Digesting Care

“We account for only 0.01% of the total biomass on Earth. We have to collaborate with other beings, whether we like it or not.”

Zheng Bo

We are inspired by patterns, stories, and ideas that originate in the complex and beautiful web of life on this planet.

the point of this story is to remind us that we should not have the hubris to act as if we know all the answers in advance.When paving new pathways and executing new plans, we must seriously consider the effects of our actions. The intention to care or do good is never enough.

I’m sorry… I don’t know the answers, I have the right to breathe. That’s all. I do imagine the process of taking care as a series of entanglements. Let’s see how concrete actions can follow care.

Zheng Bo
Zheng Bo
Zheng Bo

"Working against the amnesia of slavery in South Africa, what are the implications of experimental thinking on questions of historiography, fiction, and nationalist myth-making?

We cannot compare and we cannot ignore. We can only fabulate with a plurality of worlds. Try not to forget the invisible beings!

The most imaginative idea in my whole artistic career was proven to be nothing “original.” I was simply following orchids and wasps. We stand not on the shoulders of giants, but in billions of years of evolution.

Amie Soudien
Juno Salazar Parreñas

“Indeed, experiments open other possibilities: some hopeful, some fatal, and oftentimes combinations of both.”

“All the workers are anonymous and silenced but these images might be wandering and absorbing to the soil on the plantation and dispersing in the air, but never gone as the practices of extractivism keep going, echoing and reverberating from time to time, until today.”

Elia Nurvista

The image of the future is a mirror of the image of the past precisely to the extent to which the future reflects the becoming-planetary of a prior global conditions of life-without-standing. Or, much more simply: if we want to know what the future will look like, look to what life has historically been made to be when it is held to have no protection, no right.

a reminder that even colonials have a vision of decolonization.

Audra Mitchell
Audra Mitchell

Though, by gathering an ensemble of voices, we may be able to compose a life that embraces the lack of knowledge. Can this only come with collaboration?

It depends on whether we work with other beings in the planetary garden or exploit them until we all drop dead in the capitalist market.

Audra Mitchell

“The holding onto traumas that aren’t ours, the holding back of beings and bodies from their homes and families, the holding on to simulacra pasts and futures we wish we could still have.”

“Side by side with the world open to our observation, there are other worlds as well and, therefore, other forms of life different from ours and presumably from one another, and yet subtly interacting and perhaps permeating one another in a manner beyond our ken.”

It is time that we define art not as human-only “creation” but the vibrancy of ten thousand beings

Mayanthi Fernando

Have the silences been addressed?

“Accepting the fact that humans do not always have the means to percieve other beings deeper realities without denying that such realities exist. This is humanness as an epistemological limit.”

“There is control of the cultural hegemony, to control all the narratives in children’s books, in movies, in music, in museums, in monuments in order to reinforce this ideology to be able to keep on exercising the colonial violence towards the global south.”

Daniela Ortiz

“These types of ethnographic museums contain those artworks, those cultural artefacts that were kidnapped, looted and stolen from the global south to control the narratives in order to reinforce racist narratives.”

How can we take this conversation seriously? This is something we really need to take care of. I respect the silences. The lack of action can help lead us to self-reflection.

Daniela Ortiz

Some collections are aware of their kidnapping. It always comes down to control and power inside institutions.

Daniela Ortiz
Daniela Ortiz

A problem has been presented!

“How to challenge the political imaginary of invasion?”

Miriam Ticktin

“The goal is to think about museums as spaces for collaborative political imagination of an otherwise, an otherwise that is already in the process of being materialized, if we look carefully.”

Not everything has to be excavated. Let’s act like we don’t have all the answers. It’s only our colonial desire to control the outcome anyway. This very conversation is an experiment.

The story of Eve the infant orangutan might best illustrate what could be described as a specifically colonial desire to control the outcomes of the Harrisson’s experiment.

the possibility of excavation as something that is not about the cruel taking, looting, or coercive deprivation of meaningful cultural effects, but something akin to its root sense of hollowing out. I instead want to think of hollowing or excavation in a capacity to hold things for safekeeping, like a vault or hole.

Miriam Ticktin
Miriam Ticktin

Imagining being part of a multispecies ecosystem is a constant becoming. It blurs the border to the afterlife, human and nonhuman.

Miriam Ticktin

It is not about resolutions. Nor can it end future inquiries into what other plans might arise. Indeed, experiments open other possibilities: some hopeful, some fatal, and oftentimes combinations of both.

Ian Baucom

“The planetary crisis of climate change we are facing does not come from a historical nowhere. It comes from distinct material histories of the colony and post-colony. To recognize that however is not adequate to the challenge of the times we inhabit”

Erosion, deposits of sand and silt, and lush vegetation had fragmented the sparse remains of human industry. One sifted and gleaned through them in the heat of the day. Small details were difficult to recover.

Ian Baucom

But the path is not always clear, the future may be precarious…

“As we consider the daunting challenges of how to respond to those calls of historical and planetary responsibility an intriguing figure has emerged at the margins of law: the “future claimant’s representative”; a figure from the future who can speak to the decisions, choices, determinations, we are making for the planet now."

Human culture in Borneo is complexly plural. To gain access to it, to accept and understand it, meant feeling one’s way through this variety.

Ian Baucom

if we are to learn how to be the representative claimants for those future refugees, border-crossing from the future into our present organizations of power, that we must begin by building our contemporary and future commitments to a “we” far beyond our current lines of green life and arid life; by opening ourselves to the widening future deserts and deepening drowning pools we are already making.

The things that an art historian or ceramics expert or an archaeologist may value is not intrinsically valuable, that discard or waste can have meaning and value.

What if not knowing is the limit? We are overwhelmed. It is not clear how to approach the unknown. There is always a struggle.

If the future comes before us as something we are already colonizing, something denied the ability to represent itself; then, even as we imagine what it might mean to be that abjected and precarious future’s representatives, we will need to ask these dual questions of representation

“How to make visible the sociopolitical, institutional, historical, temporal and psychological design systems of objects in museums and how objects can be vascularized with ecological conditions and sensitivities?”

(People nodding)

Aram Lee

We are lost here, please slow down. We can articulate together

Can we re-articulate the university’s and the museum’s projects of restitution as not only a compensatory act for the past, and care for the present, but, also, as a creative art for the future?

To be honest, the question is a bit too abstract for me.

“Films about climate change, or addressing environmental issues and the intersections with the social fabric and livelihoods of communities, also need to consider their production methods.”

If the planet is in crisis because of the history of colonialism—and in deepened crisis because we are now, already, colonizing the future—then how are we best to entangle ourselves with that future, its scales of time, its struggles for freedom?

Itandehui Jansen
Itandehui Jansen

If the future comes before us as something we are already colonizing, something denied the ability to represent itself; then, even as we imagine what it might mean to be that abjected and precarious future’s representatives, we will need to ask these dual questions of representation

Itandehui Jansen

“Mexico dramatically increased arrests and deportations while simultaneously making the migration journey more arduous and deadly. In response to this heightened security, migrants have turned to transnational gangs such as MS-13 who have become increasingly involved in the human smuggling industry.”

Jason De Léon
Jason De Léon
Jason De Léon

Aren’t we just making the complex even more complex? Everybody is doing something all the time.

There is no plan to follow. Instead, what I think we can have is experimentation, when we try things out not knowing if they will succeed and excavation, when we create a hollow space to hold things or ideas that may be valuable or may just be laughable waste.

Jason De Léon
Guy Patrice Dkamela & Tine Huyse

“How to document and analyse contested versions of nature & nature conservation?”

Guy Patrice Dkamela & Tine Huyse
Guy Patrice Dkamela & Tine Huyse
Guy Patrice Dkamela & Tine Huyse

I don’t know.
Am I even doing the right thing?


What is the relationship between to digest and to care? Or, said differently, what might more attentiveness to digestion tell us about care, about caring. To pose such a question is not without some risks, the danger of “domesticating” care, reducing care to the body, and, arguably, to the normative gendered ways in which we have understood caring for the body. Indeed, it is this kind of care, care as women’s work, that has long been criticized by feminist scholars at least since the late 1980s (Tronto, 1990). And yet, we pose the question, believing in its possibilities, its potential to help us think otherwise. We are interested in the possible yield, analytically or practically, that bringing digestion and care together may have for the work of museums.

At its most self-evident, to digest could mean to break food down in the digestive system so that it can be absorbed and used by the body. It could mean to soften or to decompose (food). Beyond the body, to digest could mean to arrange something systematically, breaking down an argument, to summarize it into bite-sized pieces, more easily understandable. It could be a way of processing something mentally. We are interested in all these different meanings. Before one can start to digest, food must be taken into the mouth and swallowed. This is, however, not without danger. Once ingested, the body can respond with an allergic reaction, or food can get stuck in the throat leading to choking. Like care, improper digestion can be dangerous or even life-threatening. And yet, when done properly digestion should lead to care. Food is broken down and the nutrients released through digestion circulate throughout the body, they are absorbed, replenishing cells and fueling healing. As any medical practitioner will tell you, these actions need time, it is a process that should not be rushed: time to chew, time to swallow, but also time for the nutrients to achieve their healing effect.

It is this entanglement of time, process and action that interests us in thinking about digestion, care and the museum. What does it mean to allow curative substances into the body of the museum? Is it possible that a substance generally considered healthy or nurturing, once taken in can be rejected by the museum? Over the last few years, these questions have been raised about and within ethnographic museums all across Europe, even if not so explicitly. Involved as they have been in protracted discussions about their involvement in colonialisms’ historical and lasting wounds, it has become taken for granted that if the museum, the ethnographic museum, is to effect any change, it must first heal itself, it must address its own wounds, but also deal with itself as part of the wound of history. For some, these attempts at healing congregate under the rubric of decolonization; for others diversity and inclusion. Even with this self-evidence, such processes of healing are not easy. Neither are they accepted as necessary. What does such a healing look like for museums? How do we heal, or contribute to healing, when we are not always convinced of our complicity in a long history of wounding, in the fact that we are part of the wound of history? While maintaining the importance of projects in diversity and inclusion, and in decolonization, we want to focus on the act and process of digesting as an entryway to think about care, about the museum as a site for taking care.

In a project-driven museum world, it is easy to move from project to project, barely finishing one and already running to the next. Strapped for funding, or (self-)conscripted into projects like exhibitions that foreground visitor numbers over real change, these museums dedicate little time to process, to digest, to break down, and then to absorb. In fact, projects are often taken on to carve out time for research, in the hope that their results can be put back into the museum.

This publication, Digesting Care, is an injunction, it is an invitation to museums to reflect more critically on what is needed for real change. Focused on our most recent collaborative project, TAKING CARE, which came after several earlier largescale collaborations across European museums such as SWICH and RIME. Digesting Care asks that we think about if we have achieved anything with the many projects of this kind? If so, what have we learnt? And if not, what are we to do differently to effect greater change? Experimental in form, artists and designers Kendal Beynon and Camilo García suggest that we may need to take more time, to take the time to digest the many foods (for thought and for practice) that these projects offer.

Within TAKING CARE, we at the National Museum of World Cultures, like the twelve other partners in this project, have been committed to exploring our own role in colonialism’s tentacular afterlives, in the planetary crisis as in what some have regarded as a growing racialized xenophobic exclusionary politics of the present. Indeed, we take these as two overlapping crises, tied to the colonial past. And if there was much doubt about the intertwining, this would only be confirmed in the apocalyptic reminder of the outbreak of the Covid pandemic just after the start of the project. Covid would make us increasingly aware that the most vulnerable among us, to the planetary and ecological precarity that we now face are in many ways those same people and places that were formerly colonized by Europe. What then is the role of ethnographic museum in making bare these connections, in presenting possible solutions?

It is these overlapping concerns that Yuki Kihara explored as artist in residence at our museums. These were the same concerns for which we took the time for in the conference ‘Re|Creating Kinship in the Ethnographic Museum in Europe’, the final conference of our TAKING CARE project. Beynon and García centered the idea of the unknown, of ‘Unknown Imaginaries’, to highlight how the different themes and questions of the conference, indeed of the TAKING CARE project as a whole, form a network of intersecting lines of inquiry, for which there may not be clear answers, at least not easy or self-evident ones. And yet we need to ingest them, to stay with them, to process them, to have them move through our veins, if we as museums are to respond to the precarious world we now inhabit. Why should an ethnographic museum, museums that have long privileged the human (even if regarded throughout its history as a less evolved humanity) over non-human beings, deal with the question of species death, of animal or of plant life. What does this have to do with colonialism? How do we find answers to these questions?

And even if there are no easy answers, to digest care may demand that we swallow the pill of theory, take time for it, so that we can see change in our practice. That we take time for activism, for artistic practices, that pushes us to change. We may have to take in critique, to ingest it, even if it is hard to swallow, we chew on it slowly, to process it, to digest it so that it can be absorbed into the museum’s body and make change happen. For museums that have been part of the infrastructure of colonialism of other peoples and lands across the world, we have also been part of colonizing our approach to, our understanding of and engaging with the planet. These are entangled worlds. TAKING CARE has allowed us to carve out time to break the cure down into small pieces. The question remains how to bring about sustainable change that centers care, while also taking into account the inherent tensions and contradictions present in the idea of care itself.

Wayne Modest, Erna Lilje & Esmee Schoutens

Editorial Note

The Taking Care Project aims to explore care as kinship within ethnographic and world cultures museums, and what it means to care in a precarious world, so when we joined the project as the designers of this experimental publication, we wanted to encapsulate this in our outcome. We attended the conference as listeners and workshoppers in November and tried to absorb as much of the content as possible. Instead of traditional note-taking , we opted to draw our observations from the plethora of talks, discussions and workshops. We saw that with this, we could capture ideas beyond written language and photographic material. Our drawings also offered up clues to how the content of the conference became entangled with eachother and the connections they held within them.


Within these connections, we started to list the most frequently discussed concepts. Some of the key words we happened upon often were contradiction, plurality, fabulation, entanglement, unknown, and thus, the list kept growing. We used these words as a tagging system to reveal the connections between the content of this publication. In our case, these are the papers, presentations, photographs and workshop materials that we encountered during the conference.


Something that stood out to us as attendees was the amount of unclear answers to difficult and complex questions, as most of these prompts are impossible to answer definitively. The idea that some things can not be answered led us to lead with the idea of the unknown, and therefore this publication centres around the idea of ‘Unknown Imaginaries’. How can we employ our own imaginations in the solving of these questions? How does fabulation play a role? How do we explore the unknown?


While imagining the possible answers to our questions, the idea of entanglements came to play a key role in how these can take form. Imagination, for us, comes intertwined with these entanglements. This is how we decided that the content needed to talk to each other and reveal its connections and commonalities.

While creating our tagging system, simultaneously, we began to use our note drawings to define the word ‘care’ through different verbs such as ‘struggle’, ‘repair’ and ‘respect’. These became the basis of interchanging subtitles for this publication. We formulated questions that included both our keywords and the list of verbs to create prompts that connect the content throughout the conference. These subtitles also give structure to the content by what is displayed and how it is formed.

We wanted to create a transformative publication that highlights the unknown by offering something that is not definitive but suggestive. The publication reflects that we can never be all knowing, and to do away with control, instead opting for the slow digestion of multiple outcomes.

Kendal Beynon & Camilo Garcia A

You can read about the process of making this publication in more detail here



Location: Grote Zaal, Museum Volkenkunde Steenstraat 1 Leiden

There is no livestream available.

Costs: Attendance is free of charge but does not include lunch. You can buy lunch at the museum café or go to one of Leiden’s numerous cafés and supermarkets at walking distance from the museum.

Accessibility: Entry to the museum buildings is possible via either stairs or an elevator/ramp. Within the museum building there is another elevator, which allows you to access the basement and the first floor. On these two floors you can find female, male and accessible toilets, in the basement there is also a gender neutral toilet. Lockers and quiet spaces are available. Please refrain from wearing strong scents, as it may disturb other attendees. We provide face masks and recommend to do a Covid selftest before coming to Leiden. If you have any further specific needs, please contact us at takingcarefinalconf@wereldculturen.nl.


Wednesday, November 2

9:00 - Registration

10:00 - Opening by Claudia Augustat & Wayne Modest

10:30 - Session I: Multispecies Kinship and Earth Archives

  • Zheng Bo, “Wanwu Council: More-Than-Human Art Museums”
  • Amie Lindiwe Hanan Soudien, “Ancestors, ‘Shadow Families’ and Myth: Revisiting Cape Town’s First Slave-Owning Household”
  • Mayanthi Fernando (online), “Toward a Negative Zoology: Not-Knowing for a Post-Anthropocene Future”
  • Moderator: Wayne Modest

12:45 - Lunch

14:00 - Session II: Care and/as Violence

  • Audra Mitchell, “Holding on/letting go: Fleeing the Modern Museum”
  • Daniela Ortiz (online), “Resistances to plunder. Anticolonial strategies against cultural domination”
  • Elia Nurvista, “Plantation over Plantation” Juno Salazar Parreñas, “When does care become cruel?”
  • Moderator: Claudia Augustat

16:00 - Coffee break

16:30 - Session III: Going Native – Dutch Constructions of the Pacific

  • With Yuki Kihara, Michiel Teijgeler, Mirte Hazes & Harry Lodder
  • Moderator: Wonu Veys18:00Visit of installation Going Native

Thursday, November 3

9:30 - Registration

10:00 - Session IV: Care at the Borderline

Watch the short film Time and the Seashell (2020) by Itandehui Jansen here.

  • Miriam Ticktin, “Radical Care at the Border: Dismantling and Rebuilding Political Worlds”
  • Ian Baucom, “The Future Claimant’s Representative: ‘What is the museum for?’”
  • Aram Lee, “Can colonial objects become ecological participants?”
  • Itandehui Jansen, “Filmmaking, Eco-narratives and Sustainable Practices”
  • Moderator: Wayne Modest

12:15 - Lunch

13:30 - Break-out sessions

  • Carine Zaayman, “Old leaves, other tales?”
  • Audra Mitchell, “Critical care package (a creative workshop)”
  • Zinemaking Workshop by Kendal Beynon & Camilo García
  • “Museums, Advocacy & Planetary Care: A workshop with Tropenmuseum Junior”

15:00 - Coffee break

15:30 - Session V: Gerbrands Lecture – Jason De León

“Soldiers and Kings: Inside the World of Human Smuggling”

  • Conversation with Miriam Ticktin
  • Moderator: Mark Westmoreland

17:30 - Drinks

Friday, November 4

10:00 - Registration

10:30 - Session VI: Object Lessons by TAKING CARE museum partners

  • Moderator: Ashley Coutu

11:30 Coffee break

12:00 - Session VII: The Unfinished Conversation – Multispecies Care and the World Cultures Museum * Moderator: Wayne Modest

13:30 - Lunch

14:30 - Visit of exhibitions, led by curators of the National Museum of World Cultures


Going Native

by Yuki Kihara

‘Going Native’ (2017/2022) is a work commissioned by the National Museum of World Cultures in The Netherlands as a culmination of enquiry undertaken since 2017 by research fellow and artist-in-residence Yuki Kihara into their rich and varied ethnographic collections. The installation places the research into a contemporary setting, generating provocation around issues of cross-cultural exchange and representation. Several Dutch groups are focused on, who have been entrusted with and are committed to the care and perpetuation of certain Indigenous cultural practices from around the world.

An overview shot of conference attendees visiting the exhibition opening of Going Native
A visitor viewing material from the exhibition

Through the medium of film and curated artefacts a link is drawn between historical and contemporary Dutch representations and constructions of the Pacific. Each group is in a unique position to perform ceremonial songs, dances and customs as a way of enabling these cultures to have a voice in Europe. ‘Hālau hula ke ala o nā hōku’ from Amsterdam teaches and practices hula, a ceremonial dance from Hawaiʻi. Mt yiḏaki from Apeldoorn shares and plays the music of the didgeridoo, a traditional instrument from Australia. In Leiden, another group are the chosen guardians of Te Hono ki Aotearoa, a Māori waka (canoe), which also involves performing haka and songs as part of protocol. The critical point is that each group has been offered a blessing to enact and pass on specific knowledge of these practices based on their respective engagement and relationships with the traditional owners.

Members of the Going Native project having a panel discussion prior to the opening

Based in Sāmoa, Yuki Kihara (she/her) is an interdisciplinary artist of Sāmoan and Japanese heritage. She is currently representing New Zealand at the 59th Venice Biennale with her critically acclaimed exhibition Paradise Camp curated by Natalie King (now also published as a book), being the first Pasifika artist to be representing the country. Kihara’s work engages with various social, political, and cultural issues. Her interdisciplinary approach challenges dominant and singular historical narratives through visual arts, dance, and curatorial practice, engaging with Pacific colonial history and representation as they intersect with race, gender, spirituality, and sexual politics.

Conference attendees viewing the exhibition

Kihara’s work can also be found in the collections of: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; British Museum; National Museum of World Cultures, The Netherlands; Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan, and Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand to name a few. Her works have additionally been presented at the Asia Pacific Triennial (2002 & 2015), Auckland Triennial (2009), Sakahàn Quinquennial (2013), Daegu Photo Biennial (2014), Honolulu Biennial (2017), Bangkok Art Biennial (2018), Aichi Triennale (2022) and forthcoming Gwangju Biennale (2023).

A pair of attendees viewing the exhibition


1. Old leaves, other tales?
by Carine Zaayman

Working in a museum, one is powerfully reminded how the past – and in particular the colonial past – shapes the institution in tangible and intangible ways. What could change in our institutions if we apprehend the wounds of colonialism not as being in the past, out of sight behind us, but as standing alongside us in the present? In this breakout session, we will collectively share our experiences of caring for difficult objects in the present, especially as they render apparent the durabilities of colonialism. From this collective moment of reflection we will think together about if and how we could open spaces in which difficult objects can be used to re-form historical narration, thereby finding ways to counter the habitual positioning of colonialism as being ‘past’, engaging instead with how it persists and where it needs to be undone.

Participants sat in a circle making notes

For this break-out session, and if it is possible, please bring with you either an object (any kind of object) that reminds you of ‘home’, however you might define or describe it. If you do not have anything on hand, a photograph or description of such an object, will suffice as well.

Carine Zaayman delivering her session while sat next to a presentation

2. Critical care package (a creative workshop)
by Audra Mitchell

Picking up on the themes discussed in Audra Mitchell’s presentation, this workshop will address the task of helping the bat/uma-t-simagere (and other beings currently held in museums) to return home to their communities. Specifically, we will work together to create a critical ‘care package’ to assist the bat in their homeward journey. Here, we can interpret ‘critical’ to mean both ‘necessary for survival’ and ‘engaged with systemic political and ethical questions’. Starting with a brief unpacking of some of the themes and possibilities discussed in the talk, we will think through the challenges that the bat will face on their journey and our possible roles. For instance, how will they escape the various physical and social structures in which they are held, and how can we help them? What will they need in order to get home, and can we provide any of it? What (p)reparations are required in advance? How can we make their journey safer (e.g. by suggesting nesting sites or safe cities along the way, building networks of solidarity)? How can we act as allies or accomplices in supporting the bat’s kin to bring them home, without dominating or trying to control the process? What challenges might arise from the bat being reunited with their human and nonhuman kin (whether flying foxes, or other uma-t-simagere)? How can we help to prepare them for risks such as passing through borders, dealing with police or navigating pollution and extreme weather? We will also ask ourselves questions about our own relationships to the bat and other beings we care for in museums, but also other sites of collection shaped by colonialism and capitalism (e.g. universities, conservation sites, waste processing sites, art galleries, labs). For instance, to what are we (in our own different ways) holding on, and what would ‘letting go’ involve?

A wide shot of all the participants working around a table
Audra Mitchell explaining the session to the participants

As we engage with these questions, we will work with our hands and minds to create a ‘care package’ intended to support the bat’s journey home. It may include writing, drawings, maps, apologies, advice for avoiding harms, lists of provisions, ideas, wishes and promises. Although this work will be guided by support and hope for the bat’s return, we will not lose focus on the various ways in which we are implicated in the structures of violence that have brought us and the bat into relation, and how they show up in our attempts to make amends. The care package will be shared with museum staff to help support their work around these issues.

A close up of an origami boat made by a participant

This workshop will be rooted in principles of anti-racism, anti-colonialism, anti-ableism, queer/2SLGBTQIA+ and feminist principles. It may include discussion of traumatic events, so please take care and also give others a warning/the option to leave if you wish to discuss something that may be (re-)traumatizing to you or others. You are welcome to leave (and/or return) at any time if things become too much. The workshop will involve speaking, but also other modes of participation, including but not limited to, listening, writing, drawing, movement and other forms of expression. Everyone will be able to contribute something to the care package in a way that is accessible and meaningful to them. Please let the organizers know if you have accessibility needs.

4 participants working at a table with a selection of coloured paper and pencils

3. Zinemaking Workshop
by Kendal Beynon & Camilo Garcia

All objects tell stories, but what if the full picture is unknown? We invited participants and audience members to join us in a zine making workshop to play with truths, imaginaries and alternative perspectives using objects from the museums’s collection.

A close up of a participant pasting a photo with a gluestick into a zine
Drawing publication made by a participant using pencil and folded paper
The inside of one of the participant’s zine.

Playing with sounds, speculative fiction and visual matter, we tried to give new voices and agency to these objects beyond the typical institutional narratives found within the museum space. In these stories, we don’t always necessarily know the primary value of an object, but through delving into it from different angles, we can let it have an agency that sounds, “feels” and speaks differently. We wanted to explore the potential connections between these historical and contemporary ethnographic practices.

A selection of folding techniques
The cover of one of the participant’s zines with coloured pencil marks
A spread of one of the participant’s zines
A large table covered in papers and materials with the participants and workshop givers surrounding it.
Kendal Beynon & Camilo Garcia A. giving an explanation of the breakout session to the participants

This workshop stems from a larger project given to us by the Taking Care project to construct an experimental publication. The aim of this publication is to reflect upon and document the artistic residency held at Museum Volkenkunde of Yuki Kihara. We chose a zine making workshop to experiment with the group using different mediums and approaches to the objects of the collection.

An unfolded zine created by one of the participants
A folded zine created by one of the participants
An unfolded zine created by one of the participants
An alternative spread from an unfolded zine created by one of the participants
Four participants creating zines using collage material and drawing tools.
A portrait image of one participant folding their zine
A spread of one of the participant’s zines
An unfolded zine created by one of the participants using cut up text
An unfolded collage zine created by one of the participants

4. Museums, Advocacy & Planetary Care:
A workshop with Tropenmuseum Junior
by Erna Lilje, Dimphy Schreurs, Michelle van Aggelen & Juno Salazar Parreñas

Four participants crouching down on the floor with an assortment of post-its

The team Tropenmuseum Junior is developing an exhibition on climate change that will open in 2024. Tropenmuseum Junior is the children’s museum of the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam. The exhibition will focus on Greenland, where the ice is melting, and Vanuatu, where climate change already has a big impact through various natural hazards.

A pair of participants speaking through a microphone on stage

The team will explain how they develop the concept involving the inhabitants of these locations, including contemporary artists and experts. In the exhibition we create space for different voices and perspectives on climate change and climate injustice. In the break-out session we would like to involve you as participant in an active way, to incorporate your voice and perspective in our process.

Participants watching while Juno Salazar Parreñas gestures towards the post-its scattered around the floor
A selection of post-its containing ideas on a chair


This publication was edited, designed, developed and printed with love by Kendal Beynon and Camilo Garcia A.

Typefaces: Garamondt-Italic, Courier New,Sans-serif-ui


  • Website: Structure written on Etherpad, processed using Python via API and pandoc. Design using HTML, CSS and plain JS.
  • Web to print production: Paged.Js
  • Image processing made using ImageMagick and dither by with dither.com to process images.

Introduction by Wayne Modest, Erna Lilje & Esmee Schoutens

Editorial by Kendal Beynon and Camilo Garcia A.

All photographs by Lea Novi / Pascal Giese

All content of this publication is taken from contributions to the Taking Care conference in November 2022, namely: Zheng Bo, Amie Soudien, Mayanthi Fernando, Audra Mitchell, Daniela Ortiz, Elia Nurvista, Juno Salazar Parreñas, Yuki Kihara, Michiel Teijgeler, Mirte Hazes, Harry Lodder, Miriam Ticktin, Ian Baucom, Aram Lee, Itandehui Jansen, Carine Zaayman, Jason De Léon, Guy Patrice Dkamela & Tine Huyse

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Leiden, The Netherlands 2023

Audra Mitchell delivering a presentation on Wednesday

Audience listening to the presentations throughout Wednesday’s sessions

Zheng Bo delivering a presentation on Wednesday

A close up of the visual note taking process

Audience members discussing the presentations between themselves
An audience member asking a question to the panel

An audience member asking a question to the panel
An audience member asking a question to the panel

An audience member asking a question to the panel
An audience member asking a question to the panel


An audience member asking a question to the panel
An audience member asking a question to the panel


An audience member asking a question to the panel
Displaying an object, a piece of fabric, from the archive


An audience member examining the fabric from the archive
A wide shot of the panel and audience on the Friday

An audience member asking a question to the panel


An on-stage discussion between three panel members

Jason De Léon delivering his presentation in the closing session on Thursday
An audience member asking a question to the panel

A close up of the visual note taking process

An on-stage discussion between four panel members
Itandehui Jansen delivering a presentation on Thursday


Aram Lee delivering a presentation on Thursday


Miriam Ticktin delivering a presentation on Thursday
Wayne Modest moderating Thursday’s panel discussions

Audience listening to the presentations throughout Thursday’s sessions
Wayne Modest listening to the presentations throughout Thursday’s sessions
Elia Nurvista delivering a presentation on Wednesday
An audience member asking a question to the panel
Audience members discussing the presentations between themselves