The term Herstory is a neologism emphasizing female experiences as opposed to conventional historiography which is traditionally written as “his story”. Accordingly, women are largely underrepresented in museums. But concentrating on telling Herstory is only one part of the much-needed diversification of museum narratives. There is much more work to do regarding varied marginalised communities such as BIPOC, disabled or queer people, to name a few. In this sense, Herstory can also be used to address the discrepancies in our history books and how they affect our worldviews today.

Lina Dolfen, 2023

As an art historian, I am very aware of the lack of diversity in my field. The Eurocentric, male-dominated view on art that is often taught at universities and reproduced in museums is changing slowly. For me, the term Herstory represents the inclusion of unknown stories aside from the ever-repeated famous names. Museums might get a lot more interesting if we broaden our spectrum. To illustrate this I chose to use an almost universal form of storytelling, the fairy tale. This led me to work with my colleague Jill. Her term intangible memory includes fairy tales as they used to rely on verbal tradition and the memory of their bearers. Also, the question of including intangible memories in museums raises similar ideas of expanding what we represent today.

Once upon a time, there was a girl who loved museums...

Lina Dolfen, 2023
Exhibition View Of “uaţunua” As A Photograph In The Humboldt Forum, Berlin
Exhibition view of “Uaţunua” as a photograph in the Humboldt-Forum, Berlin. The doll was restituted to the National Museum of Namibia in Windhoek, but its story remains and is shared with both museums.