In recognition of altered global relations since colonial times, the Ethnographic Collections at the National Museum of Denmark has identified a need to redefine its role in society. The Ethnographic Collections explores new ways of activating old collections – ways, which include contemporary collecting, co-curation and dialogue with the communities from where the collections derive. Through three recent projects, this paper revolves around questions such as: How can we make associations between the old collections and contemporary society? How do we prioritize, when collecting the contemporary? And how do we ensure that community involvement not only challenges the authority of museums, but also informs museological practices in new and constructive ways?