image of Belinda Peters as an expert at the Heinrich Böll Foundation's "Dino in the room" dialog forum
(© Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung)

Belinda Peters as an expert at the Heinrich Böll Foundation's "Dino in the room" dialog forum

Belinda Peters, research associate at CERES, took part in the "Dino in the room" dialogue forum on May 14th and 15th in Berlin, organized by the Heinrich Böll Foundation. Peters, who works in the research focus Missionary Collections, was invited as an expert for a panel discussion on the topic "Mission postcolonial. Historical responsibility today".

The Heinrich Böll Foundation had set itself the goal of bringing together representatives of different areas of society from Germany and abroad in discussion panels and enabling them to share their perceptions of aspects of colonial history. The focus was particularly on Tanzania's colonial history.

In the panel "Mission post-colonial", moderated by Dr. Thomas Fues (economist and political scientist), in which Belinda Peters participated as a panelist, the role and significance of Christian missionary societies in the colonial era of East Africa was discussed, as well as how missionary societies deal with their historical legacy today. In addition to Peters, Prof. Dr. Valence Silayo (Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies, University of Dar es Salaam), Prof. Dr. Jeremy Best (Iowa State University) and Dr. Martin Frank (Berliner Missionswerk) were also involved in the panel discussion.

In the context of the panel, Peters presented her research work at CERES on missionary collections and showed what contributions different research approaches can make to the social discourse. In particular, she pointed out the importance of missionary collecting activities and missionary collections for research into religious and cultural contact between missionaries and the local population, which has largely gone unrecognized to this day.

The consensus of the experts in the discussion was that it is necessary to strengthen interdisciplinary and multi-methodological approaches in research on Christian missionary activity in the colonial period in order to adequately deal with the complexity of the research topic. The importance of transparency in this field of research and the relevance of knowledge transfer for social discourse was clearly demonstrated to all participants by the sometimes very emotional contributions to the discussion from the audience.

The Dialogue Forum was opened by the German premiere of the film "The Empty Tomb" and ended with a final discussion in which Anael Gerald Moshi Meli, the relative of a victim of violence by the German colonial government, and Katja Keul, Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office, discussed the problems and questions of restitution with the plenum.

Link to the program of the event: