Established in 1898 as a colonial institution, the Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA) in Belgium is one of the most important reference institutions in the world. It is a federal scientific institute for research and information dissemination with respect to Africa in the fields of biology, earth sciences, anthropology, history and agriculture/forestry. With world famous reference collections for Central Africa, it is also recognized internationally for its exhibitions and research on cultural and natural heritage, societies and natural environments of Africa. In addition, the RMCA has collaborative research activities in more than 20 African countries and provides training every year to nearly 120 African scientists.
Currently closed for major renovation works, this closure has prompted internal reflection, and has opened fresh conversations with African communities within Belgium and the wider diaspora. In this lecture Dr. Gryseels will provide an overview of this reform process and highlight the issues it has presented including the role of postcolonial museums in a multicultural society; the challenges and possibilities of shared heritage; the challenges of defining national identity; and the development of partnerships with source communities.
Dr. Gryseels is a member of the Board of Directors of Federal Science Policy, and of the Flemish Fund for Scientific Research. At the Netherlands Fund for Scientific Research, he is Chair of the Program Committee for Food and Business Research in Developing Countries. In France, he is Chair of the Jury for assessing ARIMnet-research projects, and he is Chair of the International Congo Biodiversity Consortium. Dr. Gryseels is a member of the Jury of the King Baudouin International Development Prize and Chair of the Jury of the Louis Malassis International Scientific Prize for Food and Agriculture. He serves as an advisor to the European Commission for the evaluation of research projects.
VCUQatar’s Crossing Boundaries Lecture Series reflects the cross-disciplinary nature of the featured speakers who are representatives of excellence in creative and innovative thinking. ‘Museums, Shared Heritage and Identity,’ a lecture by Dr. Guido Gryseels will take place on Wednesday, 3 December 2014 at 6:00 pm at the Atrium at VCUQatar. The lecture is free and open to the public.