Exhibition

Memory: Moments of remembering and forgetting

1 Jan 2024 – 31 Dec 2030

Regular hours

Monday
Closed
Tuesday
10:00 – 18:00
Wednesday
10:00 – 18:00
Thursday
10:00 – 18:00
Friday
10:00 – 18:00
Saturday
10:00 – 18:00
Sunday
10:00 – 18:00

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Museum der Kulturen Basel

Basel
Basel-Stadt, Switzerland

Address

Travel Information

  • Tram no.2 to 'Kunstmuseum’ stop
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Event map

How do people remember memorable moments, people and places? Often through things. 400 objects from the museum collection show the diverse forms and cultural practices of remembering, but also of forgetting.

About

Throughout their lives, people remember events and people that are important to them. The exhibition begins with very personal memories - recorded in poetry and photo albums or baptismal certificates. A wall-filling type case filled with souvenirs also shows that memories are often linked to things. Over 400 exhibits from the museum collection bear witness to this. They contain personal information such as births, weddings or deaths. But they also remind us of social events, wars, catastrophes, the opening of borders or independence days.

Memory aids
The exhibition shows how these moments are remembered - or how they are kept secret or forgotten. There are a wide variety of practices and forms involved. The similarities are also revealed. For example, memory aids to prevent forgetting are widespread all over the world. The Incas in Peru tied knots in strings to record dates and stories. And in Switzerland, people recorded on notched sticks who was allowed to use water and when.

For thousands
of years, great epics and holy scriptures have guaranteed that experiences and history are not forgotten. The Bible, Torah, Koran, healing scrolls from Ethiopia and healing books of the Batak from Indonesia are impressive testimonies to this. These writings were written by scholars. In the 1980s, social organizations, artists and politicians recorded events on fabrics, paintings and posters: decolonization, the end of apartheid in South Africa or grievances, violence and oppression in Latin American dictatorships.

In remembrance
The exhibition ends with the remembrance of the dead. In Europe, hair images, stone monuments and grave crosses commemorate the deceased. In Mexico, the dead are happily celebrated on the "Día de los Muertos". Funny skeleton ensembles dance on an exhibition podium. In Peru, however, the Matsiguenga ethnic group creates wooden guardian figures to protect against the dead.

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