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MOA Minds

It takes a skilled, dedicated, and diverse team of people to run a museum. In this video series we share the different voices and perspectives that create an environment that simultaneously preserves the past, celebrates the present, and helps pave the path into the future. MOA Minds introduces some of the people who work at, and partner with, the Museum of Anthropology at UBC.


EPISODES

Episode 2—Arts of Resistance: Politics and the Past in Latin America

Visiting curators play a special role in diversifying what museums collect and exhibit. In this episode of Moa Minds Dr. Anthony Shelton and Dr. Laura Osorio Sunnucks discuss their collaboration on MOA’s 2018 exhibit Art’s of Resistance: Politics and the Past in Latin America.

Their reflections on putting this show together provides a unique opportunity for viewers to learn about Latin American politics through the lens of contemporary art, field research and collections. Dr. Osorio and Dr. Shelton discuss the ways objects can embody important historical and cultural memories and have the potential to influence the ways Latin American art and culture are showcased in museums and galleries.

Laura Osorio Sunnucks is Head of the Santo Domingo Centre of Excellence for Latin American Research at the British Museum. Previously, she was a Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow for Latin America at MOA, UBC where she curated the exhibition “Arts of Resistance; Politics and the Past in Latin America.” She has also worked at the Louvre and UNESCO in Paris and has a PhD in Mesoamerican art and heritage from Leiden University.

Anthony Shelton, professor of art history, visual art and theory and the director of the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, has held curatorial positions at the British Museum, Royal Pavilion, Art Gallery and Museums Brighton, and at the Horniman Museum London. He was professor of Anthropology at the University of Coimbra, Portugal before coming to Canada in 2004. His more than 150 publications include Art Anthropology and Aesthetics (1992); Museums and Changing Perspectives of Culture (1995), Collectors (two volumes 2001), Fetishism. Visualizing Power and Desire (1995), Luminescence (2012), and Heaven, Hell and Somewhere In between. Portuguese Popular Art (2015) and has curated fifteen major international exhibitions.

Episode 1—Who Do Museums Stand With?

What happens when the planning of an African art exhibition is forced to respond to our shared collective outrage against the brutal legacy of racism and systematic violence against Black people and people of African descent? Who do museums stand with? What do they stand against? How are some museums transforming themselves into new platforms to engage in the struggle for social and environmental justice?

Titilope Salami, guest curator, and Anthony Shelton, Director of MOA, discuss issues around the roles and responsibilities of museums and galleries in an increasingly polarized world and ask how they can become effective activists.

Anthony Shelton is the Director of the Museum of Anthropology and professor of art history, visual art and theory. He has held curatorial positions at the British Museum, Royal Pavilion, Art Gallery and Museums, Brighton and the Horniman Museum, London. He was professor of anthropology at the University of Coimbra, Portugal before coming to Canada in 2004. His more than 150 publications include Art Anthropology and Aesthetics (1992); Museums and Changing Perspectives of Culture (1995), Collectors (two volumes 2001), Fetishism. Visualizing Power and Desire (1995), Luminescence (2012), and Heaven, Hell and Somewhere In between. Portuguese Popular Art (2015) and has curated fifteen major international exhibitions.

Titilope Salami, an artist and curator, is a lecturer of art at the University of Lagos, Nigeria. She is a co-curator of MOA’s upcoming exhibition, Sankofa: African Routes, Canadian Roots (October 2021), and is currently conducting her Ph.D. research in the history of Nigerian museums at the University of British Columbia.