/ Forschung

Call for Papers: Global Provenance – Revisiting Appropriated Heritage in the Light of Inclusive Partnerships?

International conference in the framework of the exhibition "Exotic? Switzerland Looking Outward in the Age of Enlightenment" (Lausanne, 28/29 January 2021)

The conference proposes to revisit the heritage that has been appropriated, whatever its nature (zoology, geology, botany, archaeology, history, history of art and ethnology), through inclusive collaborations in Switzerland and elsewhere. The deadline for paper submissions is 31 May.

The issues participants may address include:

  • Discussing contemporary practices in provenance research: their structure, funding and sharing. Who currently benefits from provenance research? Does talking about transparency really serve the interests of source communities and the collections, or is it part of an initiative to advertise and promote heritage institutions?
  • Questioning the visibility of the projects that examine the heritage dimension of colonial violence. What “reparations” are being offered to source communities, in particular in terms of new, equitable exchanges with the institutions? What inclusive and decolonizing transformations are taking place within institutions? 
  • Providing specific examples involving objects held in museums and their connection to the places from which they originated, reflecting critically on this subject and analysing both the benefits and the insoluble limitations or contradictions raised by these processes. On the other hand, could provenance issues provide fertile (albeit somewhat limited) ground for contemporary and activist creativity among artists asserting their affiliation to a source community?
  • Examining current and future acquisition policies. For example, how does the Nagoya Protocol, on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilisation (APA), affect acquisition practices? In what ways do source communities really benefit from such policies?

The conference is organized in partnership with the University of Bern, the Swiss National Science Federation, the Ethnography Museum of Geneva, the Ethnography Museum of Neuchâtel and the Palais de Rumine.