University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Centre of African Studies Michaelmas Seminars > The Challenge of the Traditional Collection and the possibilities of "Tribing and Untribing the Archive: the Material Record of the Thukela-Mzimkulu region, c. 1750-1910”

The Challenge of the Traditional Collection and the possibilities of "Tribing and Untribing the Archive: the Material Record of the Thukela-Mzimkulu region, c. 1750-1910”

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This collaborative project between the Archive and Public Culture Research Initiative at the University of Cape Town (APC) and the Johannesburg Art Gallery, is the pilot of a larger project Ethnologised Pasts and their Archival Futures, launched by the APC . The project is concerned with museum and art gallery displays, and colonial and apartheid knowledge activities. It aims to draw attention to the archival capacities and challenges of ethnographic material and to enable ongoing recuperation of pasts denied by colonialism and apartheid. The pilot takes as its focus the material culture of Thukela-Mzimkulu region, c. 1750 – 1910. It calls into being an expanded archive for that period, and accounts for its historical disavowal.

Nessa Leibhammer is the curator of the Traditional Southern African Art at the Johannesburg Art Gallery and an Honorary Research Fellow of the APC at the University of Cape Town. She completed a trans-disciplinary Masters of Arts degree at the University of the Witwatersrand in Pre-colonial Studies with a particular focus on the southern African subcontinent. Many of her professional initiatives have entailed cross-disciplinary interrogations involving art, material culture studies, archaeology, ethnography and history. She has a particular interest in visual culture and how knowledge is represented.

This talk is part of the Centre of African Studies Michaelmas Seminars series.

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