Museums, long seen as bastions of cultural knowledge, are increasingly being scrutinized for their role in perpetuating colonial narratives and power structures. The movement to “decolonise the museum” is a multifaceted response, challenging the Eurocentric lens through which collections are acquired, displayed, and interpreted. Decolonising the museum is not simply a static process of rearranging objects or correcting labels. It demands a profound shift in institutional mindset, a dismantling of colonial legacies, and a commitment to genuine collaboration and inclusion.
Ilyas Abdikarim Abdi, 2023
I chose this term because it speaks to my desire to empower my people by engaging with the often painful past and advocating for responsible representation in cultural institutions. Decolonisation is about recognising past wrongs and working towards a future where cultural institutions represent diverse voices and histories responsibly.
Sina Meschke, 2023
For me, the term decolonising museums means empowering communities by addressing painful historical legacies and advocating conscientious representation through questioning cultural institutions. In the European context, this term takes on a prominent meaning as it calls for a critical examination of the Eurocentric perspectives embedded in museum narratives. At its core, decolonisation is about acknowledging historical injustices and striving for a future in which cultural institutions reflect diverse voices and histories. The need to challenge Eurocentrism is clear: by breaking down entrenched colonial narratives, we pave the way for a more inclusive, equitable and balanced representation of cultural heritage. This term becomes a rallying point for responsible curation, transformative dialogue, and the museum as a space that respects the diversity of voices and narratives that make up our global history.