Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


The Impossible Decolonisation of the Western Museum

13 May 2024, 5:00 pm–6:30 pm

Decolonising the Museum book cover

With Françoise Vergès (Independent Scholar and Honorary Senior Research Fellow, SPRC)

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







The UCL Sarah Parker Remond Centre for the Study of Racism and Racialisation – The Sarah Parker Remond Centre


G22 Lecture Theatre
Gower Street, North-West Wing
United Kingdom

Why should the decolonisation of the Western museum be impossible? Does that mean that all the struggles to return stolen artefacts, for better representations of minorities, for a new art history, for the end of the complicity with big corporations should be abandoned. No, but do they achieve the decolonisation of that institution?  Françoise Vergès does not think so. And she asks: Why the model of the Western museum remains so attractive? Why is the Western doctrine of conservation and preservation so hegemonic? And, in the current context of climate disaster, genocide in Palestine, Sudan and Congo, of wars, increasing forms of fascism, is not the task of imagining a ‘post-museum’ more promising?

Followed by a Drinks Reception to be held in North Cloisters, Main Building, Gower Street.

About the Speaker

Françoise Vergès

Political Scientist, Activist, Historian, Film Producer and Public Educator

Françoise Vergès is a political scientist, activist, historian, film producer and public educator based in Paris. She is the author of a number of influential books, many of which have been translated into English, including A Decolonial Feminism (2021), A Feminist History of Violence (2022), and the forthcoming volume A Programme of Absolute Disorder: Decolonizing the Museum. She is a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Sarah Parker Remond Centre for the Study of Racism and Racialisation, UCL.