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‘Thus our display will be honest but may be controversial’: Exhibiting pre-history during the South African democratization process
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Centre for Gender Research.
2013 (English)In: Nordisk Museologi, ISSN 2002-0503, Vol. 2, 33-50 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper seeks to re-describe democratization of heritage by focusing on controversies connected to the work with the exhibition entitled Stories of People’s History in Southern Africa staged at the KwaZulu-Natal Museum (South Africa). The investigation is based on archival material as well as participant observation and qualitative interviews. The material is analysed using performance theory and theories about democratization processes. The article comes to the conclusion that a focus on curatorial performances reveals controversies and developments that fall outside the traditional conceptualization of a democratization process. The text argues that this focus assists in moving beyond the binary position that democracy and “non-democracy” have received in scholarly publications. The text proposes that a democratization of heritage involves an entanglement of ideas and values. It does not necessarily involve a “better” heritage but instead an appropriation from a different political perspective.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 2, 33-50 p.
Keyword [en]
Museum, exhibition, archaology, South Africa, democratization processes
National Category
History and Archaeology Other Humanities not elsewhere specified
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-214469OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-214469DiVA: diva2:684858
Available from: 2014-01-08 Created: 2014-01-08 Last updated: 2016-07-20Bibliographically approved

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Rodéhn, Cecilia
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