Meeting at the Ethnographic Museum in Stockholm

Last week (January 26-27) the researchers with Ethical Entanglements met with the advisory board for the project, including Fredrik Svanberg (Nordiska museet, Stockholm), Linda Andersson Burnett (Uppsala University), Olof Ljungström (Karolinska Instititutet), Malin Masterton (Örebro University), and Kicki Eldh (The Swedish National Heritage Board). The meeting was held at the Ethnographic Museum in Stockholm. The project members presented their respective work packages to the board and received invaluable feedback from the board members who represent a range of experiences and expertise that in different ways will enrich the project with perspectives from the museum world and Museology, Medical Ethics, the History of Ideas and Knowledge, Postcolonial Studies, and more broadly from a critical engagement with Humanities and Social Science research and its history.

A lot of the discussions came to focus on the ways in which human remains are positioned on a sliding scale, between object and subject, between lived lives and specimens for sciences, and sometimes between evidence and victim – and how their positioning on the scale changes over time, between cultures and academic disciplines.

visit to the storage area of the Ethnographic Museum, photo: Liv Nilsson Stutz

After the meeting, Mia Broné, objects coordinator for the four National Museums of World Culture (Etnografiska museet, Medelhavsmuseet, Östasiatiska museet, och Världskulturmuseet), presented the work that these museums in different ways have worked intentionally with their collections of human remains, and the rich and complex history of the collections. We finished with a visit to the storage area where we continued to discuss practice and ethics of care.

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