Decentring the Museum for a Postmigrant Society

Decentring the Museum for a Postmigrant Society

University of Cologne

Sandi Hilal (DAAR), Vanabbe Living Room, 2019–ongoing. Installation view, the Vanabbe Museum, The Netherlands. Photo: Peter Cox.

October 23, 2023
Decentring the Museum for a Postmigrant Society
Conference: November 17, 9:30am–7:30pm
Representation Hall of the University of Cologne
Klosterstrasse 79b
50931 Cologne

This conference examines how contemporary curatorial and institutional practices can renegotiate identities, communities and histories, and foster new forms of resistance as a response to the asymmetrical power relations underpinning today’s globally entangled societies.

This analysis is based on the concept of “decentring” and the idea of “postmigration”. In recent years, the concept of decentring helped initiating a shift of perspective that seeks to jettison the entrenched Western, Eurocentric, classist, white, and male hegemony; while postmigration has paved the way for a new understanding of migration and cultural pluralization as integrated aspects of any society. 

Specifically, the conference investigates how curatorial and institutional practices engage with their colonial legacies in order to tell a more accurate decolonial history, how they negotiate the societal conflicts created by the need to learn how to coexist in conditions of socio-cultural diversity, and how they contribute to greater recognition of immigrants and their descendants as equal participants in democratic societies. Engaging with both postmigrant and decentring as well as transcultural approaches to today’s curatorial and institutional practices, the conference will furthermore seek to explore the conjunctions between these perspectives.

Sabine Dahl Nielsen
, Assistant Professor, Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, University of Copenhagen / Sandi Hilal, artist, Stockholm / Madina Tlostanova, professor of Postcolonial Feminisms, Linkoping University / Nina Möntmann, professor of Art Theory, University of Cologne / Rita Ouédraogo, curator, Buro Stedelijk, Amsterdam / Nikos Papastergiadis, professor and director, Research Unit in Public Cultures, School of Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne / Anne Ring Petersen, professor, Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, University of Copenhagen / Charlotte Püttmann, research associate, Art Theory, University of Cologne / Jules Rijssen, collecting networker at Imagine IC, Amsterdam / Aurora Rodonò, curator of Migration History, City Museum Berlin / Regina Römhild, professor of European Ethnology, Humboldt University, Berlin / Sandra Vacca, The Documentation Center and Museum of Migration in Germany, Cologne.

The conference has free admission, due to limited seating RSVP until November 10 at hbildl1 [​at​] Concept by Nina Möntmann in collaboration with Sabine Dahl Nielsen.

The conference is organized on occasion of the publication of Nina Möntmann’s book Decentring the Museum. Contemporary Art institutions and Colonial Legacies, London (Lund Humphries) 2023 and the launching of Sabine Dahl Nielsen’s research project Transcultural Contact Zones: Negotiating the Role of Art Institutions in Contemporary Societies Characterised by Migration (2023–27, funded by Novo Nordisk Foundation)

The second part, a seminar, will take place in Copenhagen in autumn 2024.

RSVP for Decentring the Museum for a Postmigrant Society
University of Cologne
October 23, 2023

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