The South Sudan Museum Network

Part of the Giovanni Miani collection from South Sudan at the Museum of Natural History, Venice (Italy).

A project from a few years ago that stayed a bit under the radar but deserves your attention is the South Sudan Museum Network. Funded by the AHRC, its main mission was to research the holdings of South Sudanese material across European museums “for advancing understandings of South Sudan’s history, global connections and creative arts“.

On top of this page, you find one of the results of this project: the inventory with list of museums, including short contextualisations of the collections of South Sudanese objects in their possession. The reports of the three workshops the network held can be found here, and the resources page holds some interesting pdfs of hard to find publications, such as Georg Schweinfurth’s Artes Africanae (1875) and Robert Joost Willink’s The Fateful Journey the expedition of Alexine Tinne and Theodor von Heuglin in Sudan, 1863-1864 (2011) – with many rarely seen objects illustrated at the end of the publication. In fact, many of the 15 participating museums hold collections with very early collected material – so definitely worth exploring if you want to get a feel of the objects created in this troubled area in the pre-colonial era. Below a lecture by one of the projects’ organizers, Dr. Zoe Cormack (Oxford University) about the Italian collections holding South Sudanese art.