Panel discussion 'Trauma, recognition & reconciliation' - Ama Kissi

On the occasion of 125/5 years, the museum selected several proposals from individuals and organizations from the African diaspora in Belgium. Dr. Ama Kissi presents her project.

Ama Kissi
© Ines Vansteenkiste-Muylle

How can a museum contribute to the healing of trauma? This activity examines historical trauma and its potential impact on the well-being of the African diaspora. Dr Ama Kissi moderates a conversation with experts (who have clinical experience and/or research on the relationship between colonisation, racism and health), speakers with first-hand experience, and an AfricaMuseum staff member. The conversation will be held against a backdrop of cuisine and art. 

Trauma is not just a personal thing, but can be passed on from generation to generation. When the latter occurs, one speaks of historical trauma as a result of events such as colonisation, genocide and slavery. Trauma demands recognition. It demands to be seen and heard. It demands connection and release. Museums like the AfricaMuseum are not just places where part of history is told, but spaces where people from diverse backgrounds as well as traumas meet. Spaces that also release feelings. The AfricaMuseum building has a fraught history, but the institution can create space for the consequences of traumatic events associated with the museum and engage in trauma-informed practices.  

This activity is an initiative of Dr Ama Kissi (Ph.D.). She is a clinical psychologist and postdoctoral researcher at Ghent University. Her research focuses on identifying factors such as biases and attentional processes, which may explain racial inequalities within health care. Besides her research activities and clinical work, she regularly conducts workshops on diversity-competent care and works as a consultant in the field of diversity and inclusion.