Skip to content
New artworks uploaded soon!



Name Price QTY Product image
  • :

Taxes and shipping calculated at checkout
View cart
Your cart is empty
DeutschlandFunk Kultur Radio Feature

DeutschlandFunk Kultur Radio Feature

January 10 2024 
National Radio | Germany 

National German Radio, DeutschlandFunk, recently aired a special show on their Culture channel entitled Colonial Legacy: The Sound of Restitution 

Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll, professor at the Central European Univeristy in Vienna, investigating art restitution and how it relates to decolonisation. The story explores recent restitution case studies, of which the Anindilyakwa return from Manchester Museum is one, to unpack the importance of indigenous communities in the return process.  

Listen to the (German) radio show here.    

While the entire program is worth a listen, the portion pertaining to the Anindilyakwa return is (roughly) translated below:

Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll: In September 2023, the Manchester University Museum restituted174 items to Anindilyakwa in the Northern Territory of Australia

 Host: As in Windhoek in Namibia, there was also a press conference here. But this also opened up to the voices of those affected.

Original sound at the beginning of the Manchester speech: Now I am coming to the true heart of this event. And I am very very honored indeed to Noeleen Lallara, Amethea Mamarika and Maicie Lalara… (applause)

Dt. Voiceover: I now come to the real essence of this event. And I'm really very honored, Noeleen Lallara, Amethea Mamarika and Maicie Lalara...

Khadija: Among these restituted items was a unique collection of shells painted with ocher. These shells are dolls, wrapped in printed textiles and pandanus, these dolls were clothed. Each doll represented a person and was supposed to explain to the children who they were allowed to marry from neighbouring clans. They served 20th-century anthropology as evidence for the thesis that family relationships were passed on through a puppet show in Australia, Groote Eylandt.

With the repatriated old dolls, the memory of a practice that had been forgotten for many decades came back. Noeleen Lalara, who received the items from Manchester Museum as a representative of the delegation in September 2023, said the dolls brought back those memories. And you can hear in their voices their deep gratitude for this kind of remembrance.

Excerpt of Noeleen Lalara’s speech from BBC recording

Khadija: The three minutes in which the Indigenous voices spoke on stage were, as museum director Esmee Ward said, the real heart of the ceremony. One heard in Noeleen Lalara,Amethea Mamarika and Maicie Lalara's Voices the incredible meaning, not in what they said, but in the tone of how it was said. And also in the singing, which moved everyone in the audience – formally dressed, press and political guests – to tears.

Host: The emotional highlight of the event at Manchester Museum was a song of representatives of the Anindilyakwa people who accepted the legacy of their ancestors. With this song they welcome the missing evidence of their own history.

Music: Ngakwurri-langwa-langwa Wurrarumuruma Warnumamalya Ena Emeba by Groote Eylnadt Language Centre 

Khadija: It was Noeleen Lalara who received the dolls… after four flights from Groote Eylandt. According to indigenous protocol, they were first cleaned with smoke from the local fauna.

Noeleen Lalara interview exerpt: Today it is a very special day for us, for Anindilyakwa people from Groote Eylandt. Because our repatriation has come back from Manchester Museum. ..

Dt. Voiceover Today is a very special day for us, for the Anindilyakwa people from Groote Eylandt. Because our return from Manchester Museum has arrived. So we just celebrate - and we are happy and proud because the artifacts have come back where they belong. The people here are displaying the artifacts for my people, the Anindilyakwa, to view. It's been a long time since the artifacts disappeared. We will also have guest speakers here, people from Manchester who have flown here and will give a speech. I'll probably keep one too. We will also have a smoking ceremony. And we will dance too: a dance ceremony and a smoking ceremony just to welcome the returned artifacts."

Yes, the dancing ceremony and the smoking ceremony is just for the returning of the artefacts.

Host: The return of restituted objects to their homeland is an emotional, visceral experience. You can hear that. Every culture shows its own sound of restitution. It represents how the objects are received, celebrated and cleansed of the colonial history to which they were exposed - of those who had to wait for them. What looks like an endpoint from our colonial perspective is actually the beginning of a new story.

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.