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“Why do we need a Weltkulturen Museum?”
A discussion of the role of anthropological museums in the 21st century
With Dr. Eva Raabe and Prof. Dr. Hans Peter Hahn.

Are anthropological museums old-fashioned and antiquated profiteers of colonialism? Founded over 100 years ago, they were intended to facilitate research and present the ‘Other’. Today, though, the basis of their work is often fiercely criticised. Many museums have reacted by renaming themselves, e.g., as a Museum of World Cultures, developing innovative ideas and redesigning permanent collections. Yet as the debate over Berlin’s Humboldt Forum shows only too clearly, the crisis of anthropological museums is still far from over. They are searching for their role in a globalised world and grappling with their tasks in the twenty-first century. What do we need anthropological museums for? What should they be exhibiting? Why is an anthropological museum important for a city? How ought we to approach and engage with colonial art and artefacts? Should all objects from the colonial period be returned?

These and other questions will be discussed by Dr. Eva Raabe, the new Director of Frankfurt’s Weltkulturen Museum, and Prof. Dr. Hans Peter Hahn, Goethe University Frankfurt on invitation of Kuratorium Kulturelles Frankfurt e. V. Dr. Eva Raabe studied cultural anthropology, wrote her doctoral thesis on New Guinea’s cultural and settlement history, and joined the Weltkulturen Museum as a curator in 1985. In 2011, she was appointed Deputy Director and, following the departure of Clémentine Deliss four years later, became Acting Director. Since 2019 she is Director. Dr. Hans Peter Hahn, Professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology, specialises in material culture, anthropological museums, consumption, migration and mobility. He is a member of the Academic Advisory Board for the Humboldt Forum’s ethnological collections and Chairperson of the Association for African Studies in Germany.

The discussion is chaired by Michael Hierholzer from the F.A.Z. newspaper.

The talk is streamed live on the YouTube channel of the Kuratorium Kulturelles Frankfurt e.V.
It can be viewed at any later time.