Last week I helped host a speaker from West Africa at the IMA. Dr. Boureima Diamitani is the Executive Director of the West African Museums Programme. It’s currently based in Dakar Senegal, but will move during the next few months to Niger. During his short visit Boureima participated in meetings with IMA staff and local community leaders, and held a public conversation with IMA Director Maxwell Anderson on a range of issues.
Talking with Boureima during his short stay, I became conscious of the inherent contradictions that African museums represent. Contemporary African museums inherited their collections from the European colonial governments that established them. Colonial museums in Africa were originally created for the enjoyment of white visitors; black Africans were not admitted.