Victory! This is one victory in a long fight for our museums to be accountable to the communities they are supposed to serve. Kanders stepped down after months of action and solidarity among activists, community groups, artists, scholars, museum workers, and those who want their museums to be held to ethical standards.
Let us celebrate now and continue the work.
“Warren Kanders Resigns From Whitney Museum Board After Months of Controversy and Protest,” Hyperallergic, Zachary Small, 25 July 2019
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We welcome the removal of Warren Kanders and recognize this is a seismic shift in the artworld. . Urgently, we remind people of something we have said from the start after we point a way forward beyond Kanders, as follows: . “We know this goes beyond Kanders. He is a stand-in for an entire system. Toxic philanthropy can no longer be normalized. The landscape is changing, as we can see with the repudiation of the Sacklers by the Met, Guggenheim, and Tate… The removal of Kanders is a gesture of good faith by the museum, a signal that you grasp the historical moment and that you recognize business cannot go on as usual. The crisis started with teargas, and it now points to decolonization. In the open letter signed by more than 400 writers, curators, and artists calling for the removal of Kanders, they invoke the prospect of a Decolonization Commission that would “include community stakeholders and guided by a variety of urgent principles: Indigenous land rights and restitution, reparations for enslavement and its legacies, the dismantling of patriarchy, workplace democracy, de- gentrification, climate justice, and sanctuary from border regimes and state violence more generally.” . http://www.decolonizethisplace.org/post/crisis-of-the-whitney-week-9-decolonization . “At stake are deeper structural questions related to the distribution of power and the shape of institutional governance. These questions have been addressed in recent years by a range of grassroots groups and student movements working to “decolonize” museums and universities. They are building solidarity across struggles by demanding decolonization commissions that include community stakeholders, and that are guided by a variety of urgent principles: Indigenous land rights and restitution, reparations for enslavement and its legacies, the dismantling of patriarchy, workplace democracy, de-gentrification, climate justice, and sanctuary from border regimes and state violence more generally.” . https://www.versobooks.com/blogs/4295-kanders-must-go-an-open-letter-from-theorists-critics-and-scholars-updated-list-of-signatories #DecolonizeThisPlace #WhitneyBiennial2019 #KandersMustGo #KandersResigns #art