My DFG-funded postdoctoral research project 'Queering the museum? An anthropological toolkit for intersectional relations in the arts' is based at the Centre for Anthropological Research in Museums and Heritage (CARMAH - Humboldt University Berlin) and the Helmholtz Zentrum für Kulturtechnik. I am conducting collaborative research in the Ethnological Museum Berlin.
When searching for ways of collaborating that include political struggle, it is desirable to work on new intersectional techniques towards political agency and future-making. This should happen by looking at the intersection of defined categories of marginalization such as race, class, gender, economic positions and ableist conceptions of bodies and mental functions.
My project seeks to develop theoretical approaches from within the anthropology of art and kinship, queer studies and museum studies in order to understand and co-create queer relations around ethnographic museum objects. Taking an approach that combines theoretical reflection from anthropology with artistic and curatorial practice, my project aims to formulate a queer methodology.
The project includes research with students in the form of a Berlin University Alliance XStudent Research Group as well as with other (likely and unlikely) collaborators. Research in the museum is augmented by field research on queerness, relationship models and kinship in South Africa, Iceland and Berlin.
This methodology will inform the analysis and the creation of queer relations around artworks and ‘ethnographic’ objects. In this context, I understand queer as relating to unlikely kinship and non-normative kinds of relations that are of vital importance for anti-colonial practice in the arts and the museum.
The output of this applied research will therefore be multifold. It will yield different contributions and artworks for exhibition contexts, curatorial concepts for engaging with ethnographic collections through queer methodology as well as theoretical and ethnographic musings.