Coalition Pressures Brooklyn Museum to “Decolonize”


The letter outlines seven points for the scope of the “Decolonization Commission” the groups envision:

1. Territorial Acknowledgement of Indigenous land occupied by its buildings and giving material effect to such an acknowledgment in curatorial practices, programming, exhibitions, and day-to-day operations.

2. The deep diversification of curatorial staff and executive leadership whereby the lived experience of oppressions — including patriarchy, white supremacy, and poverty — are valued and factored in.

3. A decolonial inventory of colonial-era objects of both African and Indigenous people with a view to settling the long-pursued claims of reparations and repatriation.

4. An upgrade of working conditions and pay of ground staff — who are disproportionately employees of color — in security, food service, and janitorial divisions.

5. The replacement of Board president David Berliner and other trustees who are real estate tycoons with a broad cross-section of artists and community organizers.

6. The undertaking of a de-gentrification initiative to examine and mitigate the museum’s role in boosting land value and rents in the borough.

7. An institutional commitment to address the issues raised by the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement in recognition of the debate among Brooklynites about the central role played by segments of the borough’s population in the settler movement in Palestine.

Source: Coalition of Anti-Gentrification Groups Pressures Brooklyn Museum to “Decolonize”

2 Replies to “Coalition Pressures Brooklyn Museum to “Decolonize””

  1. I know little about this institution, or property issues in Brooklyn, so this was interesting to read.
    However, Museums in some parts of the UK are under pressure to return artifacts to counties they were ‘stolen’ from, by so-called explorers during the 19th century, and up to WW2. Perhaps the best-known example are the Elgin Marbles, which the British Museum does not want to return to Greece.
    Best wishes, Pete.


  2. We are both learning Pete. Many things that were stolen (and stored in places such as the British Museum) are sneaky about what they have. Tribes here want it all back, of course.


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