Leading the Work: Embedding Anti-Racism and Decolonisation in Museum Practice

1 December 2021

15.00—17.00

Zoom Talk

An online peer-support and discussion forum for leaders in museums and galleries

This is the final workshop in the series and is aimed specifically at those working in leadership roles. As with all the workshops in the series, it will provide an opportunity for participants to engage in confidential discussion (where Chatham House Rules apply) about the approaches they have taken, and the challenges they face, in trying to engage their institutions in practices that might be considered anti-racist or decolonial. The objective for this final event in the series is to create a safe space where workable strategies and ideas for new policies can be developed through peer-support, at directorship level.

Participants will be drawn from the directors and senior management staff of the 70 museums that comprise the CAS membership, as well as directors of other non-collecting institutions in the UK.

The workshop will begin with two 10 minute presentations by museums directors who have a track-record of engaging in anti-racist or decolonial practices, followed by a moderated conversation between the speakers. This will help to set out some of the challenges and may even act as a provocation. Then, after a short comfort break, participants will breakout into small groups for 50 minutes of in-depth, confidential discussion. Finally, participants will return to the main room to report back on key discussion points.

The preceding workshops in the series have focussed on particular areas of museum practice: curation, interventions, documentation, interpretation, collecting and engagement. Reports that synthesise the discussions of each workshop (whilst maintaining the anonymity of the participants and their respective institutions) are currently in production and will be published online in November 2021. Participants attending the final workshop will be provided with an executive summary of these reports and will be invited to reflect on the challenges and issues raised in them during the breakout session and in relation to their own personal experiences.

The synthesising reports and executive summary will provide participants with a unique insight into the experiences and reflections of their staff, and how the challenges of engaging in, and embedding anti-racism and decolonisation in museum practice, manifest in the different areas of museum work – a ‘filtering-up’ of information about the practical implications of those doing ‘front-line’ work with artists, objects and publics. This will aid participants in developing policies and strategies to engage their institutions in anti-racism and decolonisation.

For inquiries or to reserve a place, please email Ilaria Puri Purini at ilaria@contemporaryartsociety.org.

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