Human beings and their management of the ocean as a resource is a subject which offers insights into human forms of adaptation and strategies of survival. It also highlights the development of special technologies for laying claim to and making use of the ocean – a theme which until recently only highly specialised segments of maritime research and environmental protection have addressed.
Whenever nautical history is depicted in museum settings, it usually comes across as a very regionally anchored “narrative of loss”. The drastic transformation of maritime professions in the last thirty to forty years is expressed in an emotionally charged desire for symbols and memories of a bygone world. This image stands in stark contrast to the multinational world of 21st-century maritime technology and research.
This fellowship project aims to critically examine the museum’s own nationally-centred collection and research focuses in terms of content and design. The involvement of a fellow in developing the exhibition will contribute to portraying the subject “Humans and the Sea” as the global, international phenomenon that it is. The visitors should come away understanding to what extent their daily lives are influenced by social, economic and, above all, environmental processes of exchange worldwide.