Sharing Knowledge as a Step toward an Epistemological Pluralization of the Museum

in Museum Worlds
Restricted access

This article starts from the question of whether the concepts “cosmopolitan memory” and “shared heritage,” with their inherent universalism, are helpful when dealing with ethnographic collections from the Amazon. After presenting some historical context information on the collections in focus, I contrast different notions of “cosmopolitanism” and “cosmopolitics,” drawing on Latin American perspectives. The latter claim to represent an epistemological alternative to a Europe-centered cosmopolitan project. They propose a focus on difference, which in relation to the museum and its working processes means looking at the collections through the others’ lenses. This approach is applied to a collaborative research project between the Ethnological Museum of Berlin and an indigenous university in the Amazon, in order to document and reflect on the outcomes and dilemmas that have emerged thus far.