News of Resistance

News of Resistance

Some of the themes introduced by the works and artefacts in our exhibition are more current than ever. Browse through!

Residential schools designate the extensive system set up by the Canadian government as an attempt to assimilate Indigenous children into mainstream white Canadian society. The schools were mostly operated by Christian churches from the 1880s to the 1990s. During this time, besides the undermining of Indigenous cultures, many children also perished due to disease outbreaks, malnourishment and abuse at the hands of staff. The discovery of unmarked graves on the grounds of residential schools has re-sparked the debate about the acknowledgement for responsibility in the system as well as its implications to the affected peoples.

In the exhibition, the works of Tania Wilard and Lawrence Paul Yuxwelptun deal with the colonial history of Canada and the country’s indigenous peoples

Current News Articles on the Residential Schools accordion-plus accordion-minus

The Benin Bronzes are a group of sculptures and metal plaques from the ancient Kingdom of Benin – today’s Edo State in Nigeria. They were produced from the 15th Century ownwards, looted by British soldiers in 1897 and sold to museums across Europe and North America. The largest collection is held by the British Museum, whereas Germany has over 1,000 items spread across museum collections in Berlin, Dresden, Hamburg, Leipzig, Stuttgart and Cologne. Efforts have been made in Nigeria to try to organize a return of the Bronzes for decades, however, only in the last years momemtum was built for actual negotiations and restitution pleas from European institutions and governments.

Here you can find more information on the collection of Benin Bronzes currently owned by the RJM.

The It’s Yours! room curated by Peju Layiwola also addresses this issue. 

Between 1904 and 1908 troops of the German Empire under the leadership of General Lothar von Trotha waged a genocide against the Ovaherero and Nama peoples in the then colony of German South West Africa. Most of the victims died of starvation and dehydration after being purposefully trapped in the desert or due to rampant diseases and abuse after their imprisonment in concentration camps. In 2015 Germany officially called the events as a genocide for the first time, which paved the way for negotiations with Namibian authorities. For more information on the negotiations, Germany’s official apology and the discussion over financial compensation, we invite you to read the articles listed below.

The It’s Yours! room curated by Esther Utjiua Muinjangue and Ida Hoffmann addresses the genocide and the five years of negotiations that led to the current agreement.


The Residential Schools in Canada

Residential Schools in Canada: A Timeline

Historica Canada

Residential school survivors on the scars of abuse

CBC News

Canada: Hundreds of graves found at Indigenous boarding school

Al Jazeera English

How residential schools in Canada robbed Indigenous children of their identity and lives

The Guardian

The Restitution of Looted Benin Bronzes
Art, Loot and Empire: The Benin Bronzes

OpenLearn from The Open University

Art, Loot and Empire: The Benin Bronzes

OpenLearn from The Open University

Germany to return Benin Bronzes to Nigeria: A new era for stolen artifacts?

DW News

Africa's Looted Art

DW Documentary

BENIN 1897 - KÖLN 2021

Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum / Diskussion / Andreas Görgen, Dan Hicks, Peju Layiwola, Nanette Snoep

German Recognition of Ovaherero and Nama Colonial Genocide in Namibia

Germany recognizes colonial killings in Namibia as genocide


Namibia genocide: Descendants want German reparations, not aid

Al Jazeera English

PDM leader describes N$18.4 billion offer for genocide reparations by Germany unacceptable

Namibian Broadcasting Corporation

RESIST! CONVERSATIONS: It’s Yours! Esther Utjiua Muinjangue

Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum

Germany to return human remains from Namibian genocide of Herero and Nama people

DW English