Final Lecture by Achille Mbembe On the Restitution of African Art Objects | 20 March 2019

Wednesday, 20 March, 2019 - 18:00

 WiSER invites you to

Three Lectures—On the Restitution of African Art Objects

By Achille Mbembe

Objects and things are everywhere, not least in contemporary critical theory where they are endowed with newly found agency reminiscent of, and yet distinct from, earlier anthropological disquisitions on “animism” and “fetishism”. At the same time, the clamor for the “decolonization” of the arts and the restitution of African artefacts located in Western museums is mounting.

These lectures will re-examine standard accounts of these artefacts’ biographies and assess the political weight and significance of the threefold categories of debt, reparation and restitution in contemporary struggles for universal justice. The lectures will specifically explore some of the meanings attached to the concept and practice of restitution/reparation in African precolonial systems of thought. They will dwell in particular on those traditions that considered the most damaging wrongs as those causing harm to one’s vital force.  They will elicit the juridical underpinnings of the right to restitution/reparation and revisit the relation between “persons” and “objects” it presupposed.

Lecture 3 : 

Debt, Reparation, Restitution

Wednesday, March 20

6:00pm to 7:00pm

6th Floor, Richard Ward Building

Chaired by Richard Rottenburg

Three Lectures by Achille Mbembe

Wednesday, March 6
African Objects in Western Thought

Wednesday, March 13
People and Things in African Systems of Thought

Wednesday, March 20
Debt, Reparation, Restitution

Achille Mbembe is the winner of the 2018 Gerda Henkel Prize. He is also the winner of the 2018 Ernst Bloch Award.