Tendaguru Museum

2019, theater piece, 40 min

Implementation of a virtual place between museum and nature. A second step towards a
Museum for the people of Tendaguru. A documentary virtual reality experience based on
immersion of the place in a computer game.



A scene from the theatre performance in May 2019 in Hamburg, Germany. 

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In a VR Experience, the location of the museum is expanded, not as a concept, but rather as a Place, as a virtual place of contemplation and reflection. Based on the development of a new Computer game genre of the 'walking simulators' of recent years. In short, it is an adaptation of the popular first-person shooter genre without weapons and enemies and without quests. So the player's action will be reduced to a minimum, such as exploring the surroundings, or Viewing the landscape reduced. This absence of tasks demands a new quality of the player, observer, visitor. Getting involved with the experience, such as the pure Landscape observation. This is close to a visit to a museum. The visitor must have a certain willingness and inner constitution to take on the paintings of a gallery to let the sun work its magic. The central role that the place of the 'non-event' plays here is the Element that we would like to use - a place-making in virtual space.
The result is an atmospherically dense virtual place mediated by the media. We want a place
between scientific collections and an experience of nature itself.

In cooperation with the regional government in Lindi and affiliates from the University of Witwatersrand Johannesburg, we initiate a transformation of Tendaguru into what is called participatory, self-managed forest reserve to activate the space in situ. Overcome indigenization or a romanticized view of technology, immersiveness, and nature. The decolonized museum in the Tanzanian bush is an investigative and indigenous narration and re-imagining of a museum. We started to use technology amidst nature, anticipating possible non-anthropocentric futures for non-invasive and multi-sensory experiences. The idea is to create new platforms of representation of the subaltern, places of constant negotiation instead of echoing the conventional yet vicious museum, and to protect the community and the area from land grabbing threats. Tanzania will thereby create and get one of the early Virtual Reality museums and heritage places and probably the first decolonial and critical one. The museum hence can be visited from all over the world as a VR experience, the indigenous narratives will be spread and told and the revenue from the VR experience goes directly back to the village at stake.

Selected Works

The Beheaded BuddhaProject type

The Other NefertitiArtistic Intervention

Tendaguru MuseumProject type

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