The Taking Care Project

How can ethnographic and world cultures museums use their collections and galleries as spaces which create active discussion around the impact of humans on the planet, while also highlighting what long-term perspectives can tell us about sustainability for developing positive futures?  

Taking Care explores the connections between ethnographic collections and questions regarding the climate crisis and the Anthropocene, addressing issues related to the afterlives of colonialism.

 Strip of barkcloth being held up between two hands

Kapa made by Marenka Thompson-Odlum. Photo by Lea Novi/Pascal Giese

Caring for Here and There Workshop

Pitt Rivers Museum, 26 - 28 June 2023

The objective of this workshop is to overcome the Eurocentric approach to conservation by developing innovative strategies that bring cultural care and preservation together. By sharing practice around analytical techniques, ethics and understanding the needs of objects from an indigenous perspective, the aim is to progress preservation infrastructure within participating museums as well as communities locally and internationally.


Anne May Olli, Director of the RiddoDuottarMuseat Norway

Page Chang, Kapa Artist and Kumu, Pūko’a Studios, Hawai'i

Misa Tamura, Conservation Manager, Horniman Museum and Gardens, London, UK

Fiona Brock, Reader in Analytical & Archaeological Science, Cranfield Forensic Institute, UK

Claudia Augustat, Head of the Taking Care Project and Curator for South American collections at Weltmuseum, Wien, Austria

Faye Belsey, Deputy Head of Collections and Joanna Cole, Assistant Curator of Object Collections and Provenance, Pitt Rivers Museum, UK

Rosa Dyer, Art and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Collaborative Doctoral Project student, Pitt Rivers Museum and Birkbeck, University of London, UK



Previous events hosted by the museum for Taking Care



Matters of Care conference advert















This conference, part of the European research project titled Taking Careplaces ethnographic and world cultures museums at the centre of the search for strategies to address issues regarding the future of the planet.

Taking Care Introduction and In Conversation with Wayne Modest

Thursday 8 April 2021

Speakers: Laura Van Broekhoven, Director of the Pitt Rivers Museum; Claudia August, Curator at Weltmuseum Wien and Taking Care Project Leader; Wayne Modest, Professor and Director of the Research Center for Material Culture, National Museum of World Cultures, Netherlands.

Watch the recording of the session here.

Discussion on Indigenous Knowledge and Community Environmental Justice

Thursday 15 April 2021

Reflections from Environmental Anthropology

Speaker: Pauline von Hellermann, Senior Lecturer in International Development, University of East Anglia, UK

Becoming (in)visible in environmental justice struggles: using participatory mapping, filming and writing to support the indigenous research agenda

Speaker: Dr. Iokiñe Rodríguez Fernandez 

Discussant: Ashley Coutu, Pitt Rivers Museum

Watch the recording of the session here.

Climate Change Activism through Film

Thursday 29 April 2021

Ki Nche Ndutsa (Time and the Seashell)

Speaker: Itandehui Jansen, Filmmaker and Programme Director, Film & TV, School of Design, University of Edinburgh, Scotland

Eyes on and from the Changing Arctic

Speaker: Camilla Andersen, Documentary Photographer and Filmmaker, Oslo, Norway

Discussants: Lotten Gustafsson Reinius, Professor of Ethnology, Stockholm University and Nordic Museum; Thandiwe Wilson, Taking Care Project Assistant, Pitt Rivers Museum

Watch the recording of the session here.

Matters of Care: In Conversation with Cissy Serrao

Thursday 6 May 2021

The Art of Hawaiian Quilting

Speaker: Cissy Serrao, Founder of Poakalani & Company, a quilting guild and school in Honolulu, Hawai'i.

Discussants: Jeremy Uden, Head of Conservation at the Pitt Rivers Museum; Misa Tamura, Senior Conservator on the Talking Threads textile research project at the Pitt Rivers Museum.

Watch the recording of the session here.

In Conversation with Subhadra Das

Wednesday 12 May 2021

Taking Care of Business: What is a Museum for?

Speaker: Subhadra Das, Curator, UCL Science Collections, London, UK

Discussant: Marenka Thompson-Odlum, Pitt Rivers Museum

Watch the recording of the session here.

In Conversation with Naman Ahuja and Concluding Thoughts

Thursday 20 May 2021

From India IN the World to India AND the World

Speaker: Professor Naman Ahuja, Curator, art historian and Professor for Indian Art and Architecture at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India.

Discussant: Professor Clare Harris, Curator for Asia Collections at the Pitt Rivers Museum and Professor of Visual Anthropology at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford.

Watch the recording of the session here.

Co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union