In Conversation with Subhadra Das
Wednesday 12 May, 14.00 - 15.15
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 fifth week of the 'Matters of Care: Museum Futures in Times of Planetary Precarity' conference series, keynote speaker Subhadra Das asks us the fundamental question "What is a Museum For?" In conversation with Marenka Thompson-Odlum, Subhadra asks us to question our museums, collections and stories that we tell.
'Taking Care of Business: What is a Museum For?'
Subhadra Das is a writer, historian, broadcaster, comedian and museum curator. Her main area of research is the history and philosophy of science and medicine in the 18th and 19th centuries, particularly in the science of race and eugenics. She uses museum objects to tell decolonial stories in engaging and affirming ways.
Marenka Thompson-Odlum is a Research Associate at the Pitt Rivers Museum and a doctoral candidate at the University of Glasgow. Her doctural research explore's Glasgow's role in the trans-Atlantic slave trade through the material culture housed at Glasgow Museums. At the Pitt Rivers Museum, she is the researcher on the Labelling Matters project, which investigates the problematic use of language within the Pitt Rivers Museum's displays and thinking through ways of decolonisation through re-imagining the definition of a label.