Resources - Museums Association

With support from our Decolonisation Guidance Working Group, we’ve collected a range of resources to support and inspire your decolonial practice.

Below you’ll find blogs, articles, case studies, keynotes and more. We’ll be adding to this regularly, so if you know of any resources we could include, please get in touch with antonia@museumsassociation.org.

Articles and blogs

Curating Discomfort by Zandra Yeaman, Curator of Discomfort, The Hunterian

Reflections on Black Lives Matter, decolonisation and what museums can do next by Errol Francis, CEO, Culture&

Small museums should spearhead drive to decolonise museum practice by Tehmina Goskar, Director, Curatorial Research Centre

Decolonisation diary: Our first steps by Finn White, Engagement Officer for Communities, Bristol Museums

Addressing the legacies of empire and slavery by Miles Greenwood, Curator (Legacies of Slavery and Empire), Glasgow Museums

Unfinished histories – Imagining a Museum of British Colonialism by Krishna Joshi, volunteer, Museum of British Colonialism, for Shado – sharing reflections from the Museum of British Colonialism’s 2020 online panel ‘Imagining a Museum of British Colonialism’

Your neutral is not our neutral, Archival Decolonist by Nathan Sentance, Project Officer in First Nations Programming, the Australian Museum

Confronting Colonialism – The complexities of addressing the past while decolonising museums by Habiba Insaf for The Caravan

The ‘Art World’ Can’t Exist in a Decolonized Future by Angie Jaime for Teen Vogue

Will Europe’s museums rise to the challenges of decolonisation? by Dan Hicks, Pitt Rivers Museum, for the Guardian

UK university’s return of looted Benin Bronze puts pressure on other institutions, Channel 4 piece on University of Aberdeen’s announcement

Comments on the Report of the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities by Alan Lester

Decolonising the Curriculum: what does this mean for museum learning? by Kate Fellows and Emily Nelson, Leeds Museums and Galleries

Decolonising museums isn’t part of a ‘culture war’. It’s about keeping them relevant by Dan Hicks, Pitt Rivers Museum, for the Guardian

Museums: Sharing the Weight of Anti-Racist Education? by Miles Greenwood for The Anti-Racist Educator

The National Trust and the Culture War: A Dissection of Dishonest Journalism as a Tool of the ‘War on Woke’ by Brian Cathcart for the Byline Times

A series of commentaries has been compiled in the British Future report Inclusive Histories: Narrating our shared past in polarised times:

Decolonial practice – resources and examples

Decolonisation + Democratisation, Colchester + Ipswich Museums – a series of livestreams exploring how heritage and arts organisations are engaging and sharing ownership with communities

Decolonising Natural Science Collections – online conference recordings from the Natural Sciences Collections Association (NatSCA), with a keynote from Miranda Lowe, Natural History Museum, and Subhadra Das, UCL

Top 10 tips to start decolonising your practice by Tehmina Goskar, Director, Curatorial Research Centre

The Decolonial Dictionary by Shelley Angelie Saggar, PhD research, University of Kent – critical reflections spanning a range of terms, methods and practices

100 Histories of 100 Worlds in 1 Object – dynamic, long-term and multiple format publication project, working towards a fusion of object stories and present legacies in museums

Reparation Resource, Museum Ethnographers Group – a padlet board with a range of repatriation case studies, articles, statements and more

Appreciating Community Knowledge by Juma Ondeng, Community Action Researcher, National Museums of Kenya – reflecting on colonial museum practices that have ignored community knowledge

Decolonising our galleries: An introduction, V&A Museum Dundee by Meredith More, Curator, V&A Dundee and Emma Bond, University of St Andrews

Addressing our histories of colonialism and historic slavery, National Trust – links to the National Trust report and director’s blog

Decolonisation and Natural Science Collections by Rebecca Machin, Curator of Natural Sciences, Leeds Museums & Galleries

Decolonising your museum, Museums Galleries Scotland – workshop keynotes, January 2020

The Impact of Transatlantic Slavery on England’s Built Environment: a Research Audit, Historic England – findings and resources from this research project

Decolonisation in the 2020s – a series of online events and essays, organised by the Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP), UAL’s Decolonising Arts Institute and Goldsmiths’ Department of Visual Cultures

Decolonising The Curatorial Process by Dr Orson Nava – a documentary film examining ways that decolonial activists, historians and other scholar-activists from South Africa, Kenya and the UK are working with curators to challenge Eurocentric approaches to history

Documentation and Decolonisation by Ananda Rutherford, curator and documentation specialist

Let’s Talk Labels: A Conversation around the Pitt Rivers Museum’s Labelling Matters project Part 2

Curator’s Choice: Provenance Research and Repatriation to African Communities – curators from the Fowler, New Orleans Museum of Art, and University of Michigan Museum of Art discuss current approaches and examples of work happening in museums today

Decolonising glossary by Curatorial Research Centre

Templates and advice on recording and researching the process of repatriation and restitution from the Collections Trust

The Museum Test – a resource developed by the Changemakers, a collective of young South Asian people working with Glasgow Museums, to help museums determine how effectively a gallery or display handles topics of colonialism, empire, slavery, the transatlantic slave trade and representation

Research papers 

Miseducation: decolonising curricula, culture and pedagogy in UK universities by Mia Liyange, Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI)

Return of the Icons, AFFORD – a campaign exploring key issues and recommendations around the restitution of stolen African artefacts

Nature Read in Black and White: decolonial approaches to interpreting natural history collections, by Subhadra Das and Miranda Lowe, Journal of Natural Science Collections

Making African Connections: Decolonial Futures for Colonial Collections. Initial Findings and Recommendations – a project researching historic African collections held in Sussex and Kent museums with the aim of furthering debates over ‘decolonising’ public institutions

The Crying Child – On Colonial Archives, Digitization, and Ethics of Care in the Cultural Commons by Temi Odumosu

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