Decolonising museums in Northern Ireland: public and private dimensions

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


In Northern Ireland, competing perspectives on whether Ireland was itself a colony have contributed to violent conflict and recent division. For this reason, engaging with the colonial past in museums, including with items collected globally by the Irish, requires a response that takes into consideration specifically local concerns. Recent interventions have exemplified decolonising museums practice. Examining these questions with transparency though requires careful forethought not only of institutional positionality, but also of our own – including in relation to the history of Ireland, and its external colonial incursions. As a grandchild of colonial bureaucrats these are questions with which I have tangled; leading to my current project of asking others about their everyday experiences of colonialism and empire; and how they feel about ‘colonial objects’ in museums. At ‘Institutions and the colonial past,’ I will discuss this recent research on Northern Irish identities and will explore some complexities of working across both private and public realms.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2022
EventInstitutions and the Colonial Past - King's College London, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 20 May 202220 May 2022


ConferenceInstitutions and the Colonial Past
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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