Brown Bag presentation – September 23

Negotiating Slavery? The Politics of Memory and the Transformations of a State Museum in Colombia


In a context of controversy surrounding the peace talks between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrilla movement, the country’s museums are currently experiencing deep transformations. State museums in particular face the challenge of becoming more democratic and inclusive institutions even as they remain subject to the policies and programs of the government in power. This presentation discusses the challenges of curating an exhibition about slavery in New Granada at the Museo Colonial, a state museum in Bogotá, Colombia. It explores ongoing questions about the role of the curator in negotiating different approaches to the question of how a state museum should interpret the history of slavery in a context of institutional transformation and debates about memory and national reconciliation. The presentation also addresses the challenges and opportunities for incorporating Afro-Colombian communities into the process of representing their own history given the structures of the museum and the Colombian state.


Presentation:  Sept 23 at 12:00 pm, UM Museum of Art Multi-Purpose Room (125)