21 February, Tuesday,
8pm EAT (Nairobi) | 6pm CET (Brussels) | 5pm WET (Lisbon)
Online, no zoom.
Free participation. The conversation will be conducted in English.
We found out about the existence of the Museum of British Colonialism through an Al Jazeera report entitled “A very British way of torture”. This is a network and platform created by volunteers in 2018. It makes visible suppressed and marginalised histories and elevates underrepresented voices in order to challenge damaging myths. It does not have a physical collection, but it creates, shares, and acts as a repository for digital resources that highlight lived experiences of British colonialism. We will have with us in this conversation Chao Tayiana, co-founder of the museum.
It was also in 2018 that the AfricaMuseum, near Brussels, reopened to the public after five years of renovation. Known as “the last colonial museum in the world”, it has vast collections of cultural anthropology and history, biology and earth sciences. At the time of reopening, its recently retired director, Guido Gryseels, stated straightforwadly: “We carry responsibility for giving generations of Belgians a colonialist, almost racism-inspired message – that white civilisation is superior to black civilisation.” We will have with us Marie-Reine Iyumva, a journalist and member of the museum’s public services team.
Chao Tayiana is a Kenyan digital heritage specialist and digital humanities scholar that works at the intersection of history, digitisation and public education. She uses digital technologies to unearth previously hidden or suppressed historical narratives, make these accessible to a wide audience and enable communities to engage with their cultural heritage. She has a background in computer science and heritage studies as well as extensive experience working in the cultural sector in multiple capacities. She is the founder of African Digital Heritage, a co-founder of the Museum of British Colonialism and a co-founder of the Open Restitution Africa project.
Marie-Reine Iyumva is a journalist by training and works in the public services at the AfricaMuseum (Tervuren) as a collaborator for the Partnerships programme. Her work focuses primarily on giving access to the collections for the public. For several years, Marie-Reine worked as a journalist, and was also involved in anti-racist and feminist organizations for years. This involvement helps her tremendously in her work with the different civil society organizations involved with the AfricaMuseum.