Today, Marabou is thinking about LaTanya Autry and her work in social justice and public memory. LaTanya is an art historian, writer, curator, and PhD candidate at the University of Delaware. She is the co-producer of the “Museums Are Not Neutral” campaign and initiated the Social Justice and Museum Resource List.
On her website, LaTanya explains the “Museums Are Not Neutral” campaign,
“In August 2017 Mike Murawski and I created the #MuseumsAreNotNeutral campaign to refuse the myth of neutrality that many museum professionals and others put forward. Some people routinely state that museums should be neutral or that museums can’t be ‘political.’ As museums are cultural products that originate from colonial enterprise, they are about power. They are political constructs. Their ongoing practices also are rooted in power. The very fact that this field has a long history of excluding and marginalizing people of color in terms of selection, interpretation, and care of art and other objects, jobs, visitor services, board representation, and more indicates that museums are political spaces. Everything in them and about them involves decisions.”
LaTanya’s work goes beyond museums. Per her website, her dissertation The Crossroads of Commemoration: Lynching Landscapes in America, “analyzes how individuals and communities memorialize lynching violence in the built environment, concentrates on the interplay of race, representation, memory, and public space.” Check out her Instagram (@artstuffmatters) and website. You can also buy a “Museums Are Not Neutral” T-shirt! (Marabou has one.)
Thank you, LaTanya!