Black History Month – Stories from the National Museum
Black History Month Norway 2020 is about finding, documenting, sharing and conserving African-Norwegian history. For the National Museum this is an opportuinty to present the contributions of African-Norwegians to Norwegian art history and the museum's collection. We will also use this year’s event to cast a self-critical eye on our own activities, and we will conduct a dialogue in this panel discussion.
We aim to explore and encourage a debate about the following questions:
- How are people of colour represented in art, exhibitions and promotional activities?
- How should the National Museum work more actively through recruitment, exhibitions, the content of the collections and the promotional programme to increase representation?
- What steps is the National Museum taking to make everyone feel included?
Unfortunately, physical attendance for the event is cancelled, due to the guard strike. The event will be streamed live from our offices in the new National Museum.
You can participate in the debate live here on this site and through live streaming on Facebook.
Please note: The event will be held in English.
Victor Kimathi Mati studies at Nordic Black Xpress, a theatre school that focuses on diversity and transcultural exchange, where talented actors represent a variety of cultural perspectives beyond the exclusively Norwegian point of view. He would like to share his observations from his first visit to the National Museum. Did he feel welcome?
Ida Evita de Leon is the initiator and coordinator of Black History Month Norway. She works with developing and leading anti-racism measures. De Leon has a Bachelor’s degree in culture and communication from the University of Oslo, and has been active in organisational work and project development in this field for ten years. She has focused particularly on minority and majority perspectives, and is active on social media as @Idaevita on Instagram.
Stina Högkvist is an art historian, and has worked for many years as a curator of contemporary art. She is currently the director of the Department of Collections and Exhibitions at the National Museum, and will share insight into the museum’s history and point of view. Does the National Museum have a collection that represents everyone? What is the National Museum doing to ensure that melanin-rich artists are represented in exhibitions, projects and the collection?
Michelle A. Tisdel holds a doctorate in social anthropology from Harvard University (2006). Her research interests include cultural politics, heritage production, cultural institutions and discourses of belonging in Norway and Cuba. She has carried out long-term fieldwork in Cuba, and wrote her doctoral thesis on the subject of museums, Afro-Cuban religions and heritage production. She has been specialist consultant for the exhibition “America – Present, Past, Identity” at the Museum of Cultural History, Associate Professor of Development Studies at OsloMet (formerly Oslo University College), and a member of Art Council Norway’s committee for the protection of cultural heritage. Tisdel was also a board member at the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History and is currently a board member at the Museums in Akershus. In 2020 she was appointed board chair of the organisation INN – Ethnic Minorities in Norwegian Cultural Life. Since 2008 Tisdel has worked as a research librarian at the National Library of Norway, where she is responsible for the subjects of migration and diversity.