Events, mostly in conversation form, served to better understand certain curatorial, artistic oder intellectual challenges. In addition, the museum organized conferences on contemporary museology (e.g., When the Present Begins, 2014) or gave the floor to artists and their work.


How should I learn?

Theme Talk

27 Jun 2021 3:00 pm
With Eliana Sousa Silva, Margherita Moscardini, Li Mu, Dias & Riedweg, Francesca Ceccherini and Roger M. Buergel
About the artistic part of learning processes, be it in school or in real life.
20 Jun 2021 3:00 pm
With Yann Stricker and Roger M. Buergel
About the self-image of neutral Switzerland and about the relationship between humanitarian work and politics.
25 Oct 2020
With Damian Christinger
Which bodies do ships convey and how do they fit into a global history?
4 Oct 2020
With Hira Nabi (live from Lahore), Adnan Softić and Roger M. Buergel
On the dramatic aspects of the dismantling of ocean liners in Gadani (Pakistan).

Open House Zurich


26 Sep 2020 - 27 Sep 2020
At Johann Jacobs Museum
The Johann Jacobs Museum is part of Open House Zurich again this year and offers various architectural tours through the building.
13 Sep 2020
For children (5 to 10 years old), unaccompanied by adults
Stories we hear en route are inspired by the adventures of the Swiss merchant navy and other things from the exhibition.
6 Sep 2020
With Alessandro Vanoli (live from Bologna) and Roger M. Buergel
Migration and migratory flows in the Mediterranean Region as starting point for the myth of «Europa».
5 Jul 2020
With Mauricio Dias, Walter Riedweg and Roger M. Buergel
On improvised forms of cooperation with young people and other (rather difficult) actors.
5 Apr 2020
With Christina Wild und Yann Stricker
29 Mar 2020
With Hira Nabi
On the dramatic aspects of the dismantling of ocean liners in Gadani (Pakistan).
10 Mar 2020 6:30 pm
With Hannah Baader, Armin Linke and Roger M. Buergel
The search for traces on the ocean floor, maritime ecology and the limits of international law.
3 Mar 2020 6:30 pm
With Lea Haller
A conversation about world trade companies, money flows and the nation's self-image.
2 Feb 2020 3:00 pm
With Bettina Schuler and Roger M. Buergel
On the reasons why the best part of cinema has found its home in the museum.
12 Jan 2020 3:00 pm
With Mamadou Diallo and Roger M. Buergel
On colonial and postcolonial realities in Africa today.

Story Journey to the Sea

Children's Event

15 Dec 2019 3:00 pm
For children (between 5 and 10 years old)
Stories we hear en route are inspired by the adventures of the Swiss merchant navy and other things from the exhibition.
11 Dec 2019 7:00 pm
With Sophie Mauch
Departing from the stories written by ships in the exhibition we'll explore the world on the water, on different kinds of floating constructions, and see what inspiration we find to tell stories of our own.
24 Nov 2019 3:00 pm
With Eza Komla, Dierk Schmidt, Adnan Softić, Sophia Prinz and Roger M. Buergel
Artist Talk about the artistic approaches to historical truth

Last Exit — Occident

Theme Afternoon

3 Nov 2019
With Beat Wyss
Beat Wyss takes stock of World Exhibitions from a Eurocentric perspective.
29 Oct 2019
With Vera Wolff
Lecture and discussion on material aesthetics and raw materials trade in the World Exhibitions era.
6 Oct 2019
With Sophia Prinz
Lecture and discussion about social and artistic forms of perception.

Open House Zurich


28 Sep 2019 - 29 Sep 2019
At Johann Jacobs Museum
The Johann Jacobs Museum is part of Open House Zurich again this year and offers various architectural tours through the building.
24 Sep 2019
With Moritz von Brescius
Lecture and discussion about a multifaceted material without which modernity would be unthinkable.
17 Sep 2019
With Monika Wagner
Lecture and discussion about the painting that inspired the exhibition at Johann Jacobs Museum.
7 Sep 2019
An interactive sound installation by the ARK collective will ring out on Zurich’s longest Night of Museums. The musical patterns tell of life along the old colonial trade and migration routes, of the “Yellow Pacific” and the “Black Atlantic”.
14 Jul 2019
With Roger M. Buergel
This lecture outlines the global aspirations (and perils) of two prominent art exhibitions: documenta in Kassel and the Venice Biennale.

Black Abstraction

Theme Night

2 Jul 2019
With Adrienne Edwards
Lecture and discussion about the color “black” and its meaning and beauty in Ellen Gallagher’s painting “Kapsalon Wonder”.
25 Jun 2019
With Christina Wild
A tour focusing on the moments of bewilderment that make global exchange possible.

Country and World

Theme Talk

19 May 2019
With Andreas Spillmann
Talk with Andreas Spillmann (National Museum Zurich, Director) about the global challenges of today's museology.
Tiffany Chung - Begleitausstellung

Strawberries from Vietnam

Theme Afternoon

5 May 2019
With Christina Wild
Introduction into the history of the plantations of Da Lat, French Indochina’s agricultural laboratory in the Central Highlands of Vietnam.
16 Apr 2019
With Roger M. Buergel
An introduction to the work of Tiffany Chung
Tiffany Chung - Begleitausstellung


Theme Afternoon

7 Apr 2019
With Erling Kagge
Erling Kagge presents a highly contemporary version of silence, beyond cultural clichés.
7 Apr 2019
With StoryLabs
A session with Storylabs, in which Children and StoryLabbers will explore the experience of silence
26 Mar 2019
With Monika Dommann
Historian Monika Dommann in conversation with Roger M. Buergel
19 Mar 2019
“La 317ème section” (1965) by Pierre Schoendorffer and “Hoah-Binh” (1970) by Raoul Coutard
In preparation for the conversation with Monika Dommann we are showing the films “La 317ème section” (1965) by Pierre Schoendorffer and “Hoah-Binh” (1970) by Raoul Coutard.
5 Mar 2019
With Quynh Dong and Bruno Z'Graggen
Vietnamese-Swiss artist Quynh Dong speaks with Bruno Z'Graggen about her video works “Sweet Noel” (2013) and “Das Aquarium” (2007)

Tiffany Chung

Artist Talk

15 Nov 2018
Tiffany Chung in conversation with Roger M. Buergel.

Africa intertwined

Theme Talk

4 Nov 2018
With Andreas Greiner
Beads entered the African continent on caravan routes and became part of everyday life. How do we do historical research when our object of study is volatile and left almost no traces that come close to what we call “document”?
30 Oct 2018
With Manthia Diawara, filmmaker, cultural theorist
A lecture that seeks to explore the inbetweenness of ritual objects and artworks.
23 Oct 2018
With Christina Wild
Flamingo feathers and ivory beads will guide this talk to investigate animals and their migrations as artistic and historical actors.
9 Oct 2018
Passion Aissa Dione by Abdoulaye Konaté
Christina Wild talks about Abdoulaye Konaté's view of African culture.
Johann Jacobs Museum

Open House Zürich


29 Sep 2018 - 30 Sep 2018
The Johann Jacobs Museum is part of Open House Zurich again this year and offers various architectural tours through the building.
1 Sep 2018
Sana Khanazi is a guest at the Johann Jacobs Museum for the longest night of Zurich's museums. Traditional sounds from Burkina Faso are translated into a new, contemporary musical style.
26 Aug 2018
With Kati Torda
Kati Torda shares her knowledge about beads and their function in the culture of Ghana
15 Jul 2018
Global Art History and the Challenge of Taste
Chika Okeke-Agulu in conversation with Roger M. Buergel about the comparability of Persian manuscripts, Mauritanian beads, Japanese lacquerware, Peruvian textiles, German woodcuts and Swiss embroidery

Beads and Trade Routes

Thematic Tour

3 Jul 2018
With Roger M. Buergel
Where do the beads lead us, when we trace them back to their place of origin?

Bare Life

Artist Talk

10 Jun 2018
With Romuald Hazoumè
Conversation on the legacy and survival of colonial structures, but also Africa’s contemporary possibilities and the aesthetic power of “making.”

Marie-José Crespin

Artist Talk

8 Jun 2018
A conversation about Crespin’s career as a lawyer, her cultural activities in Senegal and the art of collier necklace-making.

Where is the art?

Thematic Tour

8 May 2018
With Hans Bjarne Thomsen and Roger M. Buergel
Does it make sense, in an increasingly globalized world, to talk of contemporary Japanese art?

Aiko Tezuka

Artist Talk

29 Apr 2018
Aiko Tezuka dekonstructs textiles to develop key elements of Japanese aesthetics.

Picture Bride

Movie Night

17 Apr 2018
A Japanese-American film drama from 1994
The film depicts in a realistic manner the situation of Japanese laborers on sugar plantations in Hawai’i at the beginning of the 20th century.

Global Music


3 Apr 2018
Japanese Plantation and Coalminer Songs
Thematic Tour with live performance of Japanese songs from the coal mines of Kyushu (tanko-bushi) and the sugar plantations of Hawaii (holehole-bushi).

Wagashi Candy


24 Mar 2018
Traditional Japanese confections made from sugar. With Tomoyo Jäger
Young people learn techniques to produce the colorful, artfully-shaped confections that are served in Japan during traditional tea ceremonies.
6 Mar 2018
With Christina Wild and Martin Dusinberre
Excursus on the fabrication, circulation, and transformation of one of the largest collections of ethnographic objects and photographs to leave the Pacific World in the 19th Century.

Denise Bertschi

Artist Talk

5 Nov 2017
What was the Swiss presence on Brazilian coffee plantations all about and how does the situation in Helvécia look today?
20 Aug 2017
By Milica Topalovic
On Singapore’s transformation from a backwater colonial port to the new nation of industrial middle class housed in public high rises.
9 May 2017
By Petra Martin
Money, Gucci shoes, Rolex watches, iPhones – anything that serves as status symbol is burned. Apparently status is useful in the afterlife as well.

Thomas Bayrle

Artist Talk

10 Feb 2017
Discussion about the aesthetic spirit that shapes everyday life in China.
2 Feb 2017
By Peter J. Carroll
The 1929 group suicide of four female student nurses in the city of Guangzhou belied for many a fatal weakness of youth unable to weather the vicissitudes of modern competition and progress.

China in 1937


30 Nov 2016
With Eugene Wang
What can the short epoch between the collapse of the last dynasty and the Japanese invasion teach us about contemporary and future China and its relationship to the world?
19 Sep 2016
Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg/ Deutschland
Rearranging Objects, Translating Experiences, Shifting Meanings. The multi-year research and exhibition project “Mobile Worlds“ begins with a large conference and a small exhibition.
16 Jun 2016
With Francisco Godoy Vega
On the key experiences of Latin American conceptual art and their potential to activate a creative imagination of the present.

The Air Will Not Deny You

Book Presentation

27 May 2016
Zurich’s other globality

Gonzalo Díaz

Artist Talk

19 May 2016
With Gonzalo Díaz and Roger Buergel
Gonzalo Díaz in conversation with Roger M. Buergel on the limits of representation and his work on “Terras do dem fim”
11 Mar 2016
From the “novelty patterns” on omoshirogara propaganda kimonos to modern Japanese history and back.

Polyphon II


10 Mar 2016
With Eduardo Simantob, Romy Rüegger and Knowbotiq
How can approaches in the global history of knowledge be translated into shared forms of practice with analogous developments in art, in the context of exhibitions and in the realm of political activism?
6 Feb 2016
An international panel discusses Japan’s modernization and its expression in art and design.
16 Jan 2016
With Martina Kudláček and Michael Oppitz
An intensive look into the abysses of the transcultural experience and phenomena that cannot be translated.
10 Nov 2015
By Silvy Chakkalakal
How “foreign culture” as a place of longing, an alternate reality and contrast to modernity emerged as an ongoing motif in 1920s-era social debates in the United States.
19 Sep 2015
With Alina Martimyanova and Damian Christinger
An exchange of ideas on wave iconography in Chinese and Japanese art.
10 Sep 2015
With Uli Sigg
A conversation about joint ventures, diplomatic keys and the role of art as depth sonar.
1 Sep 2015
By Roger M. Buergel
Certain things can be regarded as prisms, with the world revealing itself in a play of global refractions.
4 Jul 2015
With Andreas Zangger
What are we talking about when we say “Switzerland,” and what does that have to do with colonialism?
23 Jun 2015 - 27 Jun 2015
The 3000-year history of chocolate – staged by 5th-grade schoolchildren at the Schulgemeinde Fällanden.

The Whip


18 May 2015
Von Iris Därmann
The whip is an ancient instrument of command, submission and chastisement. Its sharp crack is a reminder that neither man nor beast can withdraw its involuntary labor or service for another human being without painful consequences.
28 Feb 2015
With Roger Buergel, Benjamin Buchloh, Manthia Diawara, Hilde van Gelder, Alberto Toscano
Conference in the context of the book presentation "Allan Sekula. Ship of Fools/The Dockers‘ Museum".
Partners: Maumaus
10 Oct 2014 - 11 Oct 2014
Museum Rietberg, Johann Jacobs Museum
An exchange of ideas about the state of the present, the artistic contemporary and its ambiguous memory of a modernist understanding of art.
30 Sep 2014
By Zeuler R. Lima
In his lecture Zeuler R. Lima introduces Lina Bo Bardi as a curator with a distinct interest in exhibitions as a learning experience.
12 Sep 2014
By Silvana Rubino
Why would the architect Lina Bo Bardi, who defined herself as a modernist and rationalist, concern herself with the cultural expression of an impoverished rural population?

Lina Bo Bardi


13 May 2014
By Roger M. Buergel
Excursus on one of the 20th century’s most important architects and future exhibitions at Seefeldquai.

Somali Connections


19 Mar 2014
The Johann Jacobs Museum hosts the AOZ (Asylum Organization Zurich)’s “DiskutierBar.”