Rural Museums Network: Decolonising Rural Collections

This session will introduce participants to what decolonisation might mean for their organisations and working practices. Until recently, colonial legacies have not been central to rural history, heritage, or museology but there are clear issues to address concerning land rights, extractive colonialism, and contemporary social justice. Work by Tehmina Goskar has begun to explore how museums in rural locations can help meet these challenges and The MERL has begun to think about what this all means for collections of rural life. As well as advocating for greater transparency about the impact of empire and globalisation, our panel will argue for fundamental changes to our roles, teams, and how we interpret collections. Join us to explore how reforming rural museology is critical to decolonisation.

This session is co-hosted by Dr Ollie Douglas, Curator at The Museum of English Rural Life, University of Reading and Dr Tehmina Goskar, Director and Curator, Curatorial Research Centre.


Nicola Minney – Collections Researcher, Museum of English Rural Life

Anooshka Rawden – Cultural Heritage Lead, South Downs National Park Authority

Dr Winane Thebele – Chief Curator and Head of the Ethnology Division, Botswana National Museums

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