Where are all the African artifacts? Have you seen them?
We have. In Europe.
We are a Kenyan and German film maker team with directors from both countries, Elena Schilling and Saitabao Kaiyare.
The repatriation debate about African objects being in European museums inspired us to go on a journey: We wanted to find out more about this issue, talk to the people in and outside the museums and find a way to make these artifacts accessible.
We asked ourselves: Where do they belong? What is their value today for both, Europeans and Africans? What are their mysterious, untold stories? How and where can we find answers, and what is the right way to approach a delicate topic like this?
With the support of Lindenmuseum Stuttgart we were able to 3D-scan on old object that is originally from the Kikuyu tribe and currently in the museum’s storage. The museum has only litte information about it: It entered in 1903, and the origin is Kikuyu.
Using Augmented Reality for our installation, we went back to Kenya to travel and find out if there is any knowledge about this artifact today, and mostly: What does it mean to the people – both being present in a digital way and absent in a physical.
We found plenty of interesting thoughts, conversations and emotions when showing this installation while documenting its „return“. And of course we had discussions about this journey: Is it cynical to show people a 3D projection of something that used to be part of their culture?
This documentary project is a production of Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg that was developed during an exchange program from the Robert-Bosch-foundation in cooperation with Docubox East Africa and with the help of Hivos Foundation and LBBW Foundation and the Baruu Collective.