UCL Urban Laboratory


Museums, Cities, Cultural Power - Symposium

24 June 2021–25 June 2021, 5:30 pm–5:45 pm

Museums, Cities, Cultural Power

Museums, Cities, Cultural Power is a free online symposium that examines the role of museums in the contemporary city.

Event Information

Open to







UCL Urban Laboratory

Organised by Brunel University London, the Museum of London and UCL Urban Laboratory, this event analyses the dynamics of selected museum development projects in London, the UK and other cities around the world such as Cape Town, Santiago de Chile, Barcelona, Brussels, Rio de Janeiro and Rotterdam. Museums, Cities, Cultural Power offers a critical space for cultural and museum practitioners, academics, urbanists, architects and activists to explore the civic, cultural and economic agency of contemporary urban museums.

The event will run on the 24th of June 17:30 - 20:00 BST and on the 25th of June 10:00 - 17:45 BST.

Museums, Cities, Cultural Power will provide insights into some of today’s most significant cultural development projects and the evolving power relations implicated in different approaches to their design and implementation in a range of urban contexts and emerging futures.

• What impact do large-scale cultural developments have on neighbourhoods and the people who inhabit them?

• How can museums enter into dialogue with their surroundings architectonically, culturally and socially?

• How do localities shape museums?

• What can a civic museum be in light of the Black Lives Matter movement, and who for?

• How can museums represent and be of value to a wide cross section of society within their cities and beyond?

• How can cultural institutions become part of the everyday fabric of urban life and its paradoxes?

• What is the role of museums in the post-Covid-19 city?


Sharon Ament (Museum of London), Judit Carrera (CCCB, Barcelona), Gus Casely-Hayford (V&A East), Pedro Fiori Arantes (Federal University of Sao Paulo), Yves Goldstein (KANAL Pompidou, Brussels), Hannah Ishmael (Black Cultural Archives), Hilary Jennings (Happy Museum), Julie’s Bicycle, Chrischené Julius (District Six Museum, Cape Town), Asif Khan (Asif Khan Studio), Sophia Labadi (University of Kent), Wayne Modest (National Museum of Worldcultures and the Wereldmuseum, Rotterdam), Museum Detox, Museum of Homelessness, Beatrice Pembroke (King's College London), Andrea Phillips (Northumbria University), Stephen Pritchard (independent researcher), Cláudia Rose Ribeiro Da Silva (Museum of the Maré, Rio de Janeiro), Amahra Spence (MAIA), Sara Wajid (Birmingham Museums Trust), Paul Williams (Stanton Williams), Sadie Young (Timespan), Claudia Zaldívar (Museo de la Solidaridad Salvador Allende, Santiago)

Museums, Cities, Cultural Power is a free online event, taking place over two days, and open to everyone. It will consist of a series of live panel sessions, presentations, and informal conversations and workshops, alongside a short film and podcast series that support the programme and can be accessed at any time.

On Friday lunchtime, you can choose from a selection of informal lunchtime sessions, led by partners including Julie’s Bicycle, Museum Detox, and the Museum of Homelessness.

For further information and the full programme visit Museums, Cities, Cultural Power

Museums, Cities, Cultural Power is supported with public funding by Arts Council England. Part of London Festival of Architecture 2021.