On the Anthropology of the Anthropological Institute

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2018

 

HD Video, 70 min

 

In her video essay On the Anthropology of the Anthropological Institute Schonfeldt examines the Anthropological Institute Zurich and its ambivalent history. Rudolf Martin, the first director of the Institute, is regarded as one of the pioneers of physical anthropology (anthropometry). His successor Otto Schlaginhaufen was engaged in racial studies - supported by the Julius Klaus Foundation, whose aim was to prove the superiority of the white race. Today, the Institute still has an important collection of human remains acquired from former colonies - and only rudimentarily restituted. Schonfeldt mixes films of the Institute buildings with archival documents and thus not only sheds light on the dark sides of a renowned institution but also shows how much we are still entangled with the colonial past today.