Museums for the Global Majority: Expanding the limits of museum practice

Jennifer Reynolds-Kaye, Yale Center for British Art
Maryam Ohadi-Hamadani, Yale Center for British Art

Restructuring methodologies and practices that can liberate the art museum from its colonial past is ever more urgent in the wake of our current global environment. Traditional museums are receptacles for the material traces of culture, and are inextricably linked to our pasts; in our present, they are the narrators and educators of this history. But what past and present moments are represented in the museum, in its exhibition and collecting practices?

The ‘past conditional temporality’ of ‘what could have been’ as Lisa Lowe writes, ‘symbolizes aptly the space of a different kind of thinking, a space of productive attention to the scene of loss, a thinking with twofold attention that seeks to encompass at once the positive objects and methods of history and social science, and also the matters absent, entangled and unavailable by its methods.’ (Lisa Lowe, “The Intimacies of Four Continents,” in Ann Laura Stoler, ed., Haunted by Empire: Geographies of Intimacy in North American History (Durham: Duke University Press, 2006), 208.) Is it possible to exceed or negotiate the constitutive limits of the museum? What counter-models and counter-histories might we use to rethink the museum as a space for community and inclusivity when its foundation is predicated on rendering certain histories and viewpoints as absent or othered? How might the museum share narrative authority and agency with historically underrepresented or unrepresented communities? This session offers methodological and practical methods for decolonising the museum and will co-create spaces of open dialogue, problem-solving and imaginative experimentation.

Speakers

Respect, Reciprocity, Responsibility: Indigenous values in curatorial praxis 
Diana Tuite (Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, Maine)
Jennifer Neptune (Penobscot Nation Museum)

‘Rising to the Occasion’: Centering new models of collaboration in institutional curating
Georgiana Uhlyarik (Art Gallery of Ontario)

Recovering Silenced Histories: The role of Provenance in decolonising the museum
Sarah Thomas (Birkbeck, University of London)

Curating the Visual Archives of Slavery in Museums beyond Exhibition
Adiva Lawrence (University of Hull)

Curating Communitie: Co-creating a human centered museum
Sandro (Alexander) Debono (University of Malta)
 

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