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AKDC Program Head to edit volume on the topic of restitution of cultural artifacts

Journal Logo: Roots & Routes: Research on Visual Cultures

AKDC Program Head Dr. Nur Sobers-Khan is one of the curators of §RETURN, HEAL, REDISTRIBUTE, an upcoming issue of ROOTS§ROUTES a multilingual, independent quarterly magazine of visual culture published in Italy. The focus of the issue curated by Dr. Sobers-Khan, Domenico Sergi, Anna Chiara Cimoli and Giulia Grechi is Restitution, an important and timely issue in contemporary museum practice, the debate of which often serves to expose “deeply rooted colonial epistemologies.”

In Europe and the US, “one of the most frequent objections to restitution is the weak scientific infrastructure of the communities where objects would be returned,” a premise that assumes that only museums are capable of preserving cultural heritage objects, and that preservation of these objects in is of paramount importance, even more so than the role of the objects within the culture from which they were taken.

As the call for proposals points out:

Questions of restitution are key to the attainment of social justice for marginalized communities. Crucial to this conversation are the debates around the restitution of human remains, and objects or artworks removed during colonial or nationalist projects.

According to the call for proposals, abstracts can be written in English, Italian, French, Portuguese or Spanish.

Contributions may address the processes behind the restitution of objects, collections, human remains, and artworks from any age or context. Submissions may also discuss how traces of memory are redistributed, how communities may deal with the reparation of traumas from a legal or psychological perspective. Contributions may also pertain to the renegotiation of values in the processes of mediation, and more generally any possibility of rewriting history (past and future) within a social justice framework, and discuss case studies concerning generative conflict, grassroot political mobilisation prevention, protection of rights, and care of common goods.

The deadline for abstracts in March 20. For more information, see the Call for Proposals in English at For the Italian version, see

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