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Konferenz: Decentring the Museum for a Postmigrant Society

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This conference examines how contemporary curatorial and institutional practices can renegotiate identities, communities and histories, and foster new forms of resistance as a response to the asymmetrical power relations underpinning today’s globally entangled societies.

This analysis is based on the concept of decentring and the idea of postmigration. In recent years, the concept of decentring helped initiating a shift of perspective that seeks to jettison the entrenched Western, Eurocentric, classist, white, and male hegemony; while postmigration has paved the way for a new understanding of migration and cultural pluralization as integrated aspects of any society.

Specifically, the conference investigates how curatorial and institutional practices engage with their colonial legacies in order to tell a more accurate decolonial history, how they negotiate the societal conflicts created by the need to learn how to coexist in conditions of socio-cultural diversity, and how they contribute to greater recognition of immigrants and their descendants as equal participants in democratic societies. The speakers explore – through curatorial and institutional practices – how these negotiation processes unfold in postmigrant societies. Engaging with both postmigrant, decolonial and transcultural approaches to today’s curatorial and institutional practices, the conference will furthermore seek to explore the conjunctions between these perspectives.



Sabine Dahl Nielsen, Assistant Professor, Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, University of Copenhagen

Sandi Hilal, Artist, Stockholm

Madina Tlostanova, Professor of Postcolonial Feminisms, Linkoping University

Nina Möntmann, Professor of Art Theory, University of Cologne

Rita Ouédraogo, Curator, Buro Stedelijk, Amsterdam

Nikos Papastergiadis, Professor and Director, Research Unit in Public Cultures
School of Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne

Anne Ring Petersen, Professor, Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, University of Copenhagen

Charlotte Püttmann, research associate, Art Theory, University of Cologne

Jules Rijssen, Collecting networker at Imagine IC, Amsterdam

Aurora Rodonò, Curator of Migration History, City Museum Berlin

Regina Römhild, Professor of European Ethnology, Humboldt University, Berlin

Sandra Vacca, The Documentation Center and Museum of Migration in Germany, Cologne


The conference has free admission, due to limited seating please reserve a seat at


Concept by Nina Möntmann in collaboration with Sabine Dahl Nielsen.

The conference is organized on occasion of the publication of Nina Möntmann’s book Decentring the Museum. Contemporary Art institutions and Colonial Legacies, London (Lund Humphries) 2023 and the launching of Sabine Dahl Nielsen’s research project Transcultural Contact Zones: Negotiating the Role of Art Institutions in Contemporary Societies Characterised by Migration (2023-2027), funded by Novo Nordisk Foundation)


The second part, a seminar, will take place in Copenhagen in autumn 2024.


Image credits:

Vanabbe Living Room by Sandi Hilal (DAAR) at the Vanabbe Museum, The Netherlands. Ongoing since 2019. Photo by Peter Cox.


Klosterstraße 79b
Köln, 50931
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Department Kunst und Musik
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Nina Möntmann
Sabine Dahl Nielsen