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‘Community Voices, Curatorial Choices’: Community Consultation for the 1807 Exhibitions

Fouseki, K; (2010) ‘Community Voices, Curatorial Choices’: Community Consultation for the 1807 Exhibitions. Museum and Society , 8 (3) 180 - 192. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper argues that community consultation is not always a democratic process as power often resides with museum staff members who decide which community views to accept and which to ignore. Drawing upon a series of semistructured interviews with community members, community officers, curators and other museum staff as part of the 1807 Commemorated project, I attest that consultative group members often experienced frustration, anger, and disappointment during and after the development of the 1807 exhibitions. These emotions were primarily driven by the communities’ unmet needs and expectations as well as by a clash between object-centric curatorial choices and people-oriented community voices; members of the African-Caribbean community viewed their participation in the consultation meetings both as a means of empowerment of their communities and as a gesture of acknowledgement, social justice and recognition. Thus, it is imperative that community consultation is replaced by active negotiation and engagement that is aimed at shared power and ownership.

Type: Article
Title: ‘Community Voices, Curatorial Choices’: Community Consultation for the 1807 Exhibitions
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://www2.le.ac.uk/departments/museumstudies/mus...
Language: English
Additional information: © 2010, Kalliopi Fouseki. This article was first published in the journal Museum and Society: http://www2.le.ac.uk/departments/museumstudies/museumsociety.
Keywords: community consultation, negotiation, ownership, identity, social justice
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1319147
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