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ANfiltered is a contribution to the international debate on decolonial issues within museums  with which we hope to give dignity back to the many traditions of the peoples on display.


The project, a collaboration with the Museo di Antropologia e Etnologia - Sistema Museale di Ateneo dell’Università degli Studi di Firenze, consists of a number of exhibit interventions, discussions and perceptual research, inside this museum halls, on this page and in IED Firenze spaces, which will host a talk based on the project’s themes. Artists and experts such as Andisheh Bagherzadeh, Diye Ndiaye and Costanza Fusi will speak, lead and moderated by Justin Randolph Thompson. These actions have the same goal: to open up the museum spaces to the city of Florence and its various communities. 


The museum halls involved are those dedicated to South America and New Guinea, which are now told in a brand new way through two different types of interventions.


The first intervention consists on coloured filters applied directly to the display cases, which contain sensitive artifacts such as cult objects and human remains. These objects, here decontextualized and aestheticized, are filtered to solicit critical thinking upon them and the whole exhibition. By filtering and telling stories directly through the words of the characters and the peoples who “inhabit or have inhabited” the museum’s spaces, we aim to generate in the audience new reflections to overthrow the nineteenth century perspective on which the museum was founded, telling its history with a new will of transparency.


A second intervention, on the other hand, involves the application of textual material such as a quotation from the Yanomami people’s spokesman Davi Kopenawa, and other excerpts from travelogs of scholars, anthropologists and ethnologists who contributed to build the museum’s collection, placed directly on some of the showcases in the halls.


The term anthropology derives from the greek word anthropos “man” and lògos “discourse, doctrine”, meaning the studies upon the human being. Its purpose is to investigate mankind from different perspectives by tracing back its many variations.

Anthropology has brought relevance to preserving and making more and more explicit the otherness that characterizes every cultural form by interpreting it within the value system of the society that produced them.


Anthropology and Ethnography museums mission is to collect, preserve and enhance the demo-ethno-anthropological testimonies of the cultural landscape that it represents by creating an active center of research and study. Nowadays, an increasing number of people are taking part in the debate upon decolonization of international museums. Necessarily museums are no longer just a place for preservation, they have become a tool with which to discuss contemporary issues. 

They have become a living intermediation space between the past and the present, a point of reference for deconstructing and reconstructing the social landscape we inhabit.


To decolonize is not a metaphor. Regarding museums, it is not just about restitutions - although the issue is still primary and urgent - but about reimagining the relationships between countries, institutions and heritages. There is a need for a type of awareness that will lead to a new narrative of the values and to the different histories of which anthropology museums are to be the keepers.


Investigating its nature has always been what has fascinated mankind the most. 

Despite the ever changing essence of our days, this interest remains primary. But morals change and awareness becomes stronger.

What if not dialogues and studies are capable of building, deepening and even regenerating under current terms such an ancient human curiosity? 

This is what’s behind the complex issues on which ANfiltered’s intervention in collaboration with the Museo di Antropologia e Etnologia - Sistema Museale di Ateneo dell’Università degli Studi di Firenze is rooted. 

Project by master students IEDs Florence Museum Experience Design 22 | 23.

Project contacts: Dr. Veronica Caciolli(IED Florence), Dr. Valentina Gensini(IED Florence), Dr. Giulia Dionisio(Museum of Anthropology and Ethnology of Florence)

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