Curatorial Activism: Turning Activism into Practices
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Museums are not perfect institutions-- they have a long history of marginalization of ethnicity, gender, and sexuality through “western” museological practices. With recent political upheaval, more people have been fighting for rights and recognition, and museums are put in the position of having to evaluate how they react to the changes around them. This research project is pursuing the concept of curatorial activism, as defined by Dr. Maura Reilly, in an attempt to find exhibits or displays that demonstrate museums’ increasing political activism in various sized institutions across the United States through detailed document analysis. Interviews with current museum professionals who have a history of working with marginalized groups will help to better understand institutional barriers, as well as how the role of the curator should be redefined. This research intends to provide a realistic overview of institutional change and provide a better idea of how any museum can incorporate these practices.