Museums reconsidered: heritage in a transforming world
Fatima Brana (University of Vigo)
Xose Carlos Sierra (Museo do Pobo Galego)
Archives and Museums
Aula 5
Tuesday 16 April, 9:00-10:45 (UTC+0)

Short abstract:

This session invites participants to think out of their museological boxes: by taking further the debate on the decolonial turn, museums are thought and reworked here as laboratories with communities and groups where social equality is constructed and empowered.

Long abstract:

This event explores museums' inherent potential in being powerful instruments for social inclusion and communities' advocacy: how can museums and heritage policies disentangled themselves from structural inequality? How can grassroots groups and collectives help in the creation of a common language and shared practices with communities?

The morning panel will conjure up papers that reflect on collaborative projects with communities in the fields of museums and heritage, as well as alternative means of doing heritage in contemporary society that have contributed to the construction of social equality. Interestingly, representations and memories of specific groups are discriminated within heritage practices in the same way as they are in the broader social context: heritage narratives usually reinforce the status quo, rather than developing inclusion and equality. The panel will reflect whether collaborative projects can efficaciously deconstruct inequality.

After panel session, twenty selected participants will be subdivided in four groups in order to realize a small exhibition—informed by communities' knowledge or that functions as a creative intervention against inequality—that will be hosted in the conference venue the following day. With this purpose in mind, participants will be asked to bring at the event ethnographic data, including material artefacts and multimedia, previously submitted to the panelists. Additional material for the realization of the exhibition—supports for the installation, etc.—will be negotiated after the selection procedure with participants. Given the different formats of the event, the second session will be hosted in a space more suitable for the realization of the exhibition.