For more information, please contact:
Dr Njabulo Chipangura, Curator of Living Cultures
Dr Chipangura, who holds a PhD in Anthropology from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, was previously employed by the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe as a curator in the archaeology department for ten years. As Curator of Living Cultures, he is responsible for the care of more than 20,000 objects from Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas, as well as building new research and forming relationships and collaborations.
Dr Chipangura has previously carried out research that looks at how national museums in Africa continue to reproduce colonial forms of knowledge and of being, and what it means to decolonise museum practice. He is involved is in ongoing debates and discussions around the illicit trafficking of cultural objects, including a project called Accession Africa, which undertakes provenance research concerning objects that came from Africa and are found in European museums.
He has also worked to redisplay ethnographic objects which were appropriated from source communities and placed in museums during Zimbabwe’s colonial period (1890-1980) devoid of their social biographies, including a new permanent display gallery at Mutare Museum focusing on the traditional aspects of the Eastern Shona.
His first book entitled Museums as Agents for Social Change: Collaborative Programmes at the Mutare Museum was published by Routledge in April 2021. He is also an advisory board member for the Solidarity in Action Network (UK), which explores solidarity and collaboration with people around the world in grassroots activist organisations and galleries.
Dr Alexandra P. Alberda, Curator of Indigenous Perspectives
Alexandra P. Alberda works with the whole museum team, Indigenous people and partners including the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) to develop, embed and share new ways of working. She continues a process of long-term change at Manchester Museum, and in doing so create a model for museums across the globe that aim to decolonise their institutions.
Alexandra P. Alberda was born in Bozeman, Montana, USA, and spent a majority of her youth growing up in Bismarck, North Dakota, USA. She is mixed race and Jemez Pueblo, which has meant that she has grown up at the thresholds of cultures. She believes that her ethnicity and personal experience has informed her professional practice as she personally navigates conflicting and complimenting cultures and has been fortunate to have family members who continue to help her learn and grow in these spiritually and professionally.
During her Masters at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Alexandra was the graduate research assistant at the Great Plains Art Museum, part of the Centre for Great Plains Studies, where she was exhibition coordinator for Contemporary Indigeneity: The New Art of the Great Plains and worked with Johanna Sawyer on The Cinematic Framing of the West, which addressed misconceptions in depictions of Western and Native Peoples in art and film and the role museums play in reiterating these misconceptions in current socio-cultural understandings.
Alexandra P. Alberda joined Manchester Museum from Bournemouth University where she was a doctoral researcher and research illustrator. Her PhD, titled Graphic Medicine Exhibited: Public Engagement with Comics in Curatorial Practice and Visitor Experience since 2010, explores the intersections of the comics medium, health, and exhibition to understand potential activist and community-based methodological approaches and sociocultural values of these experiences. In doing so, her research critically engages with institutional structures of power that limit civic engagement and do not facilitate needed reparative reconciliation, amplification of marginalised voices, and displacement of (colonial) power. As a research illustrator she has worked on a number of projects, including The Data Storytelling Workbook (Routledge 2020).