The MuseumsLab

A green-blue geoemtrical construct against a white background. On the top left the lettering »The MuseumsLab« in black.

TheMuseumsLab is a pioneering knowledge-exchange program for young professionals from African and German museums.

The project brings together a wide range of skills and competencies. Museums, academic and cultural institutions have come together to foster a common approach and mutual learning between Africa and Europe. The initiative is an important step towards Germany’s International Museum Agency.

A broad partnership has come together for TheMuseumsLab: The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin (Leibniz Institute), and the Master Program in Museum Management and Communication at the University of Applied Sciences (HTW) Berlin and in close cooperation with the African consultancy group, »The Advisors«. These partners represent a much broader consortium of dozens of museums and art spaces, a high number of outstanding African and European experts and several cultural institutions, including the Kulturstiftung der Länder (KSL) und Kulturstiftung des Bundes (KSB), Goethe-Institut and Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (ifa). TheMuseumsLab is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office (AA) in close cooperation with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) as well as the German Minister of State for Culture and the Media (BKM).

TheMuseumsLab aims at developing a community of practice engaging museum professionals from more than 10 African countries and Germany. Numerous panellists and lecturers from many African countries, Germany and Europe will share their expertise and perspectives on a wide range of topics. TheMuseumsLab wants to become a platform to enable joint learning, exchange and continuous education, empowering individuals and institutions in Africa and Germany. The aim is also to establish deep and lasting networks for future leaders in the sector. It offers academic credits as well as fostering new thinking and new practices of cooperation for museums and art spaces in Europe and Africa.

TheMuseumLab continues a long exchange between the ZKM and global art worlds, e.g. in the projects »Global Art and the Museum (GAM)« (2006–2016), »The Global Contemporary. Art Worlds after 1989« (2011–2012) or most recently »Digital Imaginaries – Africas in Production« (2018–2021). As part of the pilot phase of the new learning and knowledge exchange program, ZKM will participate in the online modules of TheMuseumLab from May to July 2021 and offer a several-week placement for young museum professionals from African countries in October and November 2021.

For more information about TheMuseumsLab program in 2021, please visit the official project page: