions’ says government should have its own strategy but also tap into institutions such as the BBC, museums and the British Council. It argues that “genuine soft power is derived from consistently upholding British ideals admired abroad – such as the transparency and accountability of our major political and cultural institutions” but that in a time of declining faith in states and governments, civil society is better placed than governments to carry forward a soft power programme.

The report assesses the reputation of the largest geopolitical forces such as China and the US, and how a good reputation internationally can have a strong effect on ‘hard power’: “cultivating Britain’s soft power in countries like China, India and Brazil has the potential to reap long term benefits if this can be used to persuade them to help to lead the effort to promote global stability.” It also defines the UK approach to soft power as more lively than some other nations with long cultural histories. One senior professional in the sector told ResPublica “France and Italy are great cultures with a classical approach to their soft power. But British cultural exchange is rock and roll”. The report also calls for fewer cuts to the sector so it is able to ‘maximise its potential outreach’.

Read and download the report at: http://www.respublica.org.uk/our-work/publications/britains-global-future-harnessing-soft-power-capital-uk-institutions/

Call for papers: Remaking the Museum in the Anthropocene

The Aarhus University Centre for Environmental Humanities is excited to invite proposals for contributions to an interdisciplinary conference on "Remaking the Museum: Curation, Conservation, and Care in Times of Ecological Upheaval." Bringing together leading scholars and practitioners from across the environmental humanities and beyond, the conference will take place at Denmark's Moesgaard Museum on December 6th and 7th, 2017.

Please send abstracts (200 words) or enquiries to Michael Vine mdv27@cam.ac.uk by 1 November 2017.

CFPs: Remaking the Museum

In this time of entangled social and environmental crisis, the need to not only reimagine but remake the museum has acquired new urgency. In response, this two-day conference will bring together leading scholars and practitioners to investigate the opportunities, challenges, and limits of the museum as a catalyst for social change in this geological epoch of our making: the Anthropocene. From the museum’s early modern origins to the development of today’s highly heritage saturated public culture, the capacity of museums and their objects to perform particular relationships between nature, culture, and history has always been important—inviting critique from a variety of political and theoretical vantage points. The emergence of the Anthropocene as both a contested concept and concrete reality adds new layers of complexity and intensity to this story.

What modes of collecting, classifying, conserving, and curating are called for amidst this moment of unfolding change? How to actively reshape our relations with contemporary ecologies of loss, profusion, and transformation in a way that is both more affirmative and more just? What alternative practices of curation and care flourish in the margins of official heritage projects? How can we differently actualize what Tony Bennett long ago called “the exhibitionary complex” in light of contemporary issues? And finally: Given the museum’s problematic history, can it be salvaged as the vector of its own remediation? Working across a wide range of historical, geographical, and disciplinary contexts, scholars and practitioners will come together in Denmark’s Moesgaard Museum to consider these important questions. Our aim for the conference is not only to critique and deconstruct—important tasks in their own right—but also chart a path forward for the museum as a powerful force for world-making.

The conference organizers invite proposals for papers that address the following or any related themes from across the environmental humanities and beyond:

Hacking the museum: Inspired by the hands-on, experimental approach of the makers movement, we invite papers that chart past cases or future potential with regards to the practical transformation of museum spaces and approaches. In what ways are the institutional, political, and physical boundaries of the museum being punctured and rearticulated in this time of social and ecological upheaval?

Ontological frictions: How are are the different ontological commitments and epistemic demands of art, science, and history museums being recombined in light of the notion of the Anthropocene? How are the museum’s traditional divisions between nature, culture, human, nonhuman, life, and death being muddled—whether intentionally or not—and with what consequences?

Curating change: What alternative and experimental curatorial practices are taking shape in response to the entangled social and environmental crises of the present? How do these move through and beyond the museum? And how are contemporary museum imaginaries making space for today’s temporalities of loss, profusion, and transformation within their approaches?

Contestations: In what ways do museums materialize questions of environmental in/justice and drive forward projects of social change? How does the emergence of the notion of the Anthropocene reflect, refract, or otherwise rechannel these questions and projects?

 

Object journeys: working with the Kiribati community in the UK

This article was originally posted here http://blog.britishmuseum.org/object-journeys-working-with-the-kiribati-community-in-the-uk/

When I was asked back in 2014 to start thinking about the upcoming Object Journeys project, my mind immediately turned to the possibility of bringing the British Museum’s Micronesia collection in to focus. The Department of Africa, Oceania and the Americas has close links with some of the members of the Kiribati Tungaru Association (KTA) and, together with the Object Journeys Partnerships Manager Kayte McSweeney and Oceanic Curator Julie Adams, we decided to reach out to the UK’s Kiribati community.

Where is Kiribati?

The Republic of Kiribati (pronounced Kiribas) is an island nation that straddles the equator and is situated between Australia and the Hawaiian Islands. A group of 16 of these islands were once known as the Gilbert Islands and were part of the British colony the Gilbert and Ellice Islands, for a little over 100 years from the late 19th to the late 20th century.

Taking three flights and almost 30 hours to reach the islands from the UK, Kiribati is made up of 33 islands and coral atolls dispersed over 1.3 million square miles of Pacific Ocean. Today more than half of the 112,000 population live on the island of Tarawa and over recent years people have relocated to Fiji, Australia, New Zealand and the UK.

The Gilbert Islands gained independence from the UK in 1979 and the Republic of Kiribati was formed. The newly formed Republic included the Line Islands and Phoenix Islands which lie to the east of the Gilbert Islands, as well as Banaba or Ocean Island, which lies to the west.

Map of Kiribati. © Mark Gunning, courtesy Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Cambridge.

The collection

The Kiribati collection at the British Museum is largely made up of objects collected during this period of the islands’ history. From dance ornaments to coconut fibre armour and everything in between the Museum looks after almost 600 objects from what were then called the Gilbert Islands, as well as objects from modern-day Kiribati.

This growing collection offers insights into the material culture of this island nation. Objects like baskets and fish traps are not only practical, made with a deep knowledge and skill of local materials but they are also very beautiful, delicate and artistic. Dance ornaments and garments show how people celebrated the art of dance, performance, storytelling and song. This tradition continues today and the I-Kiribati are well known and greatly respected for their dancing.

Model canoes, canoe ornaments and the many fish hooks in the collection demonstrate a thorough and historic understanding of the surrounding Pacific Ocean, how to travel between islands and what it takes to thrive in this environment. These objects survive as testament to the sophisticated navigators of days gone by.

In 1972, Sir Arthur Grimble, Resident Commissioner of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands from 1926 to 1933, wrote:

Before setting sail in the fair weather season, a Gilbertese mariner will sometimes spend several days looking at the sea. If it is streaked in places with calm patches of an oily appearance he will refuse to start until these disappear, for they speak to him of strong currents. When visited by a squall of rain between islands, or when travelling by night with only a sense of direction to guide him, the sailor observes the waves. If these suddenly change in direction he knows that land is near.

Canoe mast or pennant made of wood, pandanus leaf and fibre. Donated to the British Museum by Sir Arthur Grimble in 1921.

Unique to these islands is the incredible defensive armour made of coconut fibre. When worn with a helmet made of porcupine fish and a waist belt made of porcupine ray skin, the Gilbertese warrior was a formidable sight (albeit fairly immobile).

Practised historically across the islands, one-on-one battles as well as intense group warfare took place over land and resources – and with solid and fertile land at a premium it’s not hard to imagine why. The collection houses 48 different pieces of armour and a multitude of weapons lined with rows of shark teeth. This art of warfare is no longer practised on Kiribati and ceased with the introduction of Christianity in the mid-19th century.

The Rev Samuel James Whitmee, in his marvellously titled 1871 publication, A missionary cruise in the South Pacific being the report of a voyage amongst the Tokelau, Ellice and Gilbert islands, in the missionary barque ‘John Williams’ during 1870, wrote:

Another manufacture worthy of being noted is a very singular suit of defensive armour, consisting of corselet, trousers, armlets and cap all made of cocoa-nut fibre. The corselet is a very fine piece of workmanship.

Helmet, cuirass and waist-band made of coconut fibre and human hair, collected Charles Richard Swayne, Resident Commissioner in the Gilbert and Ellice Islands, before 1895.

No objects from the Kiribati collection have been on display at the British Museum since the exhibition Pattern of islands: Micronesia yesterday and today in the 1980s at the Museum of Mankind and the Object Journeys project is a fantastic opportunity to showcase some highlights of this wonderful collection onsite in Bloomsbury for the first time.

The earliest object from the Gilbert Islands to be registered into the collection was a piece of armour – a coconut fibre cuirass in 1848, and our most recent acquisition is a dance costume made in April 2017 by a practising I-Kiribati artist. This costume is on display in the Object Journeys Kiribati case in Room 24. The black raffia skirt on display was donated by Chloe Karea, one of the members of the group who curated the display.

Collaboration

In the Oceanic section we don’t often get the opportunity to work for an extended period of time with a community group, and certainly have not focused on the Kiribati collection before. It has been a real privilege for us to meet members of the community who have tangible experience and knowledge of living in the islands. Some members of the group were born and raised in Kiribati while others are second or third generation I-Kiribati and all have spent time on the islands.

Object Journeys project partners explore the Kiribati objects in the Museum stores.

The Republic of Kiribati is so vast, as well as being many thousands of miles away from the UK, and it is easy to make sweeping generalisations and believe that you understand the landscape (or in this case, seascape). After exploring various themes and narratives with the group, we now have a clearer understanding of Kiribati as a place, its location in the world, what the challenges are, and how these affect people living there on a daily basis.

We have learnt that it is near impossible to speak in one voice as there are many nuances between the islands. The Object Journeys group have chosen themes that speak to all the islands rather than pick out specific objects which might only represent one or two islands. This is itself a difficult task, but one that has been achieved with much consideration, respect and careful thought from the group.

We have also learnt that people living in Kiribati continue to be adaptable and resourceful, and absolutely nothing goes to waste. Resources are scarce on the islands and the coconut tree is utilised for all that it can offer – the wood, shell and coconut fibre is prepared and turned into cordage which is used extensively. The pandanus plant is another resource that is used in its entirety and in many ways, especially in dance costumes.

After undertaking her PhD fieldwork on Tabiteuea (one of the islands) Guigone Camus explains:

although the inhabitants acknowledge the reality of the constraints if their land, their symbolic conception of the environment and their skill at making the best use of it allow them to live in harmony with their surroundings. With only a small variety of plant species (compared to those provided by a continental or volcanic island), they transform all the usable parts of the plants, exploiting them for food as well as for utilitarian and medical purposes.

Historically shell valuables were traded and exchanged with neighbouring islands as a way to source rare materials, foster relationships and ensure survival. Pearlshell is not widespread throughout Micronesia and therefore shells found on adornments like this neck ornament are extremely valuable and are likely to have been imported from elsewhere.

Pearlshell, pandanus leaf and coconut fibre neck ornament. Purchased from the collection of John Spencer Noldwritt in 1891.

Collaborating with the Kiribati community group has been an eye-opening journey and we have been privy to subjects that are difficult to talk about, such as the increasing tension between the land and the encroaching ocean. Necessary for everyday survival, people are faced with the monumental challenge living life surrounded by rising waters and with that, the very real possibility of the loss of more land.

In his 2014 exhibition catalogue of Tungaru: The Kiribati Project, arts writer Mark Amery wrote:

The only nation to bestride all four hemispheres – north, south, east and west – the Republic of Kiribati in the centre of the Pacific could be considered to be at the heart of the world. And in this new century, at the heart of the world’s concerns.

Object Journeys project partners develop design and interpretation ideas for the new display.

The community group’s first-hand experience has been invaluable for curating and producing a display of Kiribati material and we are thrilled to have had this opportunity to work with them and learn much more about the Kiribati objects in our care.

Objects on display in Room 24.

Object Journeys is a community collaboration project at the British Museum and with three UK partner museums that is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The three-year project will support community partners to research and explore museum collections, and to work collaboratively with museum staff to produce displays, events and digital content. Find out more on the Object Journeys website.

This article was originally posted here http://blog.britishmuseum.org/object-journeys-working-with-the-kiribati-community-in-the-uk/

New World Heritage sites 2017

This article was originally posted here http://www.icomos.org/en/home-wh/9327-nouveaux-sites-patrimoine-mondial-2019

Picture: Cinema of Asmara: a Modernist  City of Africa (Eritrea) © Giora Solar

In 2017, 18 cultural sites and 3 natural sites were inscribed on the World Heritage List.

The World Heritage Committee inscribed 18 new cultural sites and 3 natural sites on the World Heritage List during its 41th annual session, which was held in Krakow (Poland) from July 2nd to 12th 2017. It has also approved the extension of five sites already inscribed on the List.

 

 

 

New inscribed sites:

• The English Lake District (United Kingdom)

• Mbanza Kongo, Vestiges of the Capital of the former Kingdom of Kongo (Angola)
• Valongo Wharf Archaeological Site(Brazil)
• Temple Zone of Sambor Prei Kuk, Archaeological Site of Ancient Ishanapura (Cambodia)
• Kulangsu: a Historic International Settlement (China)
• Venetian Works of Defence between 16th and 17th centuries: Stato da Terra - western Stato da Mar (Croatia, Italy, Montenegro)*
• Kujataa Greenland: Norse and Inuit Farming at the Edge of the Ice Cap (Denmark)
• Asmara: a Modernist City of Africa (Eritrea)
• Taputapuātea (France)
• Caves and Ice Age Art in the Swabian Jura (Germany)
• Historic City of Ahmadabad (India)
• Historic City of Yazd (Islamic Republic of Iran)
• Sacred Island of Okinoshima and Associated Sites in the Munakata Region (Japan)
• Hebron/Al-Khalil Old Town (Palestine)
• Tarnowkie Góry Lead-Silver-Zing Mine and its Underground Water Management System (Poland)
• Assumption Cathedral and Monastery of the town-island of Sviyazhsk (Russian Federation)
• ǂKhomani Cultural Landscape (South Africa)
• Aphrodisias (Turkey)

* Transboundary property

This article was originally posted here http://www.icomos.org/en/home-wh/9327-nouveaux-sites-patrimoine-mondial-2019

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