Coming to One’s Senses
Decolonising Artefacts at the Museum of Anthropology
My paper is concerned with decolonising contemporary museological practice, specifically in relation to ethnographic collections at the Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver. I propose that display practices can be reformed through Indigenous collaboration with artefacts and visitors critically engaging with their display. I recognise that decolonisation must happen on a structural basis with institutions revoking their authority to Indigenous groups. Reclaiming this power grants the autonomy to decide how their collections are displayed and represented. I also explore ways for visitors to decolonise the space introspectively, by becoming critically aware of their own colonial gaze – how they perceive, critique and analyse museum spaces.