Africa in Australia – Invitation for Project Sponsorship

Africa in Australia’: A Research and Exhibition Project


Sponsors are being sought for the ‘Africa in Australia’ project.

The project aims to use African artefacts held in Australian collections as a medium through which to re-examine the history of Australia’s engagements with Africa, and to help reconnect African-Australians to Africa.

The project’s objectives are:

  • To catalogue and scan all of the African-related artefacts (art, photographs, and written texts) that are held in Australasian museums, other public institutions, and significant private collections, and where necessary, to conduct research on the provenance of these;
  • To create an online platform through which a selection of these artefacts can be made available to African and other global publics, and through which members of those publics can engage with, and respond to, those artefacts;
  • To also catalogue and analyse Australian Aboriginal artefacts that are held in African museums;
  • To undertake a programme of research on all of these collections, including a number of PhD projects, with a view to exploring what they reveal about the history of Australia and Africa’s colonial, familial, economic, military and missionary ties with each other.
  • To build a network of partnerships between Australasian museums and their African counterparts (and European and US museums with African interests), as a conduit for south-south knowledge-exchange. This network will share best practice in relation to, for example, the handling of secret-sacred objects, the exhibition of gender-sensitive artefacts, and the protocols and practices of repatriation.
  • To curate a travelling exhibition from the project, provisionally called Africa in Australia, which will be shown at some of the project’s partner museums, and at select museums and galleries in Africa. The project will also output a range of publications, including an exhibition catalogue.

The project includes a strong element of community engagement, with African-Australian community organisations involved in all stages of its design and delivery.

It will culminate in a series of participatory museum-based events for African-Australians.

The project is to be submitted for an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant in 2019. This scheme requires a level of support from partner organisations, which is then used to apply for funding from the ARC.

AFSAAP has provided a $10,000 seed grant to the project, and now encourages individual and corporate sponsors to contribute further funding. Australian companies working in Africa, or African companies working in Australia, would benefit from this sponsorship.

Please contact richard.vokes@uwa.edu.au for more information.