In Conversation with Naman Ahuja
Thursday 20 May, 9.00 - 10.15
How can ethnographic and world cultures museums use their collections and galleries as spaces which create active discussion around the impact of humans on the planet, while also highlighting what long-term perspectives can tell us about sustainability for developing positive futures? The project TAKING CARE explores the connections between ethnographic collections and questions regarding the climate crisis, the Anthropocene and issues related to the afterlives of colonialism.
In the final week of the Matters of Care: Museum Futures in Times of Planetary Precarity Conference series, keynote speaker Naman Ahuja will share thoughts on the decolonisation of museums, the globalisation of art history and issues around the showcasing of difference and the inability to translate one culture into the language of another. He will discuss the complexities of taking ideas of a universal museum and global art history to a non-western audience in conversation with Clare Harris.
'From India IN the World to India AND the World'
Professor Naman Ahuja is an art historian, curator and Professor of Indian Art and Architecture at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India. His research and teaching focus on Indian iconography and sculpture, temple architecture and Sultanate-period painting. He has curated a number of exhibitions in museums across the globe, including the critically acclaimed exhibition on The Body in Indian Art and Thought, which was shown at the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels and the National Museum in Delhi in 2013-14. He is also the editor of Marg, India's leading magazine and journal on the arts.
Professor Clare Harris is Curator for Asia Collections at the Pitt Rivers Museum and Professor of Visual Anthropology at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford. Her pioneering work on Tibetan art, visual culture, material culture, photography and museums has received global recognition. Clare's work on Tibet and its diaspora has been informed by her wider interests in contemporary art and aesthetics, the politics of collecting and a critical approach to the impact an aftermath of British imperialism in India and Tibet.