Ethnographic Museum at the University of Zurich

Declaration of the ISEK-Ethnographic Museum regarding #BlackLivesMatter

As part of the ISEK the Ethnographic Museum is committed to diversity in society. In their work, our staff strive to counter any form or racism and discrimination.

We understand the Ethnographic Museum as:

  • a space to critically, responsibly and collaboratively reflect the origin of the idea of an ethnographic museum in colonial times.
  • a space for (self-)reflection on racism, discrimination and exclusion, but also on integration and peaceful coexistence, in Switzerland as well as in other regions of the world.
  • a space for mutual learning about different forms of human coexistence.
  • a space for collaborative and transparent research on the collections stored in our facility, parts of which were collected in colonial contexts and under racist assumptions.
  • a space for exhibitions, publications and events that put into question colonial and derogatory perspectives and stereotypes and aim to reconfigure our knowledge. We share our exhibitions digitally in our 360° extended exhibition space. In addition, the Ethnographic Museum is a signatory to the “Heidelberger Stellungnahme” (Heidelberg Statement, May 2019).
  • a space where alternative histories can be made visible. How did and do people oppose colonialism and racism? Which stories have so far remained untold? Which alternative models for coexistence can teach us how to embrace diversity?