Slavery, (de)colonisation and civil rights

Resources conserved, acquired or produced by the musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac


Whether political, social or cultural, societies’ past is intertwined with the present of institutions. From the standpoint of its colonial and slavery history, France is no exception. The musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac strives to become a resource centre where the traces of history are examined with clarity and rigour.

Since its opening in June 2006, the musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac has sought to question the meaning, use and reach of the collections in its care. This crucial requirement is underscored on a scientific level, like the extensive research on provenance launched in 2019 in order to understand the conditions under which works journey from their country of origin to the national collections.

The museum's ongoing reflections also take the form of an ambitious and multi-faceted programme encompassing these questions. Numerous exhibitions, talks, conferences and screenings have provided direct insight into the history of slavery, colonisation, racism, the struggle for equal rights, Independence and Pan-Africanism.

Over the years, a substantial body of resources has been built up, highlighting and illuminating the deep historical roots of contemporary anti-racist struggles. The rich body of graphic and photographic documentation at the museum, its expansive collections of objects, works and archives round out this material that is key to understanding racism, its origins, and how to combat it.

We invite you to explore this content through the prism of three overarching themes, all interlinked: