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Feeling and Being at the (Postcolonial) Museum: Presencing the Affective Politics of ‘Race’ and Culture

Tolia-Kelly, D.P.

Feeling and Being at the (Postcolonial) Museum: Presencing the Affective Politics of ‘Race’ and Culture Thumbnail


Authors

D.P. Tolia-Kelly



Abstract

This article posits the value in considering the affective politics in the everyday space of the British Museum with a postcolonial lens. Based on research collaborations with artist Rosanna Raymond the article argues that the gallery space becomes a theatre of pain. The museum acts as a site of materializing the pain of epistemic violence, the rupture of genocide and the deadening of artefacts. The article examines the embodied experience of encountering these galleries and the effect of Tony Bennett’s claim (2006) that the art museum becomes a mausoleum for the European eye, but which petrifies living cultures. In particular the article considers the petrification as it operates along racial lines. The museum space from critical postcolonial perspectives is presenced through Maori bodies looking at ‘self’, as ‘other’. This approach seeks to disturb the ways in which museums are read as texts, disembodied and removed from communities which are represented therein. The article argues for heritage sites as being forged through affective politics, and that race and postcolonial sensibilities resonate within their affective atmospheres.

Citation

Tolia-Kelly, D. (2016). Feeling and Being at the (Postcolonial) Museum: Presencing the Affective Politics of ‘Race’ and Culture. Sociology, 50(5), 896-912. https://doi.org/10.1177/0038038516649554

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 29, 2016
Online Publication Date Oct 4, 2016
Publication Date Oct 1, 2016
Deposit Date Aug 5, 2016
Publicly Available Date Aug 24, 2016
Journal Sociology
Print ISSN 0038-0385
Electronic ISSN 1469-8684
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 50
Issue 5
Pages 896-912
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/0038038516649554

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Copyright Statement
Tolia-Kelly, D.P. (2016) 'Feeling and being at the (postcolonial) museum : presencing the affective politics of ‘race’ and culture.', Sociology., 50 (5). pp. 896-912. Copyright © 2016 The Author(s). Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications.







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