By Ziad Abbasov
The objects in the cabinets of curiosity came from all over the world, the curiosity knew (and knows) no bounds or borders. De colonial expansion that provided for this objects, also created international relations, transnational contacts and complex identities, which did not end with the decolonization.
The western nations were not the first (and will not be the last) to enlarge their own borders. Ghengis Khan (born Temüjin, 1162 – 1227 after Chr.), the great ruler and conquerer from Mongolia, floded the surrounding countries and created a large empire. His brillian diplomacy and bloody battles brought the tribes together. He respected the religious freedom and diplomatic of conquered and enemy states. The empire facilitated international trade, banned torture and created public schooling. According to some, Ghengis Khan created the foundation for the modern globalized world, by connecting Asia and Europe.
Ghengis Khan and his tribes originated from the steppes of Mongolia. For a time, It was thought that they looked outwards due to droughts, but new evidence seems to point to times of abundance. Thanks to extra feed for the herds, the tribes were able to sustain a warrior class.
The steppes are like the oceans, they can be sources for making a living as impenetrable boundaries. Only when taken care of, they will stay both.
Ziad studies Anthropology, and would like to introduce the method of visual anthropology to the audience of this exhibition. The method compares images of different cultures with each other, and is driven by curiosity about the Other, just like the cabinet of curiosity. It can provide us with insight in other cultures and encourage our understanding of each other, both in science as in society.
Are you too curious about the changes globalization brings?
Cabinet of Globalisation: Physics and Mathematics building, ground floor, behind the IT Desk (Wing M)