Rethinking museum practices: decolonizing collections – Speakers

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Keyna Eleison

Curator, writer and researcher. Shamanic heiress and ancestral chronicler. Master in History of Art and a specialist in History of Art and Architecture; Bachelor in Philosophy. Member of the African Heritage Commission for the laureating of the Cais do Valongo region as a World Heritage Site (UNESCO). Curator of the 10th SIART International Art Biennale, in Bolivia; and of the publication of the Liverpool Biennale 2020/2021. Currently chronicler of the magazine Contemporary& Latin America, and teacher of the School of Visual Arts of Parque Lage, Rio de Janeiro, and Artistic Director of the Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro.

Session moderators and speakers

Brandie MacDonald

Brandie Macdonald (she/her) is an Indigenous citizen of the Chickasaw Nation with Choctaw Nation and Scottish ancestry. Brandie’s work focuses on systemic change in museums through the implementation of anti-colonial and decolonial theory-in-practice, which centers truth-telling, accountability, and actionable change to redress colonial harm. Currently, she is the Senior Director of Decolonizing Initiatives at the Museum of Us, located on Kumeyaay Nation territory, USA. Besides her work at the Museum, she is also an active freelance consultant working alongside non-profits, museums, and Indigenous communities internationally. Brandie is enrolled in a Ph.D. program in Education Studies at University of California, San Diego. Her research, which aligns with her work as a practitioner, focuses on the sustainable application of decolonizing praxis in museums that enables transformative change and cross-cultural decolonial movement building. She’s a Salzburg Global Seminar Fellow, an American Alliance of Museums’ Nancy Hanks Award for Professional Excellent recipient, a Smithsonian Affiliate Fellow at the National Museum of the American Indian, and sits on the Western Museums Association board.

Noelle Kahanu

Noelle M.K.Y. Kahanu (Kanaka ʻOiwi/Native Hawaiian) is a fifteen-year veteran of the Bishop Museum in Honolulu, HI, where she developed scores of exhibitions and programs. She worked on the renovation of Hawaiian Hall (2009), Pacific Hall (2013), the landmark E Kū Ana Ka Paia exhibition (2010), and more recently has been involved in international repatriations. She has a law degree from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, where she currently serves as an associate specialist in Public Humanities and Native Hawaiian Programs within the American Studies Department. Her current research and practice, explores the liberating and generative opportunities when museums “seed” authority rather than “cede” authority.

Mixalhítsa7 Alison Pascal

Alison Pascal-Mixalhítsa7 is of the Lil’wat Nation, she is the Curator at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre (SLCC) in Whistler, BC. Alison’s work tells the history and cultural relevance of their belongings shown at the SLCC of the two founding nations the Sk̲wx̲ú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) and the Líl̓wat7ul (Lil̓wat Nation). She graduated the First Nations Tourism Management Co-op Program at Capilano College in 2005, she has been Mentored by both the Conservative and Curatorial Teams at the Museum of Anthropology at UBC (Heidi Swierenga, Pam Brown and Dr. Jill Baird at the Museum). She has also taken some classes at the University of Victoria’s Continuing Studies Program. Her passion is educating and inspiring visitors to learn more about the people, culture and history of the Squamish and Lil’wat Nations, while drawing in shared experiences of other Indigenous People.

Gabriel Bevilacqua Moore

Gabriel Bevilacqua is a historian, archivist, collection manager and lecturer working in the field of cultural heritage documentation and conservation. He holds a BA in History and a MA in Social History from the University of São Paulo and a MBA in Archival Organization from the Instituto de Estudos Brasileiros of the University of São Paulo. As part of his archival and museum documentation training he attended The Modern Archives Institute (National Archives and Records Administration and Library of Congress) and the ICOM-CIDOC Museum Documentation Training Program at the Museum of Texas Tech University. He is the collection manager of the digital art platform and a consultant in cultural heritage digital platforms projects for the São Paulo Biennial and the Mapearte Research Project (Federal University of Maranhão). Before this he worked as a collection manager at Instituto Moreira Salles (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), as an assistant professor of archival science and preventive conservation at the Information Science Department of Universidade Federal Fluminense (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and as an archivist and coordinator of Pinacoteca de São Paulo’s Centro de Documentação e Memória (São Paulo, Brazil). Since 2007 he has been working as a consultant in collection’s management and documentation projects for Brazilian museums and archives and acting as a trainer and lecturer in courses focused on cultural heritage management and preservation. He also served as a board member of ICOM Brazil National Committee, ICOM’s International Committee for Documentation (CIDOC), the board of Associação de Arquivistas de São Paulo and the curatorial board of Instituto de Arte Contemporânea. He also work as a volunteer and collaborator in projects and currently collaborate with the Vulnerable Media Lab (Queen’s University, Canada), the ABC System for cultural heritage risk management (Fiocruz/ICCROM/CCI), the Tainacan Research Project (University of Brasilia, Brazil) and the Museu Afro Brasil’s documentation and reference centre. He is currently working on a PhD project regarding documentation and conservation of performances in contemporary art museums in Brazil and Canada.

Norman Vorano

A scholar of historic and modern Indigenous art with a specialization in Arctic arts and museum culture, Norman Vorano is a Queen’s National Scholar in Indigenous Art and Material Culture, and Associate Professor of Art History at Queen’s University, Canada. He received his PhD from the University of Rochester’s Program in Visual and Cultural Studies, and from 2005 to 2014, he was the Curator of Contemporary Inuit Art at the Canadian Museum of History. Vorano has curated several international touring exhibitions, including Inuit Prints, Japanese Inspiration: Early Printmaking in the Canadian Arctic (catalogue 2011), which toured Canada and Japan, and Picturing Arctic Modernity: North Baffin Drawings from 1964 (2017-2019), which toured across Canada, including satellite exhibitions in Clyde River, Pond Inlet, and Iqaluit, Nunavut. He has been an elected board member of the Native American Art Studies Association (NAASA), served on the editorial board of the Inuit Art Quarterly, and is a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society. He is a 2017 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Fellow, for a project that will entail the development and creation of an Arctic Cultural Heritage Research Network (ACHRN).

Sylvester Okwunodu Ogbechie

Sylvester Okwunodu Ogbechie is Professor of African and African Diaspora Arts at the University of California Santa Barbara, is the author of Ben Enwonwu: The Making of an African Modernist (2008), and Making History: African Collectors and the Canon of African Art Collection (2011). Ogbechie is the founder and
editor of Critical Interventions: Journal of African Art History and Visual Culture, Consortium Professor of the Getty Research Institute, Daimler Fellow of the
American Academy in Berlin, Senior Fellow of the Smithsonian Institution, and Fellow of the Rockefeller Foundation and Institute for International Education.
His research focuses on African and African Diaspora arts, modern and contemporary art, cultural informatics, and African cultural patrimony.

Luciara Ribeiro

É historiadora de arte, atua como educadora, curadora e pesquisadora sobretudo acerca de temas como descolonização da educação e das artes. Estuda as artes não ocidentais, em especial as africanas, afro-brasileiras e ameríndias. É mestre em História da Arte pela Universidade de Salamanca (USAL, Espanha, 2018) e pelo Programa de Pós-Graduação em História da Arte da Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). É integrante do Grupo de pesquisa e extensão Áfricas nas Artes do Centro de Artes Humanidades e Letras (CAHL) da Universidade Federal do Recôncavo da Bahia (UFRB), do Grupo de pesquisa Arte, História e Crítica da Universidade de São Paulo e da Rede de Pesquisa e Formação em Curadoria de Exposição – UFMG, UEMG, MAMAM, UFPE e UNILAB – onde desenvolve um mapeamento sobre as curadorias negras e indígenas brasileiras. Integrou a equipe de educação da Bienal de São Paulo, do Museu da Cidade de São Paulo e do Museu Afro Brasil, entre outros, e também atuou na equipe de educação e de curadoria do Instituto Tomie Ohtake. Foi colaboradora da Diáspora Galeria. Foi assistente de curadoria da exposição Carolina Maria de Jesus, um Brasil para os brasileiros, no Instituto Moreira Salles. Atualmente é docente no Departamento de Arte Visuais da Faculdade Santa Marcelina e colaboradora no Ateliê 397.

Sandra Benites

Maya Juracán

Maya Juracán Alborotadora y activista, es la Curadora en Jefe Bienal en Resistencia y Co-curadora de la 21 Bienal de Arte Paiz, Más allá (2018), parte del programa pedagógico de la Bienal FEMSA 2019 y 2020, Coordina el programa de formación en artes visuales en Fundación Paiz, Guatemala. Es la Curadora aliada de la Casa de la Memoria (CALDH) trabaja desde la gestión crítica de la memoria histórica guatemalteca. Actualmente dirige la coleccion de Arte Paiz, que cura con un ojo critico feminista y decolonizador, tambien co creo espacios independeintes como “La Revuelta” coelctivo de curadoras guatemaltecas para formar espacios seguros en el arte y disidentes desde el lenguaje.

Dalia Chévez

Workshop instructor, artist and cultural manager. Degree in Philosophy. Master in management and communication. Postgraduate in Pedagogies of Difference.
Works with students, communities and cultural spaces to decentralize the artistic experience and to rethink the notion of individuality, history and solidarity.

Leno Veras

Leno Veras is a communicologist dedicated to the diffusion of culture and dissemination of science with a focus on expanding access to archives, libraries, and museum collections through the digital transformation of heritage. Currently is an associate curator at the South American Information Directorate of the Goethe-Institut, and a representative in different international organizations, such as the Association for Critical Heritage Studies (ACHS) and the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA). Also integrates the School of Communication at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, in addition to being an associated scholar with the Warburg Institute at the School of Advanced Studies at the University of London; besides being the Head of Research, managing the documental collections at the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro.

Mike Jones

Dr Mike Jones is an archivist, historian, and collections consultant currently based in the Research Centre for Deep History (Australian National University). Since 2008 he has collaborated with diverse researchers, community organisations, and the GLAM sector (galleries, libraries, archives, and museums) on digital collections and public history projects. His research explores the history of collections and
collections-based knowledge, and the ways in which contemporary technologies can help to develop and maintain relationships within and between collections and communities.

Ananda Rutherford

Ananda Rutherford is a researcher and museum documentation specialist. In the process of completing a doctorate at UCL’s Centre for Digital Humanities, her research focuses on the relationship between digitsation in cultural heritage and traditional documentation practices. She is currently employed as Research Associate on the TaNC Foundation project, Provisional Semantics, based at Tate. The project explores issues around structural racism and potential decolonisation in museum cataloguing and object description, attempting to address the barriers that prevent embedded and sustainable change. Formerly Assistant Keeper at the Museum of the Home, she has worked with a number of significant collections including the Ashmolean, V&A, Crafts Council and Sir John Soane’s Museum and has a background in art history and the decorative arts.

Lina Nagel

MA en Estudios y Manejo del Patrimonio Cultural, Universidad de Tarapacá, Santiago, Chile. MA en Estudios y Conservación de Monumentos, Otto – Friedrich Universität, Bamberg y MA en Historia del Arte y Arqueología Clásica, Christian – Albrechts Universität, Kiel,
Alemania. Coordinadora Unidad de Tráfico Ilícito de Bienes Patrimoniales. Servicio Nacional del Patrimonio Cultural. 1992 – 2018 Registro y documentación. Servicio Nacional del Patrimonio Cultural, Ministerio de las Culturas, las Artes y el Patrimonio. Profesora de “Registro y documentación de Bienes patrimoniales”. Universidad de Chile. Profesora invitada en Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez y Universidad Los Andes Publicaciones en Registro, Tráfico ilícito de bienes patrimoniales e historia del arte.

Pablo Lafuente
Speaker and moderator

Pablo Lafuente lives in Rio de Janeiro, where he works as a curator, educator and writer. He was co-curator of the 31st Bienal de São Paulo (2014), of ‘Dja Guata Porã: Indigenous Rio de Janeiro’ (Rio Museum of Art, Rio de Janeiro, 2017-18), of the research and exhibition program Zarigüeya/Alabado Contemporary (Museo Casa del Alabado, Quito, Ecuador, 2016-21) and of ‘A Singular Form’ (Secession, Viena, 2014). He has worked as a professor at UFSB (Porto Seguro, 2015-16) and Central Saint Martins (London, 2001-2014), as a curator at the Office for Contemporary Art Norway (Oslo, 2008-2014) and as an editor at Afterall and Afterall Books. Since September 2020 he has been artistic director of the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro, with Keyna Eleison.

Marília Bonas

Marilia Bonas is a historian, specialist in museology from the University of São Paulo (USP) and a Master’s in Social Museology from the Lusófona University of Humanities and Technology, in Lisbon, working in the field for 20 years. Professor, researcher, cultural manager and curator, she was director of the Café Museum, of the Immigration Museum and coordinated the Memorial da Resistencia de São Paulo. She is currently technical director of the Portuguese Language Museum and of the Football Museum and is part of the board of directors of the International Council of Museums (ICOM-Brasil).

Fábian Villegas

Writer, journalist, spoken word artist, scholar and researcher in South epistemologies, decolonial thoughts and racial studies. Since 2007 to date, Fabian Villegas has been invited to give multiples conferences, seminars, lectures and workshops in various universities and academic centres, renowned art biennials and community cultural centres across the globe. He is also the co-founder of Contranarrativs, a collaborative project that seeks to create horizontal knowledge production spaces to stimulate the visibility, dissemination and production of epistemologies, decolonial narratives and peripheral aesthetics of the Global South. Born in Mexico City, Villegas currently resides in the Dominican Republic.