Past events
{{ time.start_TS | TS2dateFormat('DD') }}
{{ time.start_TS | TS2dateFormat('MMM') }}
{{ time.start_TS | TS2dateFormat('YYYY') }}

The ‘One Object, Many Questions’ discussion series takes a close look at a selected object from one of the exhibitions. Each discussion, with the involvement of an expert, will open up fascinating aspects of the item that may not be covered in detail, or indeed at all, in the exhibition itself.

Discussions may focus on the method of manufacture, symbolic meaning, previous owners, the object’s history, the lore held within the object or its particular appeal. Each discussion will take place in the exhibition concerned, and will give space for your questions and observations.

29/09/2021 Rommel’s Toyota. Aggression and Masculinity

The inaugural discussion will examine the largest exhibit in the Terrible Beauty. Elephant – Human – Ivory exhibition: an off-road vehicle belonging to the Kenyan conservation organisation Save The Elephants.

Elephants are considered to be peaceful animals, but they can sometimes be very aggressive, particularly when in ‘must’, a type of male rut, when they may fight fierce battles with rivals. A bull who is defeated by a rival can sometimes vent his anger on objects that are not part of the conflict – like the off-road vehicle belonging to the Kenyan conservation organisation Save The Elephants. In 2002, a bull elephant attacked the vehicle containing researchers who were observing the behaviour of the elephants in Samburu National Reserve, causing extensive damage. The vehicle’s occupants were lucky to escape, and later named their attacker ‘Rommel’ – after the Nazi commander of the German Africa Corps – for his aggressiveness.

Aggression in both humans and animals is governed by, among other things, the sex hormone testosterone, which in mammals affects physical build, and also the mind. In humans, it is not only held responsible for disruptive behaviour in young people, but also, for example, the greed of bankers or the assertiveness of managers.

How are aggressiveness and hormone levels linked? What would our society look like without testosterone, without aggressive behaviour? Using the exhibit as a starting point, Ulrike Krämer, Professor of Cognitive Neurology at the University of Lübeck, will be in the ‘Terrible Beauty. Elephant – Human – Ivory’ exhibition to discuss aggression and masculinity in humans and animals with Uta Kornmeier, curator for science and research.

read more read less

In conversation

Practical info

  • Contact tracing

    For the protection of our visitors, and to allow for the rapid tracing of possible chains of infection, the partners of the Humboldt Forum are required to keep records of attendance for tours and events. This means your contact details will be recorded when attending a guided tour or event. At the beginning of each tour or event, you will be given a contact form on which to record your information. Your personal information will be used only for official contact tracing purposes and will be deleted automatically after four weeks.

  • “2G” regulation (valid from 15 November 2021)

    In accordance with the Federal State of Berlin’s updated measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, please be informed that since Monday, 15 November 2021, the “2G“ rule applies to all visits to the Humboldt Forum. This rule generally applies to entering the building, as well as to visitors of exhibitions and participants of events, educational programmes, and guided tours.

    A digitally legible vaccination certificate or a digital recovery certificate must be presented as proof. A physical vaccination certificate without a legible QR code or a valid test certificate is no longer sufficient.

    Exceptions include children aged five and below, as well as children and adolescents aged 17 or below upon presentation of a student ID Unvaccinated visitors with a medical certificate are also exempt. These visitors must present a valid, negative PCR test result that is no older than 24 hours.

    We kindly ask for your understanding that there may be a wait at the Passage and Portal 3 entrances. Please plan your visit accordingly and have your ticket, proof of vaccination or recovery, and ID ready for inspection.

    Visitors aged 6 and above, as well as all staff members, are required to wear a medical or FFP2 face mask indoors.

    The Berlin administration’s centralised COVID-19 information can be found here.

  • Face coverings

    With the exception of children under 6, deaf people and their accompanying persons, all visitors are required to wear a medical face mask, FFP2 or KN95 mask in all indoor areas of the Humboldt Forum. Please bring your own face mask with you. If wearing a mask is not possible due to health restrictions (e.g. asthma, severe lung diseases, etc.), a doctor’s certificate must be carried and shown. In this case, we point out the increased risk of infection for you.