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TheMuseumsLab 2021 strengthens knowledge exchange between African and German museum experts

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Press release,

On 10 November, the pilot phase of TheMuseumsLab 2021 will be concluded with a closing event at the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin. The hybrid event includes a key note by Prof. Souleymane Bachir Diagne, Director of the Institute of African Studies, Columbia University. Afterwards, the guests on site as well as the digitally connected viewers are invited to ask questions, before the exchange between the fellows, partners and guests on-site will be the focus of the evening.

The successful first year of TheMuseumsLab is drawing to a close. The programme has been running since May 2021 with the aim of strengthening the exchange of knowledge between African and German museum experts. The idea of international networking and mutual learning is fundamental to the project. In addition to the events and collaborations currently taking place, TheMuseumsLab is to be established as a platform for an international, practice-oriented community of museum specialists.

The pilot project is realized by the German Federal Foreign Office, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin and the master's programme in Museum Management and Communication at the Berlin University of Applied Sciences (HTW), in close cooperation with the advisor network The Advisors. The project is financed by the German Federal Foreign Office.

The first digital phase from May to July 2021 allowed 28 museum experts from African countries and 18 German museum experts to exchange ideas, develop new concepts and build networks. The digital phase was followed by a practical phase in October and November 2021 in Germany, including three-week placements at participating museums.

The highlight of the closing event on 10 November will be a panel discussion on "New ethics of international collaboration", including two of the TheMuseumsLab fellows – Janine Gaelle Dieudij (Museum of African Contemporary Art, Al Maade) and Julia Binter (SPK/Ethnologisches Museum, Berlin). Dr. Luyanda Mpahlwa (Design Space Africa), architect and initiator of the project, will also speak on the panel. In addition, Nanette Snoep (Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum, Köln) will give a lecture as the initiator of the digital phase and as the head of one of the partner museums.

Following the discussion, the audience has the opportunity to ask questions or make comments, both online and offline. The closing event will take place as a hybrid event. The stream will be freely accessible and thus enable all interested parties to participate on the museum's YouTube channel starting 19:15 CET.

Press pictures are available here. Credits: Alena Schmick.