Practicing Decoloniality in Museums
Practicing Decoloniality in Museums
A Guide with Global Examples
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What is the problem?
What is in this book?
For whom is this book?
How to design your own decolonial practice

1 Creating Visibility
The challenge
The change
International Slavery Museum (UK)
Tropenmuseum (NL)
Mutare Museum (ZW)
Belmont Estate (GD)
Further reading
Further examples

2 Increasing Inclusivity
The challenge
The change
Corona in the City | Amsterdam Museum (NL)
GLOW | Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History (US)
Museum of London (UK)
Liberty Hall: The Legacy of Marcus Garvey (JM)
Further reading
Further examples

3 Decentering
The challenge
The change
Memento Park (HU)
Dress Code: Are You Playing Fashion? | National Museum of Modern Art (JP)
Spitzmaus Mummy in a Coffin and Other Treasures | Kunsthistorisches Museum (AT)
Indigenous ‘Museum-like’ Centers (CA & US)
Further reading
Further examples

4 Championing Empathy
The challenge
The change
National Museum of African American History and Culture (US)
Museo Tula (CW)
POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews (PL)
Tate Modern (UK)
Further reading
Further examples

5 Improving Transparency
The challenge
The change
International Inventories Program | National Museum Nairobi & Goethe-Institut Kenya (KY)
The Past Is Now | Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery (UK)
Museum of British Colonialism (KY & UK)
Musee des Civilisations Noires (SN)
Further reading
Further examples

6 Embracing Vulnerability
The challenge
The change
The Museum of Others | Pitt Rivers Museum (UK)
Scaffold | Walker Art Center (US)
Muzeum krytyczne (Critical Museum) by Piotr Piotrowski (PL)
Voices from the Colonies | National Museum of Denmark (DK)
Further reading
Further examples

Concluding Remarks
Author Biographies

Csilla Ariese, Magdalena Wróblewska

Practicing Decoloniality in Museums

A Guide with Global Examples

De onderstaande tekst is niet beschikbaar in het Nederlands en wordt in het Engels weergegeven.
The cry for decolonization has echoed throughout the museum world. Although perhaps most audibly heard in the case of ethnographic museums, many different types of museums have felt the need to engage in decolonial practices. Amidst those who have argued that an institution as deeply colonial as the museum cannot truly be decolonized, museum staff and museologists have been approaching the issue from different angles to practice decoloniality in any way they can. Practicing Decoloniality in Museums: A Guide with Global Examples collects a wide range of practices from museums whose audiences, often highly diverse, come together in sometimes contentious conversations about pasts and futures. Although there are no easy or uniform answers as to how best to deal with colonial pasts, this collection of practices functions as an accessible toolkit from which museum staff can choose in order to experiment with and implement methods according to their own needs and situations. The practices are divided thematically and include, among others, methods for decentering, improving transparency, and increasing inclusivity.

Csilla Ariese

Csilla E. Ariese is a museologist specializing in community engagement and practicing decoloniality. She worked as a postdoctoral researcher to study how the Amsterdam Museum is dealing with its colonial past. Prior to this she completed her PhD, titled The Social Museum in the Caribbean: Grassroots Heritage Initiatives and Community Engagement (2018).

Magdalena Wróblewska

Magdalena Wróblewska is an art historian specializing in museology. She is a research fellow in the projects Connecting Art Histories and the Museum (Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz-MPI and Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin, 2012-2014) and European Colonial Heritage Modalities in Entangled Cities (Horizon 2020, 2018-2021). As head of research at the Museum of Warsaw (2015-2021) she co-curated its core exhibition and co-authored the accompanying publication Things of Warsaw (2017).