Cultural Transfer

Our Common Colonial Heritage - Funded by the International Museum Fellowship Pogramme

Flensburg experienced a period of economic prosperity in the 18th and 19th century thanks to trade with the colonies in the Danish West Indies. Luxurious colonial goods were in high demand and were refined and manufactured further at farms in Flensburg. Sugar and rum were the raw materials of this new lifestyle of pleasure. Flensburg’s history as the “Rum City” remains an integral part of its identity to this day. However, few consider the fate of millions of Africans who had been abducted and forced to work under inhumane conditions as slaves on the plantations of the Caribbean “sugar islands” by the European colonial powers. This colonial heritage has received hardly any attention and critical examination until now.A fellow from the West Indies will address the issues of colonial legacy, historic responsibility and the present-day US Virgin Islands. In this way, the project lends the African-Caribbean perspective a voice of its own.

A fellow with expertise in Cultural Anthropology, Postcolonial Studies/History of the West Indies was invited to offer a post-colonial and African-Caribbean interpretation of the collections and archives in Flensburg. The results of this research were incorporated into the exhibition „Rum, Sweat & Tears” which was shown in Flensburg and the US Virgin Islands.

The International Museum Fellowship programme

With this funding programme, the Federal Cultural Foundation enabled guest curators and researchers from abroad to work at museums or public collections in Germany for a duration of 18 months.


Imani Tafari-Ama, Fellow at the Flensburger Schifffahrtsmuseum

The Jamaican cultural anthroplogist Dr. Imani Tafari-Ama (born 1960) is a recognized expert in Afro-Caribbean history and culture. She received her PhD at the Institute of Development Studies in The Hague and worked for many years at the interface between social research and community development. Most recently, she taught at the University of the West Indies in Kingston. As a fellow of the Flensburg Maritime Museum she is responsible for the research and exhibition project "CultureTransfer", in which she will open up a new perspective on the common African-Caribbean-European colonial heritage of Flensburg.


  • 11 June, 2017 to 4 March, 2018: Exhibition „Rum, Sweat & Tears“

    Schifffahrtsmuseum, Flensburg


Flensburger Schifffahrtsmuseum

Schiffbrücke 39
24939 Flensburg (external link, opens in a new window)