We need to talk about colonialism and our museums

Should museums be made to give back their marbles? Must Rhodes fall? In her book The Whole Picture, Alice Proctor writes: ‘All art is political.'

There has been a call for some time now, for our museums and galleries to look more critically at the accepted narratives that surround the art, objects and antiquities they house.

But this responsibility has become a shared one. No longer does it lie just with curators and museum educators to confront how they have collected, and rethink – even disrupt, as author Alice Proctor suggests – the stories that place these objects in time, but as viewers we also need to question the way we interact with these objects couched in colonialism.

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Gina Fairley is ArtsHub's National Visual Arts Editor. For a decade she worked as a freelance writer and curator across Southeast Asia and was previously the Regional Contributing Editor for Hong Kong based magazines Asian Art News and World Sculpture News. Prior to writing she worked as an arts manager in America and Australia for 14 years, including the regional gallery, biennale and commercial sectors. She is based in Mittagong, regional NSW. Twitter: @ginafairley Instagram: fairleygina

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