National Museums in Africa brings the voices of African museum professionals into dialogue with scholars and, by so doing, is able to consider the state of African national museums from fresh perspectives.
Covering all regions of the continent, the volume’s thirteen chapters allow for a deep and nuanced understanding of the intricate interplay between past and present in contemporary Africa. Taking stock of the shifting museum landscape in Africa, with new players like China and South Korea challenging the conditions of cultural exchange, the book demonstrates that national museums are being rediscovered as important sites of political engagement and cultural negotiation. This is the first book to critically examine the roles national museums in Africa have played in the societies in which they are situated, but it is also the first to consider the roles that national museums might play in current debates concerning the restitution and repatriation of cultural patrimony taken from Africa during the colonial era.
Informed by a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective, this ground-breaking book will appeal to anyone interested in museums in Africa. It will be particularly useful to scholars and students working in the areas of museum and heritage studies, African studies, anthropology, archaeology, history, art history and cultural studies.
Table of Contents
List of figures
List of tables
List of contributors
Visibility, Democracy, and the National Museum Network in Morocco
Samir Kafas and Ashley V. Miller
The Sudan National Museum and National Heritage in Sudan
Abdelrahman Ali Mohamed and Geoff Emberling
National Identities and the National Museum of Ethiopia
Merkeb Mekuria and Raymond Silverman
National Museums of Kenya: From Inception to the Post-Devolution Era
Rosalie Hans and David Mbuthia
Collecting Obsolete Things at the Uganda Museum
Derek R. Peterson and Nelson Abiti
Korea and the New National Museum in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: Building a Museum, Building Relations?
Augustin Bikale Mukundayi and Sarah Van Beurden
Le Musée des Civilisations Noires: A Continuous Creation of Humanity
Hamady Bocoum and El Hadji Malick Ndiaye
The National Museum of Mali, 1960 - Present: Protecting and Promoting the National Cultural Heritage
Mary Jo Arnoldi, Daouda Kéita and Samuel Sidibé
Le Musée National Boubou Hama du Niger: A Return to Research
Maki Garba and Amanda Gilvin
Giving the National Museum of Ghana a New Life
Kodzo Gavua and Dominic Dekumwine Kuntaa
The Nigerian National Museums and the Challenges of National Unity and Development: The Black Benz and the Return of Lost Treasures
Okechukwu Nwafor and Edith Ekunke
Towards a Critical History of the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe: Rethinking Pastness and Materiality
Munyaradzi Elton Sagiya and Joost Fontein
Rethinking the National and the Museum at Iziko Museums of South Africa
Bongani Ndhlovu and Ciraj Rassool
National Museums in Africa: A Conversation
Peter Probst and George Abungu
Raymond Silverman, a historian of the visual cultures of Africa, is Professor Emeritus of History of Art, African Studies and Museum Studies at University of Michigan.
George Henry Okello Abungu is an archaeologist and Emeritus Director-General of the National Museums of Kenya. He is the founding Chairman of Africa 2009, the International Standing Committee on the Traffic in Illicit Antiquities, and the Centre for Heritage Development in Africa.
Peter Probst is Professor in the Department of Art History at Tufts University, Boston, where he directs the Museums, Memory and Heritage Program. He has published widely on African modernism, iconoclasm, and the politics of heritage.