Curating Resistance, Resisting Curation: The possibilities and limitations of objects in institutions
Abou El Atta, Pansee H.
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This project examines Canadian cultural institutions through a decolonial lens to consider the structural complicity of these spaces in systems of epistemic violence, as well as grassroots means of resistance. This study is undertaken through two concurrent means: first, through a traditional, academic approach that critically examines the terrain of coloniality and resistance as it pertains to the exhibition of cultural products in discursive relation to Islam and Muslim bodies. Second, through a series of animations that interfere with the text and images discussed, allowing for an examination of the affective, embodied experience of such exhibits and their theoretical terrain. Though the written component of this project radically critiques the effectiveness of liberal constructions of multiculturalism and representation as tools in the decolonization of the cultural institution, the artwork included herein seeks to untidy any simple conclusions suggested through academic discourse. This project builds on the scholarship of critical museology by foregrounding a radical decolonial critique of curatorial practices, as well as the affective impacts of epistemic violence.