Representing the Dynamic Diversity of Ghana as a Nation

Ghana’s national museum has reopened its doors after a seven-year closure to allow for major renovations. The museum was first opened in March 1957 as part of the celebrations marking the transition from colonial rule to independence. The opening also marked the end of a bitter struggle between members of the museum staff over issues related to the creation of a new memory space. I traced this history in a paper about the origins of the museum. Often, museums are considered spaces for the past. However, they also reflect how the past is understood and used in the present. In 1957, the makers of the museum wanted to create a space for foreign visitors, telling a history that focused on peaceful aspects of Ghana’s past. In the process, less peaceful histories were excluded, such as the slave trade and the destructive aspects of colonial rule. In general, the museum seems unfinished. But this can be a good thing: it allows the museum staff to continuously develop the exhibitions and invite new forms of participation from visitors. Rather than telling the singular “history” of Ghana, it could tell many histories of Ghana – from perspectives that also bring out the diversity of country.SOURCE: THE CONVERSATION

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