Thursday, June 17, 2021 Start time: 8:01 pm


Venue: Online

ETCHED IN BONE tells an extraordinary story of theft and repatriation. When the Smithsonian Institution agrees to repatriate stolen human bones from northern Australia, an Aboriginal elder creates a ceremony that restores his ancestors’ spirits to their homeland. Linking into contemporary debates about decolonizing museum collections and repatriating cultural artefacts and human remains, the post-screening discussion will consider recent efforts in the US and the UK.  The screening is presented by the Menzies Australia Institute at Kings College London, in association with ORIGINS.

The film was made in 2018 by the current Menzies Australia Institute co-directors Martin Thomas and Béatrice Bijon, who will join us after the film for a live Q&A, along with former Curator of Living Cultures at the Manchester Museum, Stephen Welsh, who was instrumental in the recent, unconditional repatriation of Indigenous objects.

This online screening is free and open to all (including audiences outside the UK), and will take place live and online via Eventive. It will be followed by a live Q&A with the filmmakers, Martin Thomas and Béatrice Bijon, alongside museum curator Stephen Welsh, and will be chaired by Menzies Screenings curator, Stephen Morgan. 

The Menzies Australia Institute is the lead Australian research centre in Europe, and is part of the School of Global Affairs at King's College London. It seeks to deepen understanding of Australia in the United Kingdom through research, teaching and engagement.