How should we collect, present and interpret non-European collections in museums in the colonial countries? What are the implications of the non-colonial context for museum practice? How can the perspectives and experience of Others depicted in museum collections be integrated into museum interpretations? These are some of the questions Slovene Ethnographic Museum would like to reconsider during the SWICH project. Ten European partner museums work together in the EU-cooperation project which runs from November 2014 to September 2018 and is co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme. In a series of events and activities the museums work on strategies for 21st century museum practice and especially reconsider the role and the vision of ethnographic museums for the future. There is a need to develop adequate museum practice in response to the increased migration and also trans-border movements within the European Union, which change the demography in EU states. Museums will try to increase the role of ethnographic museums as places of cultural encounters, open discourse, creative innovation and knowledge production based on international collaborations.
Slovene Ethnographic Museum works within two themes of the project: creative dialogue and digital contact zones. Within the creative dialogue the museum will host an artist in residence who will stay in Ljubljana for two months. The residency is split in two phases. The first phase will start on 11 April 2016 and will end on 11 May 2016; the second phase will start in September 2016. Soon we will be able to meet up with Bianca Baldi (1985), visual artist based between South Africa and the EU. Her video installations bring to the fore overlooked narrative strands and the hidden structures of power. In her work, through the focus on specific cultural or sociological artefacts, historical plots reveal complex webs of political, economic and cultural influences. At the Slovene Ethnographic Museum she will work with the African collection. In the cooperation with museum curators and members of African community she is expected to develop artwork, which will be presented at the end of the residency in autumn 2016. During the residency the museum is going to organize several events with her. Come and meet Bianca. You are warmly welcome!
Zero Latitude (Panthère naturalisée), 2014, Bianca Baldi