Empowerment and anger: learning how to share ownership of the museum

Cajsa Lagerkvist


The article explores the challenges of community involvement and of equal representation agendas in museums in a multicultural society. The aim is to contribute to an increased understanding of power struggles and controversies associated with community dialogue and shared authority approaches in museums. These topics are analyzed in relation to the colonial legacy of Western museums and to discourses of multiculturalism, representation and inclusion. Two recent controversial cases of community dialogue in the Museum of World Culture in Sweden are discussed: the project Advantage Göteborg, during which extensive battles over the right of interpretation took place, and the case of the painting Scène d’Amour by artist Louzla Darabi, which was taken off display after strong demands from members of the public. While such cases are difficult and challenging for a museum, the author argues that they are necessary triggers for institutional change.

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Copyright (c) 2015 Cajsa Lagerkvist

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Museum and Society

ISSN 1479-8360