These remains will never return

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2016

 

HV Video, 30 min

 

These remains will never return is a 30min video essay examining the contemporary debate surrounding the collection of indigenous human remains stored in European museum collections whilst also investigating one particular obscured historical figure in German scientific history, Amalie Dietrich, who was involved in the collection of such human remains in Australia in the mid 1800s. Accompanied by both a specifically composed drone based soundtrack and a voice over narration reflecting on the contemporary issues surrounding the debate as well as personal reflections on the difficulties of positioning oneself within the telling of such conflicted histories the film shows the process of discovering such histories within the contested sites of knowledge offered by the world wide web. Based in this digital archaeology the film also explores the wider discourses opened up by this tragic history of colonial European collection of human remains, namely scientific racism, anthropometry and craniometry.