From 2005 to 2008 the exhibition KongospĂĄr â€“ Traces of the Congo â€“ has opened its doors in national museums in Scandinavia and Finland. This exhibitionâ€™s starting point is â€śWhy are there so many artefacts from the Congo in our collections and why are there so many traces of the Congo in Scandinavia?â€ť It is a reflective exhibition that tries to problematize colonialism and the presence of the whites â€“ the Scandinavians â€“ in the history of the Congo. What is interesting is that in problematizing the gaze of the past upon â€śthe Othersâ€ť â€“ the people of the Congo â€“ the exhibition can also be interpreted as critically problematizing the notion of â€śUsâ€ť in the past. Who were the â€śWeâ€ť who thought that we had the right to exploit the Africans or saw it as â€śourâ€ť mission to civilize â€śthe Otherâ€ť? But in distancing ourselves from the exploiters and colonizers of the past; and in a multi-cultural and inclusive society of today; who is allotted the narrative roles of â€śUsâ€ť and â€śthe Otherâ€ť â€“ Who is â€śthe Otherâ€ť now?
National museums in a global world. NaMu III; Department of culture studies and oriental languages; University of Oslo; Norway; 19-21 November 2007
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