IMREC’s seminar: Museums, decolonisation and restitution

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IMREC (ICOM International Research and Exchange Centre) seminar: Museums, decolonisation and restitution takes place on 20 and 21 March 2023. The seminar takes place in Shanghai, with a live stream available in English and Chinese.

A general overview

A global effort is underway for the decolonisation of collections and the return of objects to their place of origin. Museums and Cultural Institutions embrace this effort to various degrees.

Heritage management literature establishes that objects, collections and sites ought to be together in their place of origin for a holistic view and understanding of values. While some institutions, states and parties argue that repatriation is not always possible due to the resources held by the administration in the place of origin.

The seminar invites international academics and museum professionals to showcase the meaning of decolonisation and restitution, challenges and opportunities.

The program

20 March

Explores the impact on institutions from decolonisation, intellectual frameworks, power-sharing with communities and professional practice:

Decolonising the museum paradigm

  • Reimaging the museum

Decolonising the intellectual infrastructure of museums

  • Decolonising museum practice: language, collections, workforce
  • Decolonisation, difficult histories and national identity

21 March

Demonstrates the impact of restitution on communities, the legal and policy framework and the role of digital means and repatriation projects.

Restitution and community impact

  • Restitution, law and policy

Restitution and innovation

  • Restitution case studies

Our take

At Local Approach, we firmly believe in the repatriation and decolonisation of collections, and the promotion of digital means such as metadata, language change and inclusion of stories from the communities. Heritage and social identity go hand in hand; the removal of objects from their spaces creates adverse effects on social cohesion and memory. The seminar serves as a great tool to promote these efforts, familiarise museums with the current policies and practices and will hopefully inspire more initiatives in the future.

I want to learn more:

[REMINDER] ICOM-IMREC’s seminar: Museums, decolonisation and restitution

Museums, Decolonisation and Restitution: a global conversation Expert seminar Abstracts (Also attached)

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