Project Leader: Claudia Augustat, (since January 2018), Curator at Weltmuseum Wien
Project Contact: Doris Prlić, coordination SWICH project
Project Leader until December 2017: Steven Engelsman, Director Weltmuseum Wien; Project Leader until July 2015: Barbara Plankensteiner, Deputy Director & Chief Curator Weltmuseum Wien
The Weltmuseum Wien, created as Museum of Ethnology (Museum für Völkerkunde) in 1928, has its origin in the Ethnographic Collection of the Natural History Museum founded in 1876. It is the only Austrian museum focusing with its collection and program on the worlds’ cultural diversity while at the same time documenting Austria’s historical relations with the world through its global collections. Today it aims to make the historical collections salient in the present society marked by globalisation and migration. With its collections and history the Weltmuseum Wien offers an ideal environment for researching, articulating and discussing questions of cultural diversity. In April 2013 the museum has marked its reorientation with the change of name into „world museum“.
The Stichting Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen (National Museum of World Cultures) is founded as the combination of the Tropenmuseum (Amsterdam), Museum Volkenkunde (Leiden) and Afrika Museum (Berg en Dal). The museum’s Research Center for Material Culture (RCMC) serves as a focal point for research on ethnographic collections in the Netherlands.
Research is one of the core functions of the museum, providing the basis for the museum’s acquisitions, publications, exhibitions, collections care and management, and public programmes. The museum’s RCMC is a center for interdisciplinary research (anthropology, art history, history, archaeology, cultural studies, and critical museology) with a distinctively material culture orientation. The research projects and programmes are based on the museum’s internationally renowned collections of over 376,000 objects cataloguing the diversity of world cultures, and almost 1,000,000 photographs, in relation to the national and global histories of which they are a part, and to the contemporary questions around issues of heritage, cultural identity and belonging that they raise.
To many, the Royal Museum for Central Africa is the finest and most impressive Africa museum in the world, housing exceptionally rich collections in a splendid historic building, set amidst beautiful gardens. According to his mission statement, the institute must be a world centre in research and knowledge dissemination on past and present societies and natural environments of Africa, and in particular Central Africa, to foster – to the public at large and the scientific community – a better understanding and interest in this area and, through partnerships, to substantially contribute to its sustainable development. Thus the core tasks of this Africa-oriented institution consist of acquiring and managing collections, conducting scientific research, implementing the results of this research, disseminating knowledge, and presenting to the public a selection from its collection.
MuCEM is the first French museum devoted to Mediterranean cultures. Its mission is to explain the complexity of the Mediterranean world, made of exchanges, of migrations and whose influence extends throughout Europe and beyond. Its collections are composed of a million works and objects reflecting the civilizations and traditions of Europe and the Mediterranean, even to the Middle East. An exceptional wealth enhanced by a programme of temporary and permanent exhibitions, meetings and conferences, live performances, awareness-raising initiatives and mediations intended for every audience.
Världskulturmuseerna (The National Museums of World Culture) comprises four separate museums with different thematic orientations, which together span all over the world and thousands of years of human culture from prehistoric times to our world today. The Etnografiska museet (The Museum of Ethnography, Stockholm), the Medelhavsmuseet (Stockholm), the Världskulturmuseet (The Museum of World Culture, Göteborg) and the Östasiatiska museet (The Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, Stockholm).
The Linden-Museum, a museum for ethnology, is situated in the German city of Stuttgart/State of Baden-Württemberg. With its renowned collection of around 160.000 objects it belongs to the important ethnographic museums of Europe. Special exhibits presenting different aspects of the cultures of the world add to the large permanent collections on Africa, North America, Latin America, The Orient, South and East Asia as well as Oceania.
The Prehistoric and Ethnographic Museum of Rome, founded by the paleontologist Luigi Pigorini (1842-1925) was inaugurated on March 14th 1876. The mission of the museum is focused on researching and documenting prehistoric populations and non-European cultures, with the aim of promoting cross-cultural understanding, historical knowledge and the respect for cultural diversities.
The Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Cambridge has one of the most important collections of its kind in the UK. The collections span nearly two million years of human history, on all six inhabited continents. MAA holds extremely strong collections from the Pacific, including one of the largest from the voyages of Captain James Cook, and the most important collection of Fijian material outside Fiji itself. It also has an extremely strong collection of Anglo Saxon material from Britain, and its collections of world prehistory, particularly from the Palaeolithic era (2,000,000 to 100,000 years ago), are uniquely comprehensive.
The Slovene Ethnographic Museum is a museum "about people, for people", a museum of cultural identities, a link between the past and the present, between traditional and modern culture, between our own and other cultures, between the natural environment and civilisation. It is a museum of dialogue, open, active and hospitable, dedicated to serving the public. It presents and reports on traditional culture as well as mass and pop culture in Slovenia and the diaspora, on non-European cultures, and on the material and intangible cultural heritage of both everyday and festive life.
The Museum of World Cultures of Barcelona (Museu de Cultures del Món) preserves, presents and disseminates the artistic and cultural heritage of the diverse cultures of Africa, Asia, America and Oceania. Housed in two Mediaeval houses on Barcelona’s oldest district, it exhibits more than 500 objects permanently and offers different public programs addressed to a wide range of users.
Culture Lab is a private Belgian agency working in the design and management of European and international cultural cooperation projects, with a specific focus on the safeguard and promotion of cultural heritage. Thanks to a team of professionals specialized in the various fields of culture, the company provides its expertise in the project management and design, carries out sectoral studies for national and international cultural organizations and takes part in study and evaluation field missions in Europe, Near and Far East and Africa. Moreover, as a publisher, Culture Lab carries out the publication of books, the publishing coordination as well as the writing and the copy-editing of specialized texts.