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What does it mean to decolonize a museum?

Category: Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion

Whether you’re new to the discourse on decolonization, or just in need of a refresh on the expanding definition and evolving practices around the term, this thorough primer has the information you need.

“It’s not just about inviting indigenous and other marginalized people into the museum to help the institution improve its exhibitions; it’s an overhauling the entire system. Otherwise, museums are merely replicating systems of colonialism, exploiting people of color for their emotional and intellectual labor within their institutions without a corollary in respect and power.”

-Elisa Shoenberger

By Elisa Shoenberger In the past few years, museums across the US, Europe, and Australia are trying to tackle the challenge of decolonizing their institutions. However, the very meaning of decolonizing is being debated. The Washington Post defines it as "a process that institutions undergo to expand the perspectives they portray beyond those of the dominant cultural group, particularly white colonizers."

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