ICOM International Committee for Museology

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October 17, 2023

ICOFOM Study Series: Challenging the silences: Confronting taboos in museums and museology (Vol. 51, Issue 1-2 – 2023)

By naming “The Power of Museums” as the theme for its 26th GC in Prague, ICOM gave its members, national committees, international committees and regional alliances the opportunity to develop themes highlighting the role of museums to counter the world’s major upheavals.

Yet the theme chosen by ICOFOM for its meetings questioned this “power” by discussing “how museums and museology could also have the potential to take power away, to disempower, by preventing the discussion of sensitive subjects” (ICOFOM, 2022). In other words, ICOFOM’s symposium invited participants to discuss Taboos in Museology.

In our symposium, taboos in museology were meant to bring to light the ways in which museum power carries with it concurrent responsibilities.

The papers in this ISS ask various questions such as: How, then, can museums answer the call to break the taboos that would name their exhibitions on contested issues as “overly disruptive”? How do they fully partner with tabooed LGBTQ communities, Indigenous activists, or denigrated ethnic minorities when the dominant culture cries foul?

Extracts from the introduction text by M. Elizabeth Weiser, Marion Bertin and Anna Leshchenko

Managing Editor, ICOFOM: M. Elizabeth Weiser

Guest Editors :
M. Elizabeth Weiser, Marion Bertin, Anna Leshchenko

With texts by: François Mairesse, Rogerio Victor Satil Neves, Julie Botte, Clémentine Debrosse, Mariana Tezoto de Lima, Leonie Leeder, Hsiao-Chiang Wang, Nina Robbins, Elīna Vikmane


Click here to download the full book (6.5 Mb)

ISS full series and this issue is also available via Open Edition: