Stedelijk Studies Journal Issue #11 – Addendum
From Fiction to Knowledge
Unveiling histories in contemporary cultural institutions
Paper submitted by Deiara Kouto, co-author: Anne Bielig
European institutions perpetuate a one-dimensional understanding of history, science, and society while sub-narratives remain invisible and silenced. Based on the life of the Ghanaian philosopher Anton Wilhelm Amo, who lived and worked as an Enlightenment thinker in eighteenth-century Germany, and who has been neglected in German philosophical tradition, this article traces how museums and other cultural organizations continue exerting institutional power by reproducing dominant narratives and forms of knowledge. The example of Amo underlines remarkably how history is a construction of those in power. Incorporating anti-racist practices in museums and other cultural institutions requires a deep analysis of institutional history and its effects today. This paper draws on theories of, among others, Walter D. Mignolo, Boaventura de Sousa Santos, and Michel-Rolph Trouillot to uncover the existing racist dynamics and discriminating structures which persist through the merely superficial treatment of racism as a thematic focus rather than a starting point for building a fair and equal society for all.
“Do you know Dr. Anton Wilhelm Amo?”
This is how Dr. Karamba Diaby, a member of the German Bundestag, begins his plenary speech on December 20, 2019, addressing the still existing racism within German politics and society. Diaby introduces Dr. Anton Wilhelm Amo as the first recorded intellectual of African descent who studied and worked at German universities and further stresses the direct link between a country’s colonial past and its contemporary persistent reality of structural racism. The starting point of this article is the interdisciplinary seminar Wrested from concealment / Searching for movement – Anton Wilhelm Amo from Guinea in Africa, Enlightenment philosopher in Halle, in which students from the Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design and students from the Ethnology department of the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg walked in the footsteps of Anton Wilhelm Amo, the first Ghanaian student and first African doctoral candidate in Germany. The seminar group collaborated with the Kunstverein Braunschweig for the exhibition The Faculty of Sensing – Thinking With, Through and by Anton Wilhelm Amo, a collaborative project between SAVVY Contemporary and the Kunstverein Braunschweig.
Both the seminar and the exhibition attempted to give space to a philosopher who has been silenced in Germany’s dominant historical and cultural narrative. To gain a multifaceted historical understanding as a precondition of breaking with discriminatory interpretations and representations, it is essential to analyze and highlight whose voices and experiences have been left out and which have been remembered in the creation of a narrative. Doing so will uncover the unmistakable power relations as well as events and experiences that have been forgotten or neglected. Amo’s story is marked by many ambiguities, from the fact that his theories and writings as a great Enlightenment philosopher to this date have not been included in German philosophical tradition, to his surprising departure back to Africa in 1746, presumably due to increasing racist discrimination against him. However, inviting critical artists, showing artworks made by artists of color, or devoting a thematic focus on societal topics is a mere scratch on the surface of the problem if institutions do not start reflecting on their own history, internal structure, and infrastructural dependencies. An example of this request is the current exhibition RESIST! The Art of Resistance at the Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum in Cologne. Robert Gabris, one of the participating artists, harshly criticized the exhibition makers for their inadequate usage of the theme as means to profile themselves as a progressive institution while at the same time rejecting a critical reflection and statement of their own ethnological institutional history and practice. He argued further that the representation of the invited minorities still forced them into the role of victims. Additionally, there was no suggestion being made in the conception and exhibition architecture to counter the outdated and static concept of the ethnographic museum. This shows that there is a world of difference between making space and a common, equal, and respectful participation in current discourses. This paper will investigate anti-racist and anti-discriminatory discourses within cultural institutions and how museums and art institutions can be a tool to raise awareness of current ethical issues.
Mark Terkessidis defines racism as a relation of social inequality which functions as a dispositive in which exclusionary practices and knowledge-building processes are mutually conditional. This social inequality between groups of people that are over- or under-represented in the hierarchy of social classes leads to a material disadvantage in the allocation of resources and infrastructural services of the differentiated, and as a result, discriminated group. Hannah Mason-Macklin, Manager of Interpretation and Engagement at the Columbus Museum of Art in Columbus, Ohio, states that even for her as a woman of color working in a museum, by doing “business as usual” she could simply “perpetuate white supremacists’ colonial values.” Racism is thus deeply ingrained in the structure of Western institutions. Anti-racist practice can highlight and bring out dominant narratives told continuously by cultural institutions. However, anti-racist practice remains as relevant inside as it does outside cultural institutions. Cultural institutions fundamentally influence current debates and discourses in society, seeing as they continue to exercise institutional power and are able to structure and influence knowledge and perception. In the best case, they employ a critical attitude while nevertheless being a product of the colonial world and all its diverse processes. That is exactly the function that cultural and art institutions need to take up: simultaneously balancing the reflection of current societal topics and the questions on how they might perpetuate the discriminatory imperial, colonist, and capitalist systems from which they emerged. Considering the historical background of cultural institutions, it suddenly becomes less difficult to see the racist structures behind their construction. This shifts the demands by cultural workers from the need for tools to “identify” racism and inequality in their respective institutions towards a simple willingness to recognize its undeniable existence in all aspects of their history, which in turn influences their contemporary status. Additionally, to this day, patriarchal and hegemonic structures permeate traditional Western cultural institutions. From a contemporary and sensitized perspective, they are characterized primarily by gaps and absences of the historical experiences of groups discriminated against based on gender, social status, race, or sexual orientation. Further, it is necessary to highlight that those museums and most other cultural institutions rely on the premise of scientific objectivity in their legitimization and operating modes. It is here that the construction of science is perpetually reproduced and thus constituted. The scientific field is based on classification and categorization processes, which exist in almost all academic disciplines as the foundation of scientific work itself. With the Enlightenment, white (male) Europeans were granted human rights, the pursuit of freedom, education, and equality as fundamental rights in the spirit of humanism. In the light of colonialism and imperialism, women*, non-white, and non-Europeans were at the same time not granted these very rights. Last but not least, the series of events involving the development of Enlightenment philosophy, the accumulation of labor and resources, the expansion of the Christian religion, and colonization provided the necessary basis for neoliberal capitalism, including the idea of productive human labor, the extensive privatization of nature, and the exploitation of both human and natural resources for the sake of growth. The European thus made himself “master,” not only of nature but also of other ethnic peoples, and wrote a history based on time periods (e.g., the Middle Ages, Antiquity) which claims to be valid for the global human population. This constructed a narrative which perpetuated a one-sided and selective understanding of history, leading to the presumption that non-Western continents did not have a history at all. This silence is still being reproduced to this day. From this point of view, the classification of the world, which originated in the European sciences, can certainly be seen as the origin of a Western hubris that continues in the present. Even if classification is a universally valid process that is also necessary for human interaction with the environment, it simultaneously disempowers otherness by forcing it into (partly arbitrary) categories, which are additionally arranged hierarchically in a power gradient. The basis of the possibility of classification and categorical ranking is an unyielding restriction to a number of characteristics, which, in the case of the evaluation of other people, leads to their lack of freedom. It is this dominance of European and North American scientific methods which non-Western scholars criticize. In the sense of the ongoing process of decolonization, it is necessary to get rid of these aspects of the matrix of colonial power. The Eurocentric hegemony based on Christianity, capitalism, neoliberalism, and androcentrism has created a limiting one-dimensionality not only in the former colonies but also in the Western world, which fundamentally restricts possibilities of acting and thinking. In the contradictory position of the canon-dependent and canon-constructing instrument of power, the museum becomes a perpetuum mobile, which is necessary to interrupt. There is, for example, still no archive or museum in Germany devoted exclusively to the German colonial past and its impacts on the present, although many institutions wrestle with the negotiation and traces of this heritage in their holdings. This notion is mainly adopted in historical or ethnological exhibitions and institutions, and additionally almost inevitably adopts a national perspective that is close to the white middle-class audience. The focus must therefore shift from the inclusion and assimilation of certain groups towards a rethinking of the very basis of our modern knowledge construction. In current debates, the question of the essence and benefit of this constructed objectivity emerges frequently as a credo in academic scholarship. At the same time, however, current museum methodologies and references to them prove complacent. The definition of science does not change in the process and does not consider alternative paradigms or existing alternatives to this form of scientific work. The academic field still describes constructions which represent exclusively a Western way of thinking that enshrines a certain idea of scientific truth, although there exist numerous forms of knowledge which do not comply with common scientific methods. According to Boaventura de Sousa Santos, these forms of knowledge cannot be categorized as true or false, but are rather labeled as popular, secular, plebeian, peasant, or indigenous knowledge and defined as untrue or flimsy, and thus scientifically invalid. Simply, these intuitive and subjective forms of knowing are not only considered irrelevant, but instead fall into the categories of opinions. As such, they merely form a basic reference for further scientific investigation. However, the value of their content is not passed on and is silenced. The question then arises as to where the roots of those narratives of power lie, which still influence institutions today. Based on the fact that not all silences within historical processes arose from the same circumstances, they cannot be addressed in the same way, either. Each historical narrative is therefore a precise set of silences. The operation to deconstruct these silences will vary according to the nature of the silence.
The representation (i.e., inviting BIPoC and LQBTQIA+ artists and communities) of ethnic groups or cultures will not be enough as the modus operandi to achieve a decolonized institution, essentially preserving the Western perspective. The problem has much deeper roots. The representation of so-called other ethnic groups in an exhibition only touches on the surface of what might be a method of decolonization that could be applied. Cultural institutions have to start changing the organizational structures that regulate discriminatory mechanisms. The display of other ethnic groups reproduces the concept of the other and a vertical imaginary line and hierarchy that can be traced back to the Enlightenment period—a hierarchy consisting of categorizing ethnic groups by a scale of humanity that distinguished peoples by degrees of an ascribed humanity. The scale assumed and reaffirmed that some human beings were more human than others and simultaneously addressed the basis of ontological, ethical, political, scientific, cultural or, more simply, pragmatic theories. There is another way to conceive social and political systems which does not imply a vertical hierarchical line and is otherwise based on a horizontal one. According to Trouillot and Mignolo, “It is not enough to change the content; the terms of the conversation must be changed. Changing the terms of the conversation implies epistemic disobedience and delinking from disciplinary and interdisciplinary controversies and the conflict of interpretation.” Mignolo continues by explaining that “in order to call into question the modern/colonial foundation of the control of knowledge, it is necessary to focus on the knower, rather than on the known.” This is a good starting point for many institutions, which tend to focus on material research to decolonize rather than the discriminatory foundations of their own institutions. Preferably, rather than starting from the outside to go towards the inside, it is necessary to start from the inside of institutions to go towards the outside. The composition of a museum institution’s employees is itself controversial, as well as the interaction between the content and the audience. There are discriminatory intersectional dynamics which concern visitors and employees. Some narratives are almost invisible to the audience, which does not perceive the hierarchies present in cultural spaces and how vulnerable these narratives are. As authors and students of art and design, it is still not credible to consider an institution decolonized if it continues to reproduce the same discriminatory systems. By participating in this call for papers, voluntarily and uncompensated, we are aware that we in turn reproduce discrimination processes. This kind of call for papers may come across as ambiguous to the writer. The name and fame of the journal and cultural institution intrigues people looking for a jump start, while at the same time the risk that the institution in question is itself looking for a way to deal with current issues by offering the most in-demand topic leads to conflict. BIPoC and LGBTQIA+ communities are therefore exploited as fashionable and current themes. They are not considered for their rejection of a capitalist, supremacist, and patriarchal society that is based on constructed ideologies and dominant narratives. The capitalist system is based on constant forms of competition, affecting not only writers but also the institutions themselves. The cultural institution as a capitalist product tends to market social and political issues. These are presented to the visitors, who in most cases assume that the same institution has also dealt with the topic in the team itself. Often, however, the issues presented to the public are not dealt with internally, but rather superficially in order to market a particular topic.
Anti-racist endeavors should never be used in a promotional and commercial way, as we have seen this being done with other relevant topics such as sustainability or feminism. Fighting racism in society needs to be the starting point for the development of solidarity and fair relations. Before focusing on anti-racist curating, a deconstruction of museum institutions and practices is necessary. Curator Yvette Mutumba explains how art institutions like the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, which placed fighting racism on their agenda, need to reevaluate their inner structures to build new, sustainable and equal ones. This decolonial process will inevitably cause discomfort in people who have never been confronted with their own privileges and who are not ready for changing the status quo. In case of the unavoidableness of a tokenistic experience, it is nevertheless crucial to still express a critical and constructive statement of said experience. An example is a call for papers proposed by an academic journal. It is often taken for granted that the authors of these papers have the financial security of a tenured university position, but this overlooks graduate students and other precariously employed academic faculty who have to work on these unpaid articles in their own free time. The academic circle continues to be fed, resulting in the exclusion of people outside of the target audience who do not have equal access to the same infrastructures and sources. This aspect renders such things as scientific journals and museums problematic, but equally our own position as authors writing this article. Additionally, assuming that an institution will receive alleged new knowledge and insight through a call for papers is a misconception. Academic writing mostly reproduces existing forms of knowledge while sub-narratives continue to be silenced both by the institution and the participants. It is assumed that culture and art are fields where it is possible to express opinions openly, but frequently the institution is forced to submit to certain social and political constructs. In the case of planning an exhibition, it must remain within certain boundaries that cannot directly criticize the exhibition’s sponsors, whether we are talking about external foundations or state funding. As young students in the arts field, we often find ourselves having to choose between following our own principles, gained in fields such as postcolonial theory and gender studies and developed in our own communities, or adapting to the demands of cultural institutions. As a BIPoC person, it is controversial entering a white-dominated context where knowledge of postcolonial issues and gender studies are required. If people are not sensitized to anti-racist and anti-discrimination practices, BIPoC people have to share their own knowledge in order to sensitize the other person. Knowledge in this case means the experiences of discrimination and racism that BIPoC people have had to face. This signifies reliving traumatic events and having to share them in order to raise awareness among people who have never had to deal with these issues. Working for an institution based on the principles of Western academia inspires a toxic gratitude in BIPoC people. The term “personal principles” indicates the categorical distancing from those institutions founded as a colonial product, which have exploited and still exploit their position and public image; a rejection of colonial institutions which still uphold rigid discriminatory hierarchies: classist, sexist, and racist. This creates a certain discomfort, as being a component of a BIPoC community working for a cultural institution means implicitly “supporting” capitalist society and “selling out” knowledge to white Western and supremacist communities. While in the capitalist world it is crucial to find a solution to a problem, often the underlying problem is completely ignored. A certain silence reigns, benefiting only the capitalist system, which categorically ignores the needs of these communities. Journals and calls for papers profit by acquiring the commercial and exclusive rights to academic articles. It is not possible for the authors to write explicit examples, because of the kind of contract that exists between institutions and employees or between institutions and founders. It is not feasible to use the content of an academic article for another medium. There is a kind of obligation of secrecy that surrounds this field. There is no question of where the funding comes from, whether it is from the state or private foundations. Which political practices fund cultural projects? How do they want to pursue topics in postcolonial and gender studies, since colonialism, imperialism, sexism, classism, capitalism, and racism are intertwined? In this way we return to the issue of exclusivity and privileges for profit. In our case it was necessary to decide which call for papers to participate in, and which kind of information to share by making compromises with artists and collaborators. Bringing concrete examples would mean putting BIPoC and LGBTQIA+ artists paid by foundations at risk; an underlying issue with funding from foundations is that you have to be particularly careful how you express your opinion in public. Researchers and writers, often funded by public money and supported by universities or on their own dime, are exploited by publishers, which generate relatively high profits through the sale of scientific journals. In most cases these are sold at high prices, reducing their accessibility to a wider audience. The circle of exclusion and privilege begins with the call for papers and ends with the sale of the journal itself, accessible only to those who can afford it. The academic field is mainly based on reputation and exclusivity; the obligation to buy a license reduces the accessibility of these media. Consequently, it becomes a medium available to already privileged people who support a hierarchical society. As already mentioned by De Sousa Santos, there are forms of knowledge – as well as audiences – which do not conform to the academic world.
There are cultural institutions that propose certain themes in specific cities, and contexts are not sensitized enough for all types of audience. Anti-racism and anti-discrimination issues in Germany are not addressed as explicitly as in English- or French-speaking regions. When it is mentioned that anti-racism and anti-discrimination must start from within the institution, it is meant in the true sense of the word. It is fundamental to create safe(r) spaces where these issues can be addressed by both the impacted and affected, as well as workshops which sensitize audiences. There are different ways to perceive the significance of a topic for a BIPoC person, and sometimes they are in “conflict” with each other. The commercialization of subject matter through institutions is also reflected in the calls for papers. These already in principle exclude all persons who have not been able to follow an academic path and are not familiar with certain scientific languages. The principles that are questioned are the themes and discussions addressed in BIPoC and LGBTQIA+ communities, which are considered safe(r) spaces from a capitalistic and competitive system. There is a conflict with the commercialization of knowledge through an institution and the need to share and raise awareness. As recently as 2021, Afrozensus documented in an academic language the experience of racism as suffered by African and Afrodiasporic people in Germany, arguing that discrimination is real. These are not personal problems, nor are they individual experiences. The sharing of knowledge could help to raise awareness of third parties. This is an internal conflict, which on the one hand is fundamentally a protection of BIPoC and LGBTQIA+ communities and their members, while on the other hand it is a necessary sharing of knowledge.
With Anton Wilhelm Amo, we return to a very specific part of European colonial history and in fact the silencing of certain narratives. Both narratives that continue to be silenced and others which are carried on as dominant through our choices and reproductions. Amo was most likely captured and enslaved at the age of four in Nkubeam, close to Axim (present-day Ghana), and taken by the Dutch West India Company to the Netherlands. Subsequently, he was given as a court servant to Anton Ulrich, Duke of Braunschweig and Lüneburg-Wolfenbüttel. Without going more into detail about Amo’s striking history, however, it serves as a powerful example of unveiling the power relations which existed in those days, and which still influence our present-day experiences. The exploitation of material and human resources formed the necessity for the development of capitalist economic systems, in addition to highly developed Western nations and institutions such as the Stedelijk Museum. By analyzing biographical references from Amo’s life, the Kunstverein Braunschweig researches the silenced parts of his history. Sixteen contemporary artists inquire into his origins in a revitalizing monograph of Amo’s sources. They develop these inquiries into poetic reflections which often mirror the experience of people of color in present-day Europe. Strikingly, the works manage to add something to and fill in some of the historical gaps. The Attempts at Understanding (2020) are set out well in the title of Akinbode Akinbiyi’s work. Through his photographic practice, Akinbiyi develops his idea of “writing with light” to tell a story. In The Faculty of Sensing, a work made for the exhibition, he has focused on capturing the city of Braunschweig, where Anton Wilhelm Amo once lived. Through a present-day perspective, Akinbiyi tries to reconstruct the routes that Amo probably took in the eighteenth century in a process that helps us to investigate and better understand his view of the world at that time. Looking back at Amo’s story, one wonders what it was like for him to walk through a city, probably as one of the few people of color, at a time when racializing became a scientific method. The collaboration between SAVVY Contemporary and Kunstverein Braunschweig brings to light another kind of dominant and subaltern narrative, the kind of constellation in which both institutions have collaborated. On the one hand, anti-racism and anti-discrimination issues are highlighted; on the other hand, there is a cultural association that, for years, has marginalized those very communities with its colonial and capitalist stamp. This brings to light the shared references and the type of financial collaboration between the two organizations, which have different approaches to the subject. Although the exhibition on Amo was able to raise awareness for a large number of privileged and unaffected audiences, it also exposed gender and cultural stereotypes. As a BIPoC person, being included in the exhibition’s context, composed predominantly of white people, is an act of defiance. It was necessary to raise awareness in the institution of certain vocabularies such as “Africa is not a country but a continent” or “lions do not exist across the entire continent.” These are mostly basic concepts and notions which predominate in stereotypical narratives that demean cultures and ethnicities. Based on Trouillot’s concept, which defines people as participants in history, both as actors and as narrators, the life of a philosopher who could have influenced many aspects of existing dominant ideas is being analyzed. This heightens awareness of the fundamental construction of history, which is encapsulated both in “what happened” and “that which is said to have happened,” and reflects the facts which characterize a narrative. Notably, the narratives of power are those which prevail in institutions, too. Trouillot states that the silencing of narratives in historical production processes happens at four decisive moments: “the moment of creation of the facts (the making of sources); the moment of assembling the facts (the making of archives); the moment of retrieval of facts (the making of narratives); and the moment of retrospective meaning (the making of history in the last instance).” Thus, history is conceived in the making and not dependent on a fixed context and moments in time. It is essential that the conditions of production are analyzed in order to highlight the narratives that have won over others. Power, too, influences history at different times and through different angles, and not at one specific moment. This notion implies that even the history of each institution is the result of the occurrence of unique events consisting of both dominant and silenced narratives.
To unveil the privileges and discriminatory structures within cultural institutions, it is necessary to analyze critically the history of the institution in question. If the power play in the production of alternative narratives has its beginnings with the creation of facts and sources, it is precisely those particular sources that need to be analyzed. Citing Trouillot, “First, facts are never meaningless: indeed, they become facts only because they matter in some sense, however minimal. Second, facts are not created equal: the production of traces is always also the creation of silences.”
Europe’s institutions, infrastructure, and economies have built upon the exploitation of human and material resources since the advent of modern colonialism, propelled by Western imperialism. To validate itself, this system had to incorporate the propagation of a hegemonic narrative which involved processes of silencing subordinate voices. These sets of dominant narratives are perpetually being constituted by maintaining the status quo and merely superficially touching upon pressing societal topics through the creation of thematic exhibitions. Contemporary Western institutions too often continue building on this heritage without thoroughly and critically reflecting on this historical background. Considering further how deeply entrenched the scientific validation of knowledge is in cultural institutions, it barely leaves space for alternative understandings which go beyond Western rationalization. Anti-racist practice needs to focus on the foundations of contemporary institutions to realize which kind of narratives have been produced and are being reproduced and which ones continue to be silenced. Here, a pluriversal approach is necessary to adopt in order to acknowledge the full range of silenced and discriminated voices. Telling a story is making history, and as such, a very powerful act. Taking up the responsibilities which arise from equally the colonial heritage and its lasting effects on contemporary societies, museums and art institutions and academic journals are in urgent need of furthering strong and sustainable strategies to incorporate anti-racist measures in the development, curation, and realization of public programs of any kind. Considering the reality of a perpetually existing inequality when it comes to race, gender, and social class, despite the legal foundations of democratic societies, we argue that the status quo of a cultural institution can be considered inherently racist if it denies to thoroughly reflect on its own structure, position, and framework from which it is operating. This approach offers a new perspective and demands a fundamental repositioning of the curator and the academic field. Anti-racist practice thus becomes an integral part of the cultural field in order to realize the democratic core values of a society represented through its cultural institutions.
Deiara Kouto (she/her) is a designer and researcher. Her research explores the production of history and design cultures in West African and European contexts. She finished her MA in Design Studies in September 2021 at the Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design in Halle and now works as fellow in the education field at the Gropius Bau in Berlin.
Anne Bielig (she/her) is an artist and curator. She is currently working on her MA in art sciences at the Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design in Halle, Germany. Previously, she received a master’s at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp, Belgium. Her current research interests lie at the intersection of care, feminism, and sustainability.
Amo, Anton Wilhelm. “Die Apatheia der Menschlichen Seele.” Diss., University of Wittenberg, 1734.
Arens, Esther Helena. “II. Geschichte. Europa, Afrika und Asien in Amerika.” WWU Münster.
Accessed July 2, 2020. https://www.uni-muenster.de/NiederlandeNet/nl-wissen/geschichte/antillen/geschichte.html.
Bayer, Natalie, B. Kazeem-Kamiński, and N. Sternfeld. Kuratieren als antirassistische Praxis. Berlin and Boston: Edition Angewandte, 2017.
Bowersox, Jeff. “Anton Wilhelm Amo argues against the legality of slavery in Europe.” Black Central Europe. Accessed November 21, 2020. https://blackcentraleurope.com/sources/1500-1750/anton-wilhem-amo-against-the-legality-of-slavery-in-europe-1729/.
Brentjes, Burchard. Anton Wilhelm Amo, der schwarze Philosoph in Halle. Leipzig: Köhler und Amelang, 1976.
Chambers of Amsterdam, Register of resolutions, December 20, 1746, 1.05.01.02, 401, Tweede West-Indische Compagnie (WIC), Nationaal Archief, The Hague.
De Sousa Santos, Boaventura. Epistemologies of the South. New York: Routledge, 2016.
De Sousa Santos, Boaventura. “Beyond Abyssal Thinking: From Global Lines to Ecologies of Knowledges.” Research Foundation of State University of New York 30, no. 1 (2007): 45–89.
Diaby, Karamba. “Plenarrede: Kennen Sie Dr. Anton Wilhelm Amo?” Accessed April 21, 2021. https://www.karamba-diaby.de/plenarrede-kennen-sie-dr-anton-wilhelm-amo/.
Duru, Martin. “Der afrikanische Philosoph der Aufklärung.” Philosophie Magazin. Accessed July 1, 2020, https://www.philomag.de/artikel/der-afrikanische-philosoph-der-aufklaerung?amp.
Each One Teach One. “Afrozensus.” Accessed December 9, 2021, https://www.eoto-archiv.de/neuigkeiten/afrozensus-faq/.
Eiser, Isabel. “Ikone einer Debatte: Eine Rezeptionsgeschichte der ‘Benin-Bronzen.’” Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung. Accessed September 8, 2021, https://www.bpb.de/apuz/nigeria-2021/337818/eine-rezeptionsgeschichte-der-benin-bronzen.
Fiorin, Fausto. “Decolonising the Museum: New perspectives for the XXI century ethnographic collections.” MA thesis, University of Siena, 2020.
Greve, Anna. Macht, Farbe und Körper: Kritische Weißseinsforschung in der europäischen Kunstgeschichte. Karlsruhe: KIT Karlsruher Publishing, 2013.
Imani, Sarah, and Karina Therurer. “The German-Namibian “Reconciliation agreement.” Goethe Institut. Accessed September 8, 2021, https://www.goethe.de/prj/lat/en/spu/22326696.html.
Larios, Pablo. “Yvette Mutumba on Why Decolonizing Institutions ‘Has to Hurt.’” Frieze. Accessed May 30, 2021. https://www.frieze.com/article/yvette-mutumba-why-decolonizing-institutions-has-hurt.
Mason-Macklin, Hannah. “Museum in Progress: Decolonizing Museums.” TEDxKingLincolnBronzville YouTube video. December 9, 2019. Accessed May 15, 2021. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRoRzMOBidc.
Merriam Webster, s.v. “dualism.” Accessed September 28, 2020. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dualism.
Meyns, Chris. “Anton Wilhelm Amo and the Problems of Perception.” Chris Meyns.xyz. Accessed July 7, 2020. https://www.chrismeyns.xyz/amo-perception/.
Mignolo, Walter D. The Darker Side of Western Modernity. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2011.
Mignolo, Walter D. “DELINKING.” Cultural Studies 21, no. 2–3 (2007): 449–514. Accessed May 28, 2021. 10.1080/09502380601162647.
Ndikung, Bonaventure Soh Bejeng, ed. The Faculty of Sensing – Thinking With, Through, and by Anton Wilhelm Amo. Exh. cat., Braunschweig: Kunstverein Braunschweig, 2021.
“RESIST! Die Kunst des Widerstands.” Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum, Cologne. Accessed May 28, 2021. https://www.museenkoeln.de/rautenstrauch-joest-museum/RESIST-Die-Kunst-des-Widerstands.
Trouillot, Michel-Rolph. Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History. Boston: Beacon
 “Plenarrede: Kennen Sie Dr. Anton Wilhelm Amo?,” accessed May 21, 2021.
 Chambers of Amsterdam, Register of resolutions, December 20, 1746, 1.05.01.02, 401, Tweede West-Indische Compagnie (WIC), Nationaal Archief, The Hague.
 Personal conversation with the artist; “RESIST! Die Kunst des Widerstands,” Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum, Cologne, accessed May 28, 2021.
 Bayer, Kazeem–Kamiński, and Sternfeld, Kuratieren als antirassistische Praxis, 58.
 Ibid., 58.
 Mason-Macklin, “Museum in Progress: Decolonizing Museums,” TEDxKingLincolnBronzeville,
 Mignolo, The Darker Side of Western Modernity, 182.
 Greve, Macht Farbe und Körper: Kritische Weißseinsforschung in der europäischen Kunstgeschichte, 23.
 Mignolo, DELINKING, 450.
 Bayer, Kazeem–Kamiński, and Sternfeld, Kuratieren als antirassistische Praxis, 56.
 De Sousa Santos, Beyond Abyssal Thinking, 47.
 Trouillot, Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History, 25.
 Ibid., 76.
 Mignolo, The Darker Side of Western Modernity, 122.
 Ibid., 308.
 Ibid., 122.
 Ibid., 123.
 Larios, “Yvette Mutumba on Why Decolonizing Institutions ‘Has to Hurt,’” accessed May 24, 2021, https://www.frieze.com/article/yvette-mutumba-why-decolonizing-institutions-has-hurt.
 Afrozensus is a project by Each One Teach One (EOTO) eV. It is the first detailed documentation about Black, African, and Afrodiasporic people in Germany and Europe. It has now been reported statistically for the first time in Germany; accessed December 9, 2021, https://www.eoto-archiv.de/neuigkeiten/afrozensus-faq/.
 Brentjes, Anton Wilhelm Amo, 29.
 Ndikung, ed., The Faculty of Sensing, 177.
 Fiorin, Decolonising the Museum: New perspectives for the XXI century ethnographic collections, 49.
 Trouillot, Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History, 2.
 Ibid., 26.
 Ibid., 25.
 Ibid., 28–29.
 Ibid., 29.
Deiara Kouto and Anne Bielig, ”From Fiction to Knowledge” Stedelijk Studies Journal 11 (2022). DOI: 10.54533/StedStud.vol011.art08. This contribution is licensed under a CC BY 4.0 license.
Twenty-First-Century Challenges for the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art and Design