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Thesis Two

That lengthy dominance of one group creates dead weight in museological practice.

Speak no evil, charm with lies

Betray the people keep them blind

Propaganda is your weapon

Two-faced hypocrite

Power corrupts the good

"Power Corrupts", Grimskunk

When one group dominates the discussion and positions of power, change cannot come.

Because change comes with risk - risk of losing that power.

For so long, the museum world was dominated by white, wealthy, well-educated men. They have their voice, and that voice is power.

That is starting to change. More women are entering the profession (but men remain dominant in the higher echelons of practice and academic theory). Te Papa and NMAI are showing the power and value of non-white curatorial practices.

But these changes are not everywhere. And these changes are not enough.

A start, perhaps. But not enough.

If change is to happen we must move beyond mere tokenism. Beyond 'co-curation' exercises where, in the end, the power stays where it has always been - it is always returned to the empowered.

To the 'expert'.

Expertise is a valuable thing. But

- It is not the only thing.

- It does not confer rights over an object.

- It does not legitimate immoral possession.

- It always comes from a biased and limited perspective.

Clifford has shown how multitudinous objects can be. To recognise these multitudes - the myriad nature of individual museums - the manifold understandings people hold about material culture - to offer agency and full authority to everyone with a stake in any object or cultural representation, change is needed.


Change is the only constant.

Without change, there is nothing.

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