MWEB 21 Paper: “Visualizing Collaboration: Video Production and Decolonial Curation between the Museum and the University”

We were excited to present our paper at the 2021 Museums and the Web Conference. The open-access publication is available here, and the recording of our presentation is available here

Visualizing Collaboration: Video Production and Decolonial Curation between the Museum and the University

Aynur Kadir, University of Waterloo, Canada, Kate Hennessy, Simon Fraser University, School of Interactive Arts and Technology, Canada, Sharon Fortney, Museum of Vancouver, Canada, Viviane Gosselin, Museum of Vancouver, Canada, Beth Carter, Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art, Canada, Kwiaahwah Jones, Museum of Vancouver, Canada


Since 2015, curators at the Museum of Vancouver and the Bill Reid Gallery for Northwest Coast Art in Vancouver, B.C. have worked in collaboration with undergraduate students and faculty from Simon Fraser University’s School of Interactive Arts and Technology to produce short documentary videos that support curatorial engagement with artists, augment access to artworks and collections, and provide new opportunities for public programming. The videos provide windows into the collaborative work taking place between these museum and gallery institutions, Indigenous curators and artists, and university instructors and students. In this paper, we came together to discuss our collaborations with artists and students over the last five years, and the role of collaborative video production processes as a part of decolonial curatorial work and pedagogy across our institutions. The dialogic form of our paper situates our collaborations in relation to institutional discourse of indigenization and reconciliation, raising the question of whether or not institutions like universities, museums, and galleries can claim to advance reconciliation while continuing to function as colonial institutions, and how applied collaborations between our institutions might contribute to the understanding of these dynamics in meaningful ways.

Keywords: Collaboration, video, museums, indigenization, decolonial curation, reconciliation

Figure 1. A Visual Feast of Innovation and Tradition, Museum of Vancouver (2018). Photograph by Rebecca Blissett.

Kwi Jones, Kate Hennessy, Sharon Fortney, Aynur Kadir, Beth Carter, and Viviane Gosselin recording the discussion that was transcribed for this paper.