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MuseumNext Europe 2018: Don't deflect responsibility on the issue of diversity
POSTED 22 Jun 2018 . BY Tom Anstey
Diversity was among the topics up for discussion at this year's MuseumNext conference in London, with Shaz Hussain, assistant curator at the London Science Museum, telling delegates not "deflect responsibility" on the issue.

At the 2017 edition of the conference in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Hussain – who is also freelance consultant working to improve the representation of people of colour across the arts and heritage sector – challenged attendees to think about the word ‘diversity’ and what that meant.

In her 2017 talk, Hussain said that 'diversity' suggests a museum and its white, middle-class audiences are normal, with anyone else considered to belong to 'other' categories. She added that the word 'diversity' should be replaced by 'representation', with the sector's goal to strive and represent an entire community.

"Last year I got up on stage and basically trashed museums, talking about how much I hate when they use the word 'diversity'," she said, speaking at the 2018 edition of the European conference.

"I challenged everyone to think of a way they could make a difference. I hopefully showed you that, in your own small way, you can use your own power to create change."

From her talk in Rotterdam, Hussain received support from across the museum sector, with messages, phone calls and people speaking to her in person, asking what they could do to make change happen.

"I receive lots of messages every week asking me to take part in projects," she said. "I have people approach me from some big heavyweight museums across the UK, Europe and the US, and I've been approached by some of the top universities to talk about racism and ethnic diversity.

"I don't tell you this to brag – actually I'm exhausted. Despite being a curator, I never get asked to speak about collections, I only get asked to speak about ethnic diversity and racism, and doing that every day is not fun.

"All the conversations I've been having, none of it is new, none of it is innovative. I'm not special, I'm not your poster girl for ethnic diversity.

"People of colour will not carry the load and that means you have to do some work. You can't deflect your responsibility.

"Next time you slide into my DMs maybe think hard about if you're asking me to solve your problems or if you're coming to me to tell me about what you're already doing."
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NEWS
MuseumNext Europe 2018: Don't deflect responsibility on the issue of diversity
POSTED 22 Jun 2018 . BY Tom Anstey
Diversity was among the topics up for discussion at this year's MuseumNext conference in London, with Shaz Hussain, assistant curator at the London Science Museum, telling delegates not "deflect responsibility" on the issue.

At the 2017 edition of the conference in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Hussain – who is also freelance consultant working to improve the representation of people of colour across the arts and heritage sector – challenged attendees to think about the word ‘diversity’ and what that meant.

In her 2017 talk, Hussain said that 'diversity' suggests a museum and its white, middle-class audiences are normal, with anyone else considered to belong to 'other' categories. She added that the word 'diversity' should be replaced by 'representation', with the sector's goal to strive and represent an entire community.

"Last year I got up on stage and basically trashed museums, talking about how much I hate when they use the word 'diversity'," she said, speaking at the 2018 edition of the European conference.

"I challenged everyone to think of a way they could make a difference. I hopefully showed you that, in your own small way, you can use your own power to create change."

From her talk in Rotterdam, Hussain received support from across the museum sector, with messages, phone calls and people speaking to her in person, asking what they could do to make change happen.

"I receive lots of messages every week asking me to take part in projects," she said. "I have people approach me from some big heavyweight museums across the UK, Europe and the US, and I've been approached by some of the top universities to talk about racism and ethnic diversity.

"I don't tell you this to brag – actually I'm exhausted. Despite being a curator, I never get asked to speak about collections, I only get asked to speak about ethnic diversity and racism, and doing that every day is not fun.

"All the conversations I've been having, none of it is new, none of it is innovative. I'm not special, I'm not your poster girl for ethnic diversity.

"People of colour will not carry the load and that means you have to do some work. You can't deflect your responsibility.

"Next time you slide into my DMs maybe think hard about if you're asking me to solve your problems or if you're coming to me to tell me about what you're already doing."
RELATED STORIES
MuseumNext Europe 2018: Museums urged to adopt AI as technology comes to the forefront


For museums to succeed, they must adapt to the ever-expanding presence of artificial intelligences - that was the message delivered to delegates at the MuseumNext European conference, currently taking place in London.
Looking forward as London prepares for MuseumNext


Museum delegates will soon gather in London for the European edition of this year's MuseumNext conference, which kicks off on Monday (18 June) for its 10th year.
MORE NEWS
Paris attractions closed this Saturday amid fears of renewed protester violence
World-famous attractions the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre are among museums and tourist sites in Paris that will be closed on Saturday this weekend - a decision made by French authorities fearing a recurrence of last week’s violence in the city.
UNStudio reveal 'mammoth' theatre complex in Hong Kong
Dutch architecture practice UNStudio have unveiled renderings for the Lyric Theatre Complex – an expansive cultural venue currently being constructed in Hong Kong's West Kowloon Cultural District.
UK government to appoint heritage disability champion
The UK’s Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is recruiting a new dedicated countryside and heritage disability champion who will focus on improving disabled access to the various heritage sites around the UK.
Waterpark by day and stage by night, as new details revealed for Cirque Du Soleil waterpark
New renderings for a series of Cirque du Soleil-themed waterparks have been unveiled by waterpark developer WhiteWater West, showing designs that take spectacle and immersion to the next level.
+ More news   
LATEST JOBS
Team Leader
West Cheshire Museums
Salary: £23,111 - £26,470 Pro Rata per annum
Job location: Marston, Northwich, UK
Head of Technical Operations
Eleven Arches
Salary: Competitive
Job location: Bishop Auckland, UK
Visitor Services Officer (Seasonal)
Forestry Commission
Salary: £19,995 - £21,175 per annum
Job location: Buckinghamshire, UK
Visitor Services Officer
Forestry Commission
Salary: £19,995 - £21,175 per annum
Job location: Buckinghamshire, UK
Sales Manager
Hoburne Ltd
Salary: Competitive Salary and Benefits
Job location: Cotswold, UK
Technician
Eleven Arches
Salary: Competitive
Job location: Bishop Auckland, UK
+ More jobs  
 


ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media, Portmill House, Portmill Lane,
Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1DJ Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2018

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