SALSA XII Sesquiannual Conference 2019
Rebuilding collections for the Museu Nacional de Rio: How European museums can collaborate
Thursday, 27 June, 13:50-15:30
Chair: Claudia Augustat, Weltmuseum Wien
The workshop will present the plan of reconstruction of digital ethnographic collections for the Museu Nacional de Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in the aftermath of the fire that destroyed most of its collection in September 2018. The focus of the workshop is to discuss the project primarily with museum curators in Europe with the aim of developing a coordinated strategy on how the different museums could contribute to the project and eventually form a European-wide network. Comprised of around 40,000 objects, the ethnographic collection of the Museu Nacional was one of the richest in South America and has been an important source of research not only for academic investigation but also to indigenous peoples in Brazil, who often visited the museum to consult its collections and archival material as a means of retrieving memory and knowledge about their cultural history and political struggles.
Many indigenous peoples in Brazil perceived the fire as a grave loss of their history and material culture. The project of reconstruction intends to contribute to mitigating this sense of loss by making available digitally a whole array of information about historical collections held by museums in Europe and the United States through the creation of an online database that will aggregate this information and make it widely available on the museum’s website. In the current political scenario, indigenous peoples in Brazil are greatly concerned about the maintenance and continuity of their territories and bilingual educational programs. The reassertion of the vitality of their cultures and of their deep history of occupation in the country has become vital for the political strategy of indigenous leaders and organizations to resist the pressures of the current government. It is hoped that the amplification of digital access to historical collections can contribute by means of provenance to their political struggles.
From Museu Nacional de Rio de Janeiro
From European Museums
- Martin Berger (National Museum of World Cultures, Leiden)
- Alexander Brust (Museum der Kulturen, Basel)
- Manuela Fischer (Ethnologisches Museum, Berlin)
- Mariana Françozo, (Leiden University)
- Wolfgang Kapfhammer (Institut für Ethnologie, LMU Munich)
- Adriana Muñoz (Världskulturmuseet, Gothenburg)
Research proposal on the Amazonian Package
Sunday, 30 June, 10:00-11:40
Chair: Carlos David Londoño Sulkin, University of Regina, Canada
This is a short meeting to discuss the possible usefulness of Londoño Sulkin’s account (“Moral Sources and the Reproduction of the Amazonian Package”, Current Anthropology, 2017) of the purported reproduction, among many lowland South American indigenous peoples, of some form or another of the “Amazonian package”: mutually imbricated understandings to the effect that human bodies are fabricated socially, that this occurs in the context of a perspectival cosmos, and that relations with dangerous outside others are indispensable to this process. He claims that the spread and imperfect but relatively conservative reproduction of these understandings pose a causal historical question. Making no claims to a unified Amerindian morality or to structuring straitjackets, Londoño Sulkin hopes over time and with the help of interested colleagues and students, to strengthen the case that the package has been a readily available affordance that many Amerindians have picked up sociologically and used in shaping morally evaluative, motivating pictures of what it is to be a good or admirable human being, and that this, in turn, has played a causal, but non-teleological, role in the reproduction of the package. Salser@s interested in attending should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
–Carlos D. Londoño Sulkin (SALSA President 2017-2020), Jeremy M. Campbell (SALSA President-Elect 2020-2023), Laura Zanotti (Secretary-Treasurer 2017-2020), Claudia Augustat (SALSA 2019 Conference Organizer), Juan Alvaro Echeverri (SALSA 2019 Academic Program Chair), Glenn Shepard (SALSA Webmaster).