Session: #683

Theme & Session Format

3. The new normality of heritage management and museums in post-Covid times
Session format:
Discussion session (with formal abstracts)

Title & Content

Contested Colonial Collecting: Revitalization, Repatriation and Reburial
The aim of this session is to discuss contested museum collections from colonial/postcolonial, Indigenous and minority group contexts, with special focus on repatriation and reburial processes. Furthermore, the session aims to explore challenges and possibilities of decolonizing and revitalizing archaeology and museum collections and developing new practices of collaboration between archaeologists, museums and local and Indigenous communities.
We invite contributions dealing with colonial collecting, Indigenous cultural rights, repatriation and reburial claims, debates and processes, local and Indigenous decolonization and cultural revitalization movements, roles of museums in contemporary societies, the meaning and importance of collections for local and Indigenous communities, and visions for future heritage management. Contributions concerning relations and dynamics between archaeology, museums and Indigenous communities are especially relevant. We also encourage critical perspectives on histories of collecting and management of museum collections of sensitive material objects and human remains, as well as examination of ethical aspects and the roles and responsibilities of archaeologists and museum professionals.
At present, there is a great need for reflections and discussions in the archaeology and museum communities on the future of contested collections and ways of dealing with traumatic and highly sensitive colonial history and heritage. In this session, we wish to explore, evaluate and compare experiences from revitalization, repatriation and reburial cases and processes. In the session, we aim for an open discussion, reflecting different perspectives and experiences, and welcome presentations discussing more general issues as well as case studies from different geographical and historical contexts.
Repatriation, Reburial, Decolonization, Revitalization, Indigenous peoples, museum collections
Session associated with MERC:
Session associated with CIfA:
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Main organiser:
Carl-Gösta Ojala (Sweden) 1
Birgitta Fossum (Norway) 2
1. Uppsala University
2. Saemien Sijte - South Sámi Museum