Rethinking Relationships

Rethinking Relationships and Building Trust around African Collections is a DCMS-funded (begun 2019) project that develops new practice around the Kenyan and Nigerian collections at the Horniman Museum, the Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford, the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge and the World Museum in Liverpool.

The project is working with heritage professionals, community members, researchers, artists and other stakeholders in Kenya, Nigeria and the UK to develop thinking about the future of the collections.

The project lead researcher is JC Niala, a doctoral researcher in anthropology at the University of Oxford.

Supporting the thinking is a research process that involves stakeholders collaboratively developing questions about the collections and their provenance – how they came to be in each museum’s collection – that includes linking the objects to historical events and key moments in the history of collecting.

The project will be facilitating visits by stakeholders to see each museum’s collections, as well as holding workshops in all three countries as a basis for equitable exchange that can contribute to the future care of the collections.

The project has already begun to engage with issues of representation in the collections, identifying information that need updating and opening possibilities for stakeholders to work directly with the collections.