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 different perspectives and historical frameworks. As the public platform of a confederation of museums and art institutions, L’Internationale Online has commissioned a series of opinion pieces that comment on this complex situation in order to start a wider discussion from different cultural and geopolitical contexts. We invited contributors to consider the issues at stake: from questions of manipulated archives and how access to historical documents might play a role in attacks on representation, to what kind of manipulation and victimisation strategies attacks such as these engender.

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