Prussian Colonial Heritage. Sacred Objects and Human Remains


No Humboldt 21 

October 14|15 at 11 a.m.

Prussian Colonial Heritage

Sacred Objects and Human Remains in Berlin Museums

Centre Francais de Berlin | Müllerstraße 74 | 13349 Berlin


Senator for Culture and Europe Klaus Lederer (opening), Ciraj Rassool (South Africa, tbc), Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung (Cameroon/Germany), Noa Ha (Germany), Bénédicte Savoy (France/Germany), Peju Layiwola (Nigeria, tbc), Roxley Foley (Australia), Ronald Niezen (Canada, tbc), Regina Sarreiter (Germany), Caroline Mchome (Tanzania),  Shiynyuy Semaiy Gad (Cameroon/Germany), Karen Taylor (Germany), members of "No Humboldt 21!"

Mnyaka Sururu Mboro (Tanzania/Germany), Zulu Gama V (Tanzania), Konradin Kunze (Germany), Red Haircrow (USA/Germany), Tahir Della (Germany), Waltrudis Ignatsia Ortman (Namibia), Esther Muinjangue (Namibia), Fanuel Haukambe (Namibia), Israel Kaunatjike (Namibia/Germany), Yann Le Gall (France/Germany)


The debate concerning the provenance and future of items acquired in the wake of European colonialism has intensified in recent times, due to the current German project which aims to reconstruct the imperial Berlin Palace and once again display the world’s cultural treasures in the building. Above all this debate concerns translocated “materials of sacred significance” and human remains, items which belong to a category defined by the International Council of Museums (ICOM) and the UN as “sensitive materials”.

Both of these organizations require the museums to expeditiously “initiate dialogues” with the source communities in order to discuss “the return of cultural property”. However, within the current debate concerning Berlin’s non-European collections the opinions of those who “have lost a significant part of their heritage” are hardly represented at all. Our conference will provide a platform for source community members and experts who should have been consulted “with respect and sensitivity” (ICOM) by the managers of the Humboldt Forum and of the Foundation Prussian Cultural Heritage (SPK) all along.


NGO alliances “No Humboldt 21!”, Initiative of Black People in Germany (ISD), Centre Francais Berlin


The conference is part of our project „Just Listen – Globalgeschichte von unten und zivilgesellschaftlicher Dialog”

Contact and registration                  

Christian Kopp | 01799 100 976 | buero(at)berlin-postkolonial.de

Conference Fees

10 Euros per day (to be paid on arrival)



International Decade for People of African Descent

The conference takes place in the framework of the International Decade for people of African Descent. The General Assembly of the United Nations in its resolution 68/237 proclaimed the International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024), with the theme “People of African Descent: Recognition, Justice and Development.” The Decade is a timely and unique opportunity to underline the important contribution made by people of African descent to our societies and to propose concrete measures to promote equality and to combat discrimination of any kind. It provides a solid framework for the United Nations, Member States, civil society and all other relevant actors to join together with people of African descent and take effective measures for the implementation of the programme of activities in the spirit of recognition, justice and development. The German launch of the decade took place on 7 June 2016 in Berlin. It  was officially opened by the United Nations Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).


 UN Decade



The congress is part of our 2016/17 project "Just Listen - Global History from 'below' and Public Dialogue"

With kind support:

Stiftung Nord-Süd-Brücken, Berliner Landesstelle für Entwicklungszusammenarbeit, Engagement Global im Auftrag des Bundesministeriums für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung, Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung, Stiftung Partnerschaft mit Afrika e.V.  

BMZ    LEZ    SNSB         Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung         Bildergebnis für stiftung partnerschaft mit afrika

Für die Inhalte der Publikation ist allein die bezuschusste Institution verantwortlich. Die hier dargestellten Positionen geben nicht den Standpunkt der Senatsverwaltung für Wirtschaft, Energie und Betriebe wieder.



The conference is part of a broader Reparation Week related to the 525th anniversary of Columbus' landing in America on October 12 in 1492 which will be celebrated in Spain, Italy and the USA this year. This program points at the necessity of symbolic and material reparations for more than 525 years of European colonialism in all parts of the world:


Monday, 2/10, 8 pm

Republik Repair: Zehn Punkte, zehn Forderungen, ein Festival. Reparatory Imaginings from Black Berlin

Panel: Völkermord verjährt nicht

Ballhaus Naunynstraße, Naunynstraße 27, 10997

mit den Ovaherero Israel Kaunatjike und Esther Muinjangue sowie der Nama-Aktivistin Waltrudis Ignatsia Ortman

mehr ...


Thursday 5/10, 8 pm

Documentary "Skulls of My People" (V. Moloi, South Africa)

Hackesche Höfe Kino, Rosenthaler Str. 40/41, 10178 Berlin

Talk with director V. Moloi and Esther Muinjangue (NAM)

AfricAvenir International, Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, Berlin Postkolonial 

mehr ...


Friday 6/10, 4 pm

Tagung "Herero und Nama in Politik und Schule"

Centre Français Berlin, Müllerstraße 74, 13349 Berlin

Stiftung Engagement und Bildung

mehr ...


Saturday 7/10, 10 am

Tagung "Herero und Nama in Politik und Schule"

Centre Français Berlin, Müllerstraße 74, 13349 Berlin

Stiftung Engagement und Bildung

mehr ...


Thursday 12/10, 9:30 am

Fachtag "'Entwicklungshilfe' oder Reparationen?"

Bürgerhaus am Schlaatz, Schilfhof 28, 14478 Potsdam

Brandenburger Entwicklungspolitische Informationstage BREBIT

mehr ...


Friday 13/10, 7 pm

Ausstellungseröffnung "Zurückgeschaut. Die Erste Deutsche Kolonialausstellung 1896 in Treptow"

Museum Treptow, Sterndamm 102, 12487 Berlin

in Kooperation mit Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland ISD und Berlin Postkolonial