What happens when scientists of different expertise come together in a museum to discuss transculturality and its potential to overcome racism?
In October 2018, Professor Josef Wieland led a research team comprising eight student researchers to the Deutsches Hygiene-Museum Dresden. Together they visited the exhibition “Racism – The Invention of Human Races”. The exhibition analyses the workings and scientific methods of racial classification, illustrates its media dissemination, addresses the history of the Deutsches Hygiene Museum in terms of racial propaganda under National Socialism and points towards politics of racial exploitation in the colonial period. The group was joined by a number of sociology students from Dresden’s University of Technology and their professor, Prof. Heike Greschke, as well as museum staff, Dr Susanne Illmer, Dr Carola Rupprecht and the exhibition’s curator Susanne Wernsing. After a guided tour, the group held a workshop to discuss aspects of racism, reflecting on the exhibition and prominent approaches to address inequality issues, and taking a closer look at the potentials of a transcultural approach and its – primarily economic – perspective. All panel members agreed on the importance of empathy skills and the avoidance of prejudices when facing social diversity in any given context or interaction.