Talking Points for NEMA’s “Museums and the Travel Ban” Panel at Davis Museum

On May 15, 2017 by pampi

I’ve been invited to panel tomorrow night at Wellesley – if you’re in the area, please join! If you want to come with, DM me xx.

As promised, some notes… purposely vague-booking. can’t drop all my gems here ;)

What do you think was successful about this exhibit?
The idea itself is provocative. [But kind of becomes a PR stunt (and honestly worse) when we probe below surface.]

What do you think did not work as well?
Everything else. I think much was borrowed from the struggle of undocumented people – the museum’s exhibit announcement notably happening a few weeks after #undiasininmigrantes campaign. There doesn’t appear to be much deep thought around the museum’s positionality around power.

What is the responsibility of museums to respond to current political events?
Public museums absolutely a must. Exhibitions free and open to public absolutely a must. Do I hold my breath for institutions built to curate power of supremacist iconography to do it right? Nope. Their press release made me cringe…/press%20release/prdavis_art-less…

What are ways you’d like to see museums respond to political events in the future?
Work in the community. Lift up and compensate voices of community organizers and culture workers.

Nothing new so we don’t begin to wonder why mistakes keep happening. Institutions are here to uphold supremacist hegemony that is the foundation of power. Most things “progressive” are a practice of co-option.

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