Hannah Turner

Grant Type

Conference Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Simon Fraser U.

Grant number

Gr. CONF-785

Approve Date

March 22, 2018

Project Title

Turner, Hannah Elizabeth, Simon Fraser U., Surrey, Canada - To aid workshop on 'Amagugu Ethu/ Our Treasures: Understanding Zulu History and Language with Zulu-Speaking Communities and Their Belongings,' 2019, in collaboration with Ms. Laura Gibson

Decolonization remains a major challenge for museums worldwide. This workshop examines linkages within South African experiences of displacement and the possibilities for constructive engagements with trauma, decolonization, and re-classification by reconnecting with museum collections. This is three-day workshop at the Iziko Museums in Cape Town, where 20 invited anthropologists, scholars, Zulu community experts, and museum professionals will engage with Zulu objects physically available in the Iziko Museums collections and digital surrogates in the Reciprocal Research Network. We aim to understand how histories of colonialism, from naming and renaming objects to changing and obscuring tribal affiliations, persist in museums and the ethnographic imaginary. As well as enriching existing knowledge about the collections, we will also develop 3D scans and prints of objects complete with sound recordings of oral histories. As a first step in a long-term project, this workshop will demonstrate how facilitating meaningful tangible and digital connections with objects can be useful for cultural reconciliation. Our intention is expanding this model to involve other museums and community members as well as producing an online exhibit of video documentation from the project, object catalogues, 3D scans, and language resources for isiZulu speakers.