Collaboration with a Critical Advisory Board

We work in universities and museums – in places of knowledge production that have historically focused on exerting and maintaining power and that can reinforce structural inequalities. Because our team is researching the social role played by museums, questions of colonial and racist continuity, socioeconomic and (digital) political exclusion are central.

This is why, in early 2022, we began working with a critical Advisory Board that comprises activists and initiatives from civil society. The Advisory Board brings together experts on critical digitalization, intersectionality, ableism , classism, decolonization, and institutional critique. The goal of our collaboration with the Advisory Board is to critically discuss the social relevance of our research topics and case studies, and to reflect upon the problematic dimensions of the meaning of “social cohesion.”

Alongside reflecting on the topics of our projects, which can range from discussions about joint exhibition visits to critical feedback, the aim is to question the challenges posed by our collaboration that are shaped by structural inequality and asymmetric privileges between public institutions and smaller initiatives: Who has command of resources and power? How can we avoid tokenism and discrimination? Who speaks and who is heard? How can we create space and frameworks together in order to build relationships and foster dialogue?

Our colleague Dr. Pegah Byroum-Wand has taken a power-critical approach in order to conceptualize, implement, and document our collaboration with the Advisory Board. Advisory Board sessions are led by an external moderator, Nastaran Tajeri-Foumani.