Things like this remind me of part of why I have been so interested in continuing with higher education in museum studies.
Yes, I want to research and publish historical-stuff. I’d be quite happy to bury my nose in old documents for ever and ever. But, I also find such depth and richness in questions around the role of museums in their communities, and the challenges that face museums in the 21st century (both questions I also find intriguing in regards to churches and religion… seeing many similarities between the two institutions. Anyhow…).
How can (and do) museums play a role in current social-issues? How can we present inclusive and honest narratives about the past? I feel that this statement is a great example of the ways that museums can take part in larger community dialogues, and the importance of doing so.
A couple weeks ago, a group of museum and arts bloggers (including Incluseumers) got together digitally to draft a joint statement urging U.S. museums to respond to events like those that recently took place in Ferguson and beyond. At this time of escalating outcry about police brutality and unnecessary use of force targeting black people, many asked: Are we at a turning point for discussions about race in the U.S.? And by extension, a turning point in our museums that desire to function as a forum and be relevant to local communities? In the week that followed, these bloggers released the statement on their respective platforms; it’s our turn to do so here.
For our contribution to the collective action of posting the joint statement, we have invited some friends who are bloggers and occasional contributors to the Incluseum to join us in raising critical questions sparked by the statement and…
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