outubro, 2023

09out4:00 pm8:00 pmMusealization, Power and ColonialismAmílcar Cabral Prize 20224:00 pm - 8:00 pm Monument to the Discoveries, Avenida Brasília — 1400-038 LisbonTipologia do Evento:Meeting

Detalhe do cartaz do encontro “Musealization, Power and Colonialism”, organizado no âmbito do Prémio Amílcar Cabral 2022.

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Detalhes do Evento

Meeting organised by the IHC and the Padrão dos Descobrimentos as part of the second edition of the Amílcar Cabral Prize, awarded to Sakiru Adebayo, a scholar of African literature.


Musealization, Power and Colonialism


In the framework of the Amílcar Cabral Prize 2022, awarded by the Padrão dos Descobrimentos and the Institute of Contemporary History / Associated Laboratory IN2PAST, this meeting will analyse and discuss two central institutions of our modernity: the prison and the museum. In its second edition, the Amílcar Cabral Prize was awarded to Sakiru Adebayo.




4PM: The musealization of prisons and political violence in Portugal, South Africa and Chile: na ongoing research project

Presentation by Sofia Lisboa (IHC — NOVA FCSH / IN2PAST), with commentary by Victor Barros (IHC — NOVA FCSH / IN2PAST)

A community’s heritage is not a closed, material or “immaterial” inheritance waiting to be preserved, but is made up of testimonies of various kinds that interact with posterity. Therein lies the interest in analysing the projects for the patrimonialisation of memory that are at the origin of the so-called “museums of difficult legacies”, in different historical contexts and latitudes, particularly with regard to the memory of the resistance and struggle for freedom. Looking closely at its museological dimensions, often built on testimonies, we can see their precariousness and conflictuality, but at the same how they are time deeply linked to social and political movements of great importance, which are not over, whose struggles are being updated, and which continue to motivate methodological and conceptual discussions in museums around the world. The National Museum of Resistance and Freedom (Peniche), rescued by the struggles of the present from a fate of obliteration, and to whose identity construction I intend to contribute with my work, is an example of this ongoing battle, as are the other cases with which I compare it, namely the Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos in Chile and the Robben Island Museum in South Africa.


5PM: The Spectacle of Power. Politics and Exhibitions (1934-1940)

Guided tour of the exhibition by Annarita Gori (ICS — University of Lisbon)

The exhibition focuses on the political exhibitions held in Portugal between 1934 and 1940, and the Portuguese pavilions presented at the international exhibitions in Paris (1937) and New York (1939), exploring the relationship between art, history, power and propaganda. It seeks to create an immersive journey through unpublished documents and photographic records, kept in Portuguese and foreign archives, making it possible to show how, in the 1930s, Portugal invested considerable time, money and human resources in political exhibitions in the country and across borders. The exhibition addresses the background to the event and the event itself, the debates, experiments, mistakes and propaganda trials, both visible and invisible, marking the path that led to the Portuguese World Exhibition in 1940.


6PM: The Carcerality of Museums: Abolitionist Perspectives on Musealization

Lecture by Sakiru Adebayo (University of British Columbia), with commentary by Pedro Cardim (CHAM — NOVA FCSH)

This talk makes three main interventions. Firstly, it argues that the museum is a carceral space and that the looted artifacts within it are essentially in a hostage situation. It highlights the interlocking characteristics of the museum and the prison and shows how both institutions operate on a similar logic. Secondly, this talk employs the concept of the “museum industrial complex” to tease out the extractivist substructures of museum economies and to show how the museum has become –and has always been – a site of capitalist and colonialist accumulation. It explores the elitist origins of modern museums and shows the ways in which this legacy of elitism carries on today. Thirdly, and most importantly, this talk draws from contemporary abolitionist thought in order to address the carceral, colonial, and capitalist underpinnings of the museum. It concludes that the museum as we know it needs to abolish its current paradigms of collection and exhibition. It emphasizes the role of museum activism in the clamour for museum abolition. It shows how museum abolitionism differs slightly from restitutionism by arguing that, in addition to returning (Africa’s) looted artifacts, compensatory plans must be put in place for the violence that accompanied the looting and for the profits made from selling, exhibiting, and circulating the artifacts in Western museums. It suggests that conversations about restitution should also touch on the possibility of creating indigenized alternatives to, rather than received understandings of, the museum.



Cartaz do encontro “Musealization, Power and Colonialism”, organizado no âmbito do Prémio Amilcar Cabral 2022. 9 de Outubro, entre as 4 e as 20 horas, no Padrão dos Descobrimentos.



(Segunda-feira) 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Monument to the Discoveries

Avenida Brasília — 1400-038 Lisbon


Institute of Contemporary History - NOVA FCSH and University of Évora, and Padrão dos Descobrimentos / EGEAC