About the project
"Planet Africa – Archaeological time travel" is a new exhibition concept that is fascinating not only in terms of content but also, appeal. In 2024, the opening of the exhibition will take place at the Museum für Vor- und Frühgeschichte (MVF), Berlin, from where it will tour through Germany. Parallel to this, the exhibition will be shown in various African museums. "Planet Africa" is being developed under the direction of Jörg Linstädter (KAAK), Gerd-Christian Weniger (University of Cologne), Wazi Apoh (University of Accra) and the MVF, Berlin. The exhibition is conceived in close collaboration with African colleagues and the DFG priority program, "Entangled Africa". In addition, African street artists have been incorporated to create illustrations for the individual thematic modules. Funding is provided by the Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Research Foundation (DFG).
The exhibition is sectioned into six modules. These emphasize Africa's important role in human history; from the first representatives of the genus Homo to more recent technological and nutritional impulses that were carried from Africa to the whole world. They present a continent that fascinates through its natural diversity and continuous (environmental) changes, which triggered adaptation processes, migratory movements and produced new survival strategies again and again. Alongside archaeological finds, images and written signs provide comprehensive testimony to the arts, crafts, technologies and environments of times long past as well as to the connections between people across vast distances. The remains of settlements and urban centers reveal complex social and political structures, adaptation to lifeways of close coexistence, while at the same time nomadic ways of life remained essential. Additionally, the modern use of indigenous knowledge, the works of art and interpretation of the varied cultural settings of the African researchers and artists involved in the research projects and in the exhibition are made evident. Above all, the exhibition explores the viability of archaeology as a unifying frame for pan-African and intercontinental connectedness.
The minds behind the idea
PD Dr. Jörg Linstädter
Jörg Linstädter is the first director of the Commission for Archaeology of Non-European Cultures (KAAK). He is the leader of the exhibition project.
Dr. Johanna Sigl
Archaeologist and coordinator of the DFG SPP "Entangled Africa"
Johanna Sigl is an Egyptologist. She directs the research project "Realities of Life" and coordinates the priority program 'Entangled Africa' at the Commission for Archaeology of Non-European Cultures (KAAK) in 2019.
Prof. Dr. Wazi Apoh
Wazi Apoh is a professor of archaeology and Dean of the School of Arts at the University of Ghana. He is the African curator of the exhibition.
Prof. em. Dr. Gerd-Christian Weniger
Archaeologist and exhibition organizer
Gerd-Christian Weniger was director of the Neanderthal Museum for over 20 years and Prof. apl. for Paleolithic Archaeology at the University of Cologne. He is the German curator of the exhibition.
Miriam Rotgänger M.A.
Miriam Rotgänger is doing her PhD in Prehistory at the University of Cologne. She is working at the Commission for Archaeology of Non-European Cultures (KAAK) for the exhibition project as a research assistant since December 2021.
Dr. Ewa Dutkiewicz
Ewa Dutkiewicz is an archaeologist. She is researcher at the Museum für Vor- und Frühgeschichte in Berlin.
May 31, 2022 Planet Africa – State of the Art
A lot has been happening behind the scenes of the Planet Africa exhibition over the past few months. The team has been working at full speed to complete the pilot. At the beginning of May the time had come! The trailer as well as the introductory film and the animated slideshows for module 3 were completed. Digitally, the first wall designs for three presentation boxes have already been created. These boxes are the central elements and guide the visitors through the six topics of the exhibition by using films, slideshows, images and texts.
The end of the pilot phase also marks the launch of social media channels such as Twitter and Instagram. In addition to the regular blog posts, our day-to-day work is documented there, the team is introduced, and exciting previews of the exhibition are provided. In addition, the content of the remaining thematic modules is now being developed. This includes the formation of local committees in African partner cities as well as the selection of African street artists who will design the key visuals of the individual thematic modules.
Digital meeting with the artist collective MAASAI MBILI (Kenya).
At the annual reception of the German Archaeological Institute on May 11, 2022, Jörg Linstädter, the Executive Director of the Commission for Archaeology of Non-European Cultures, gave the keynote speech. The event took place both in presence and online. Part of his lecture was also the presentation of the Planet Africa exhibition and the trailer. The audience was enthusiastic about the progress and conception of the exhibition and there was a lively discussion at a get-together afterwards.
Jörg Linstädter gives the keynote speech at the annual reception of the German Archaeological Institute in Berlin.
Ein weiterer Meilenstein wurde mit dem Bau von zwei Präsentationsboxen des Modul 3 erreicht. Diese vorab gebauten Testboxen dienen als „proof of concept“ und werden erstmalig auf der internationalen Konferenz „Groundcheck - Klima, Krise, Archäologie“ des Auswärtigen Amts in Berlin zu sehen sein. Von dort aus ziehen sie in das MVF, Berlin und werden 2024 in die Ausstellung integriert.
Presentation boxes of the module 3.
23. March 2022 Planet Africa – pilot project of a new exhibition concepts