Carol Dixon will chair a 90-minute conference session on decolonial scholar-activism by African and Diasporan artists, curators and educators working with collections of ethnography and works of fine art in Western museums. This session forms part of the forthcoming programme for the 6th biennial network conference Afroeuropeans: Black Cultures and Identities in Europe, University of Tampere, Finland, 6 – 8 July 2017.
If you would like to propose a research paper, show a portfolio of work, or suggest an alternative multi-media presentation for consideration, please draft a 250-word abstract in response to the following overview:
Session: Western Museumscapes and the Political Aesthetics of Decolonisation: African and Diasporan Arts Activists Agitating for Change
High-profile museums and galleries in the West – such as the British Museum in London, the Pompidou in Paris, and the MoMA in New York – are continuously revising and developing new strategic plans to ensure that their collections, cultural programmes and exhibiting practices are engaging increasingly diverse global audiences. At the heart of these developments are complex issues about the changing nature of acquisitioning, curation, display and interpretation of artworks and cultural objects described as permanent holdings. The policies and practices implemented by these institutions serve as catalysts for generating and sustaining a rich discourse that invites artists, researchers, curators, archivists, educators, scholar activists and other creative practitioners to question their own roles and responsibilities within such dynamic museumscapes.
In this panel discussion, museologists, art historians, contemporary artists, scholars, educators and cultural commentators from around the world will come together to discuss these issues with reference to one (or more) of the following questions:
- What aspects of 21st century curation help to transform museums and galleries into inclusive spaces for display?
- How are ‘postcolonial’ and ‘decolonial’ curatorial perspectives being advocated and articulated within contrasting Western museumscapes?
- Do artists, academics and activists with African and Diasporan heritage have a unique contribution to make towards progressing the discourse and practice of museum decolonisation?
- Which individuals and institutions are currently demonstrating aspects of best practice in relation to anti-racist and decolonial dialogues within Western museums and galleries? How might their positively transformative approaches be re-applied in other cultural contexts, museal spaces and alternative exhibiting environments?
All proposals (max. 15 minutes duration) should be sent directly to the conference convenors at the University of Tampere, Finland, within the submission period (1 November 2016 to 24 February 2017). Your correspondence should be sent via the website: http://www.uta.fi/yky/en/6thafroeuropeans/index.html
Informal queries about this session can also be sent directly to Carol Dixon (in advance of the deadline) via this feedback form on Museum Geographies. Please remember to include a reply email for a response to your questions and comments.