17:15 - 17:25
Have museums changed their labels?




The museum of the 21st Century has to confront the uncomfortable and discomforts that this new era presents. Dismantling how we function can be a huge discomfort and can be distressing for our practice but there is an urgent expectation on us to move beyond being spaces to house props to spaces of real engagement with issues relating to power and powerlessness.  

The impetus is on us to embalm our past practices and steady ourselves to address contemporary issues.  Move out of our alcoves and engage more robustly with all our audiences and foreground their pains.  Museums have the public spaces to focus on democratic values of human dignity, human rights, equality and freedom.  Our mandate has to move beyond showcasing dominance to a stance of countervailing views.  Museums have the spaces and power to shift the discussion from comfort to revealing the deep cleavages that exists within our contexts.

The old modern museum has to be wrapped up, consigned to a historical footnote, and make way for a new intuitive vibrant museum where we are not afraid to show everyone’s view and to ensure that all views Matter.  Our museums have to become activists- not in a retrogressive way of just preserving the past and endorsing the status quo or whether by compliance with the state or current establishment but by becoming initiators, bringers of change and finding a balance between economic, political and identity agendas, as well as whatever external and internal agendas within the museum.

Join us later at our Deep Dive 2