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A big part of the museum's collection will feature records, posters and magazines, Source: City of Vienna

The first Black history museum in the German-speaking world will open in Vienna

The first Black history museum in the German-speaking world will open in Vienna

The museum will present the careers of black artists from the 1940s until the rise of YouTube

On 14 May, the Austrian Museum for Black Entertainment and Black Music (ÖMSUBM) will open its doors in Vienna and become the first black culture and music museum in the German-speaking world. It will be a part of Belvedere and will house an extensive archive of records, magazines, autographs and memorabilia. The display and arrangement of the space have been designed with the idea to house lively discussions on Black art and history.

The evolution of the German entertainment industry

The main idea behind the museum is to bring stories of Black artists and entertainers to the forefront, focusing on those who rose to prominence in the white-dominated German-language entertainment industry.

It will focus on black hip hop artists and TV personalities like Tic Tac Toe, Arabella Kiesbauer, the Rounder Girls, Mola Adebisi and Roberto Blanco, tracking their careers between the 1940s to the early noughties, a turning point with the decline of programmed television and the rise of YouTube.

  museum's teamThe museum's team will be at the centre of expanding the collection
and making the space an active part of the racial conversation,
Source: City of Vienna 

The space will also host performances, lectures, panels and concerts by black artists, activists and media workers currently living in Austria who will enter into a dialogue with the museum’s collection and make it a place of forward-looking exchange with the past.

The ÖMSUBM would, in turn, maintain a comprehensive and ever-expanding multimedia collection, including records, magazines, autographs and memorabilia. The museum’s curators have described their collection in a statement as open-source and adaptable, as donations, loans and purchases from private individuals constitute the core of the archive.

Stella Rollig, the general director of the Belvedere was quoted in a press release, saying: “The creation of a museum that celebrates Black entertainment and music has been long overdue in this country. Entrusting the Belvedere 21 site to the ÖMSUBM will give the museum a new mandate, one that will rewrite the history of Austrian popular culture.“

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