On Wednesday 16th March at 3pm in W/243 in Wentworth College Sharon Macdonald will talk about her new research project, Making Differences in Berlin. Transforming Museums and Heritage in the 21st Century. Funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation until 2020, the project looks at how cultural, social and natural differences are being made in some of Berlin’s museum and heritage developments.
A multi-researcher collaborative ethnography of the city’s museums and heritage, the project will investigate, analyse and in some cases contribute to ongoing developments, including the high profile Humboldt Forum in the centre of the city (which will house the ethnological, Asian and University collections, as well as a new exhibition about Berlin itself), the new Museum of Islamic Art and the ambitious new plans for the Museum of Natural History, as well as more small-scale and local initiatives, such as those designed for refugees.
Making Differences will track and analyse the ways in which notions such as ‘diversity’, ‘biodiversity’, ‘multiculturalism’, ‘globalization' and ‘cosmopolitanism’ are variously mobilised, defined and put to work, and the effects that these have. Through comparative international analysis, it aims to understand the challenges and potentials of museums and heritage for more convivial social relationships and understanding.