Decolonizing as a verb: Online Seminar: 25-26 November 2020


 In recent years, museums across the globe have been tackling the challenges of decolonizing in their institutions. They do this in response to a growing demand from society that museums should face their historical selves and their inherited practices. Museums are challenged to acknowledge their past, understand how the past shaped the present and act on it today for a different future.

Looking at the different approaches to decolonization worldwide, the term appears to be subject to different interpretations. Some define it as a process that institutions undergo to expand the perspectives they portray beyond those of the dominant cultural group, particularly white colonizers. Whereas others define it as "at a minimum creating procedures for sharing authority on documentation and interpretation."

The legacies of the colonial are ingrained in the social fabric of today's society, they are stored in our bodily archives. Therefore, decolonization is not simply a matter of representation or repatriation. It concerns the language we speak, the archives we use, the way we categorize, what we collect, how the building is designed, the way topics and objects are researched and how knowledge is defined and shared.

COMCOL, ICOM-SA and SAMA organized a joint seminar to explore with international guests different concepts and practices of decolonization in the context of collection and collecting.

For programme information and registration, please visit the COMCOL website:

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