Decolonising a museum: what does that even mean?

Recognising the past to make our museums more equal

Join Lisa Williams to explore the emotional and mental aspects of decolonising museums from multiple perspectives.

How do you decolonise a museum? From visitors to staff, what are the benefits, possibilities and limitations? How are our perspectives and conversations narrowed when we’ve inherited a colonial way of viewing the world? What are our inherent biases, and how do they affect the way we exhibit and interact with objects with colonial histories? In short – decolonising a museum; what does it even mean?

Recognising and honestly reflecting upon the legacy – and ongoing role – of Empire on culture is complex. The process involves sensitivity, self-reflection, bravery and active listening. Our entire society, and therefore our museums, reflect hierarchies and structures rooted in colonialism. If we begin to recognise and challenge these, how can we create change and make museums more equal, fair and democratic?

Lisa Williams runs educational programmes in Scotland's Black History and acts as a consultant for heritage organisations across Scotland. She has an MA in Arts, Festival and Cultural Management and is an Honorary Fellow in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh. Lisa is a contributing member of V&A Dundee's Scottish Design Galleries Advisory Group.

This event will be BSL interpreted by Bruce Cameron and Heather Graham.

Image: ©Hufton+Crow


13:00 - 14:00

Location Online


BSL interpreted

Planning to be in the museum on 30 March? This online event will be live-streamed into the Juniper Auditorium, just drop in and watch.

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