Decolonising UK world art institutions, 1945-1980

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Between 1945 and 1980, UK museums and their collections of art and artefacts from Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas played an active political and social role in attempting to decolonise the British Empire. As spaces which forced museum practitioners and visitors to contend with the material remnants of empire, and as arenas which demanded the interpretation of a world undergoing rapid political change, in their very materiality, UK museums of world art and anthropology supported the trialling and enacting of forms of decolonisation, neo-colonialism, independence and anti-colonial resistance. They acted as microcosms of wider political encounters. This short article explores these practices across a range of UK museums, debating definitions of decolonisation in the process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-112
Number of pages7
JournalOn Curating
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


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