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ASTRA Museum Publishing House launches Franz Binder's Africa
November 8 @ 14:00 - 16:30
On November 8, 2023, at 14:00, in the Auditorium hall of PaMM (Multicultural Museum Pavilion / Open Air Museum in Dumbrava Sibiului / Gate 1), ASTRA Museum launches the bilingual volume Franz Binder's Africa / Franz Binder`s Africa, 30 years after the foundation of the Franz Binder Museum of Universal Ethnography.
Winner of the National Cultural Fund Administration's competition for publishing projects, the volume is a unique combination of scientific popularization text (adapted from doctoral research), travel diary and collection catalogue, in Romanian and English.
Franz Binder was a Saxon pharmacist from Sebeș, Alba. Instead of working in the profession, he preferred to travel and develop entrepreneurial initiatives in the Middle East and North Africa (1849 - 1864), and on his return he published an autobiographical travelogue essay in German ("Mittheilungen des Herrn Franz Binder uber seine Reise in Orient und sein Leben in Africa", which he wrote for the publication Neue Folge in Sibiu in 1862). To this day, this material has never been published in Romanian or English. A printed catalogue of the collection has also never been produced.
"The overall objective of the project is to enhance the editorial value of Franz Binder's collection and his travelogue material. The aim is to integrate several perspectives: without diminishing Franz Binder's role and contribution to the development of non-European collections in Sibiu, I propose a re-balancing of the approach to them. After all, recent sources suggest that Franz Binder was, on his return to Sibiu, one of the wealthiest Europeans in North Africa as a result of the type of trade he conducted there. And this new data helps us to better understand how the collection was built up in a general context characterized by the application of colonial patterns of power and influence characteristic of most Europeans in the area at that time, whether or not they came from a colonial administration", said Dr. Adriana Avram, curator/editor and manager of the editorial project at Astra Museum Publishing House.
Partners for the launch of the project are PEN Romania and Interakt Arts, whose members will participate in the debate on the reinterpretation of the world cultural heritage in Sibiu. There will also be a performance by representatives of Interakt Arts (Crocodile Paradox), a moment that brings an artistic interpretation of fable-like heritage, in line with the themes discussed.