Museums response towards inequality and diversity
With the rise of social inequality and polarisation around the world, what are public museums and galleries doing in response to this matter in the United Kingdom?
Museums and galleries of the United Kingdom are one of the most fascinating places, holding the most famous and historical paintings and artefacts in the world. I am a big believer in public spaces and how they benefit the public and the economy. Some of the greatest problems of the 21st century is inequality, polarisation and racism. This thesis aims to investigate exactly how beneficial museums really are, what they have done so far and the ways they could improve.
This is done by researching on the history of museums first to understand its foundation and background of it. By doing this, it would reveal the roots of the problem we are trying to solve. It turns out to be the colonial past of British museums and systemic racism. Later we investigate the complicated realities of ‘intersectionality’ and why we must consider all types of discrimination at the same time to be a more considerate and inclusive museum. The thesis will talk about obstacles with decrease in funding and the lack of people of colour in leadership roles, affecting how the museum performs.
The key findings and solution in this were to always for the audience and museums to have a clear mindset when it comes to inequality and diversity. This includes decolonisation, intersectionality, and systemic racism. These are the invisible ways that can really affect museums when trying to create a more welcoming space to everyone.
For the design artefact, I have designed an attractive and playful questionnaire concerning the diversity in museums. The survey also asks the audience about how they feel inside the museum. This encourages them to think more critically and so that they could learn to how to ask questions when entering a museum space. This questionnaire could also be helpful for museums as well to help them constantly improve, not be distracted in their own agenda and to make they sure they are too always critically thinking about the audience. This is a way for the museum and the public/audience to collaborate to ensure that museums are a part of the community rather than being separated. The questionnaire is designed to be in a card form so that it is to take around the museum while thinking about the questions. It also makes sure that the questionnaire does not feel like an exam.