Exhibiting postcolonial Europe

Online debate featuring scholars from the ECHOES Project
and the House of European History
Thursday, 17 June, 14:00 – 16:00

A considerable number of European countries have a long history of colonizing the rest of the world. What is more, colonialism did not end in 1945 or in 1957, when the Treaty of Rome was signed, with colonial wars in Africa for independence still being fought throughout the 1970s. Multiple forms of colonial entanglement between Europe and formerly colonized countries has often, however, been downplayed or even repressed in presentations of European history and identity. Recent Black Lives Matter protest movements have made it clear that not only the formerly colonized world but also Europe itself is still experiencing postcolonial conditions.

Curators from the House of European History and scholars from the Horizon 2020 research project ECHOES will discuss how to present and exhibit a European history in present-day postcolonial times with participants at this Zoom event.

The House of European History is the only truly European museum in Europe. It is funded by the European Union, and its purpose is to exhibit European history. The ECHOES project (European Colonial Heritage in Entangled Cities) conducted by a consortium of researchers based at nine universities in six European countries and in three countries formerly colonized by European powers, is also funded by the European Union. It aims to study contemporary political, museological and aesthetic practices around European colonial heritage.

Zoom link: https://aarhusuniversity.zoom.us/j/68975616591 (no registration required)


Constanze Itzel, Director, House of European History, Belgium

Elizabeth Buettner, Professor, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

Christoffer Kølvraa, Associate professor, Aarhus University, Denmark

Jan Ifversen, Associate professor, Aarhus University, Denmark

Márcia Chuva, Associate Professor, Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Kieran Burns, Curator, House of European History, Belgium


14:00 – 14:10 Welcome and introduction by Jan Ifversen, CO-PI of the ECHOES project

14:10 – 14:20 Welcome by Constanze Itzel, Museum Director, House of European History, Belgium

14:20 – 14:30 Professor Elizabeth Buettner, University of Amsterdam

Decolonizing History Museums and Engaging with a Multicultural Europe

14:30 – 14:40 Associate professor Ch. Kølvraa, Aarhus University

Between Fortress Europe and Ethiopia: Exhibiting the EU and its (post)colonial entanglements

14:40 – 14:50 Associate professor Jan Ifversen, Aarhus University

Not quite Europeans

14:50 – 15:00 Associate professor Márcia Chuva

A Brazilian view on postcolonial Europe

15:00 – 15:10 Museum curator Kieran Burns, House of European History

Mind the Gap(s)! – Placing Colonialism in the Narrative of the House of European History

15:10 – 15:15 Break

15:15 – 15:45 Panel discussion with all participants from ECHOES and HEH

15:45 – 16:00 Q & A

16:00 Closing of programme