Jan 20, 2022
1. A Place For Questioning
*Fingerprints Episode 1
*Join the Ashmolean Museum’s director, Xa Sturgis, as he questions what a museum is for. He introduces us to Powhatan’s Mantle, one of the museum’s founding objects, and one inextricably linked with British colonial history. From there, he traces the Ashmolean’s story to the present day, as special guests explore how we can transform an uncomfortable past into a more positive future. Find a transcript of this episode here
* See Powhatan’s Mantle here
* Find out more about Oxford University’s procedures about the return of cultural objects here
*Speakers in this episode:*
* Series host: Lucie Dawkins, Director & Producer, Ashmolean Museum
* Xa Sturgis, Director of the Ashmolean Museum
* Sumaya Kassim, writer, curator and museum-sceptic
* Reyahn King, CEO of York Museums Trust
* Dr Laura van Broekhoven, Director of the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford
* Mustafa Barcho, Oxford-Middle East Community Ambassador, Ashmolean Museum
* Marenka Thompson-Odlum, Researcher, Pitt Rivers
* Nicola Bird, Community Engagement Officer, Oxford's Gardens, Libraries and Museums
*About the Fingerprints podcast*
Every object in the Ashmolean has passed from hand to hand to reach the Museum. In a new podcast, we uncover the invisible fingerprints left behind by makers, looters, archaeologists, soldiers, rulers, curators, and many more. These stories of touch reveal the ways in which the forces of conflict and colonialism have shaped Britain’s oldest Museum. Join the Ashmolean’s curators alongside artists, experts, and community members, for our new podcast: Fingerprints.
Fingerprints will be released on the Ashmolean’s website, on Spotify, Apple, and wherever you get your podcasts, weekly from 21 January 2022 until 25 February 2022.
Fingerprints is produced and hosted by Lucie Dawkins. Guests include Bénédicte Savoy, co-author of the Report on African Cultural Heritage, commissioned by Emmanuel Macron; Professor Dan Hicks, of Oxford’s Pitt Rivers Museum; and Simukai Chigudu, one of the founding members of the Rhodes Must Fall campaign.