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looking back | looking back

The First German Colonial Exhibition of 1896 in Berlin-Treptow

Image 1
  • Key Visual der Ausstellung, Design by Studio Visual Intelligence – Key Visual der Ausstellung, Design by Studio Visual Intelligence
    Museen Treptow-Köpenick

    Key Visual der Ausstellung, Design by Studio Visual Intelligence – Key Visual der Ausstellung, Design by Studio Visual Intelligence

  • Die Ausstellung zurückgeschaut im Museum Treptow
    Dekoloniale, Fotografin Daniela Incoronato

    Die Ausstellung zurückgeschaut im Museum Treptow

The museums Treptow-Köpenick and the project Decolonial Remembrance Culture in the City will show the fundamentally revised exhibition "zurückgeschaut I looking back - The First German Colonial Exhibition of 1896 in Berlin-Treptow" from 15 October 2021. It is the first permanent exhibition on colonialism, racism and black resistance in a Berlin museum.

125 years ago, from May 1 to October 15, 1896, the "First German Colonial Exhibition" took place in Treptow Park. Politics, business and churches as well as ethnological and natural science museums were involved in this large-scale event. Within the framework of a discriminating "Völkerschau", 106 people from the German colonies were put on display in front of an audience of millions. Most of the participants were not aware that they were to be "exhibited" in front of an audience in Berlin. Many of them resisted the role assigned to them: Kwelle Ndumbe from Cameroon bought an opera glass and looked back at the audience in Berlin. The Colonial Exhibition of 1896 is a central event in Berlin's global history and of particular significance for the history of its black community.

The permanent exhibition "zurückgeschaut | looking back" is dedicated to the history and aftermath of the First German Colonial Exhibition. The focus is on the 106 children, women and men from Africa and Oceania, their biographies and their resistance. In addition, the structure of the colonial exhibition and its historical context are explained. The new exhibition is the result of a close cooperation between the Treptow-Köpenick museums and the Afro-diasporic and decolonial organizations of the Projektverbund Dekoloniale Erinnerungskultur in der Stadt. The graphic redesign of "zurückgeschaut | looking back" was done by Studio visual intelligence.

Decolonial Remembrance Culture in the City is a joint project of Berlin Postkolonial e.V., Each One Teach One - EOTO e.V., Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland - ISD-Bund e.V. and the Stiftung Stadtmuseum Berlin. The sub-section Decolonial [Re]presentations realizes a series of cooperative exhibitions in different districts dealing with Berlin's colonial and resistance history and its aftermath. The project is funded by the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe and the Federal Cultural Foundation.

Runtime: from October 2021

Price info: As in all Berlin district museums, admission to the Treptow Museum is free.
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