Colonial Contexts in the Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg (SPSG)
The SPSG’s treatment of objects and concepts with colonial reference
The discussion on the consequences of colonialism with regard to European collections and museums is not new. A basic question in all of this: How should we deal with our colonial past and our colonial legacy?
The Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg is shouldering this task, critically examining relevant objects and concepts and correcting them where needed. We aim to communicate with transparency, to raise our own and others’ awareness for the problems involved, and to explain and convey colonial contexts in our exhibitions.
In order to guide and implement the processes required for this, the Colonial Contexts steering committee was created at the SPSG. Its core task is to develop permanent and sustainable structures for working up and conveying colonial contexts and to bring about and see through the appropriate measures. Finally, in doing so, we seek to achieve a participatory exchange and the presentation of various perspectives.
The Foundation preserves a number of objects that have colonial references. In each concrete case, a critical examination must be undertaken on whether or not the labels and presentation of artworks and collection objects in our palaces and gardens do justice to their colonial contexts and the historic facts. From now on, these objects will be worked upon systematically in small, individual projects for further research, and materials will be created for their mediation.