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July 7, 2021

NetworkIn Memoriam – Dr. Jeremy Silvester, Board Member of ICME

It is with great sadness that we have learned about the passing of Dr. Jeremy Silvester on July 5th.

Dr Silvester was board member of the ICOM International Committee for Museums and Collections of Ethnography (ICME) and of the Commonweath Association of Museums. Dr Silvester, who joined ICOM in 2003, was the Director of the Museums Association of Namibia, a Non-Governmental Organisation representing museums and heritage institutions throughout Namibia. He had been elected board member of ICME in 2019, during the 25th ICOM General Conference in Kyoto.

He was deeply engaged in the restitution of the looted Namibian museum objects and human remains from Europe. As the editor, he commenced his tenure with ICME News 89, and we started to translate these from English to other languages, Spanish and Arabic, to cover a much wider audience interested in ethnographic museums and collections and contemporary happenings. (…) Jeremy remains in our deep thoughts and prayers. May his soul rest in peace.” – Ralf Čeplak Mencin, ICME Chair

Between 2017 and 2018, Dr. Jeremy worked alongside ICME, ICOM Botswana, ICOM Namibia and ICOM South Africa on the ICOM funded project ‘Human Remains Management in Southern Africa’, led by the Commonwealth Association of Museums (CAM) in collaboration with Iziko Museums of South Africa, to develop policy and guidelines for human remains management and repatriation in Southern Africa in collaboration with museums, universities, governments, and indigenous community members.

“Jeremy did so much to raise the voices and visibilities of those who have been silenced or ignored in museums and the wider world. He has long spoken to the issues underpinning the contemporary Black Lives Matter movement, working to challenge racism and oppression all his life.  He will be so sorely missed. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends around the world.” – Viv Golding, former ICME Chair

ICOM wishes to convey to Dr. Jeremy Silvester’s family, friends and colleagues its deepest condolences. Read the full obituary on ICME’s page to learn more about Dr. Silvester’s impactful and important work:

Dr. Jeremy Silvester