At the recent International Council of Museums (ICOM) in Kyoto, cultural institutions debated a new definition of museums that included social justice and equality. Miriam Cosic looks at how the Australian contingent voted.
Museums have been undergoing an identity crisis of late. Their definition has been overturned ever since women, marginalised people, former colonies and other groups have taken action against the Enlightenment view of museums as colonialist cabinets of curiosities. Based on material artefacts to tell the history of society, museum collections often included misused religious objects and even body parts – often without regard for the object’s owners or their culture.
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