Jan De Vree

Decolonising Museums is the second thematic publication of L’Internationale Online; it addresses colonial legacies and mindsets, which are still so rooted and present today in the museum institutions in Europe and beyond. The publication draws from the conference Decolonising the Museum which took place at MACBA in Barcelona, 27-29 November 2014 (among the contributors to this thematic issue, Clémentine Deliss, Daniela Ortiz and Francisco Godoy Vega participated at this seminar), and offers new essays, responding to texts published on the online platform earlier this year.

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In the early years of the 21st century, Europe seems uncertainly placed between a deep sense of its own historical importance and anxiety about where it may go in the future. The European project, which for many of our institutions was a guiding principle, has run aground on the rocks of neo-liberalism and an economic priority that forgot about society’s politi- cal and cultural dimensions. The national project, on which the foundations of our museums (along with most of Europe’s other cultural institutions) were based, retains little of its 19th century ambitions to progressive, democratic thinking. As a result, cultural ...

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Following the attacks on the creators of the controversial satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris in January 2015, the shootings at a debate on free speech in Copenhagen, the punishment of the rights activist and blogger Raif Badawi in Saudi Arabia, and the subsequent massive civil mobilisation, the cultural field is forced to process the significance of these events and their wider implications for our work. In Paris and many other instances across continents, representation itself came under attack. Arguably, the field of representation has been in crisis for some time, yet the current context demands that we consider this crisis from ...

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