Imagining a Decolonised Museum: Strike MoMA

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  • Time: 18:30
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Join us to explore the strategies of Strike MoMA who are activating a politics of strike, exit and abolition to organize for a Post-MoMA future.

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‘May a thousand mushrooms bloom in the ruins of the modern museum’ (Strike MoMA, Framework and Terms for Struggle)

Strike MoMA are not calling for MoMA (The Museum of Modern Art, New York) to decolonise. They are working for ‘a Just Transition to a Post-MoMA Future’.

Building on five years of action as Decolonize This Place, in 2021 Strike MoMA set out the ‘Case against MoMA’:

‘MoMA was founded with the oil wealth of the Rockefellers. Since then it has been a clearing house for capital, a showcase for domination and an ecocidal machine. It has diversified in content, but in practice has been an enemy of the poor and the marginalized, the fired and the furloughed, the displaced and dispossessed, the detained and the deported, the dying and the dead’.

Strike MoMA have been asking this question: ‘So what would it mean to abolish MoMA and who will undertake this task?’

In early 2022 Strike MoMA launched a series of new conversations – all recorded here.

In this event, Strike MOMA will reflect on the strike and their ongoing exploration of the relationship between using institutions as organizing sites and strategies of abolition and exit. What is it that can be imagined post-MoMA? What kinds of mushrooms will bloom in the ruins of the modern museum?

For background:

→ The Decolonial Operations Manual (January 2021)

→ Strike MoMA: Terms and Conditions of Struggle (March 2021)

→ Globalize the Intifada (July 2021)

→ Strike MoMA Reader (December 2021)

For the most recent Strike MoMA conversations: https://slought.org/resources/strike_moma

How to book

This talk will take place online via Zoom.

It is free to attend but booking is essential via Eventbrite

Book your place.

About the Imagining a Decolonised Museum event series

Imagining a Decolonised Museum is a collaboration with University of Leeds student-led anti-racism and decolonization project Buyers’ Remorse and is part of the Museum Legitimacies 2021-2022 event series that has included Ed Vaizey on The government’s ‘anti-woke’ agenda and the future of the arm’s length principle and Renzo Martens & CATPC on The White Cube and the Post-Plantation.

It is not controversial a statement to say: ‘Museums are centers of education and culture’ – their job is to preserve, exhibit and educate the public. Yet these very ideas cannot be disentangled from museums as the product of colonialism, the ‘white man’s burden’ to ‘educate’ the ignorant, to ‘preserve’ another culture’s artifacts or traditions and curb the ‘barbarity’ of others. So what is a decolonial museum? Who does it educate? Who goes there? Whose stories does it tell? What happens there? Who works there? How does it measure its success? How do WE measure its value? How is our history recorded? What does it mean to preserve? Can a decolonial museum exist?

This talk series – based in the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies – invites speakers to imagine a decolonised museum. The Boxcheckers (graduates Carmen Okome and Zipporah Blake-Gravesande) are reinstituting the Buyers’ Remorse programme in order to have a discussion with leading minds in anti-colonialism and anti-racist work within the museum sector.

The events will bluntly discuss the ‘white-supremacist capitalist patriarchy’ (bell hooks, 1984) colonialism, that resides in museums currently and what the sector without it might look like. It will also attempt to address what is at stake when we conflate organizing around decoloniality with anti-racism and how it can protect oppression systems.

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Courtesy of Strike MoMA