Feeling and being at the (postcolonial) museum: presencing the affective politics of ‘race’ and culture

Tolia-Kelly, Divya P (2016) Feeling and being at the (postcolonial) museum: presencing the affective politics of ‘race’ and culture. Sociology, 50 (5). pp. 896-912. ISSN 0038-0385

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Abstract

This article posits the value in considering the affective politics in the everyday space of the British Museum with a postcolonial lens. Based on research collaborations with artist Rosanna Raymond the article argues that the gallery space becomes a theatre of pain. The museum acts as a site of materialising the pain of epistemic violence, the rupture of genocide and the deadening of artefacts. The article examines the embodied experience of encountering these galleries as for Māori visitors, the art museum becomes a mausoleum for the European eye, but which petrifies living cultures. In particular the article considers the petrification as it operates along racial lines. The museum space from critical postcolonial perspectives is presenced through Māori bodies looking at ‘self’, as ‘other’. This approach seeks to disturb the ways in which museums are read as texts, disembodied and removed from communities which are represented therein. The article argues for heritage sites as being forged through affective politics, and that race and postcolonial sensibilities resonate within their affective atmospheres.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Geography
Depositing User: Sharon Krummel
Date Deposited: 15 May 2018 15:45
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2019 15:46
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/75770

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