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Museums and Social Responsibility

Recent panels to which I’ve been invited to speak on the role of museums and art in the wake of humanitarian and political crisis

BALTIC Contemporary

CURATOR & ARTIST TALK: Art and Social Responsibility
Saturday 15 April / 14.00-15.30
Art has traditionally been one of the few spaces in Syria where political tensions and opinions could be expressed. As a result, art was feared and repressed by the government. Since the onset of the crisis in 2011, Syrian artists have been killed, poets have been exiled, and writers have been imprisoned. With no viable art scene left in Syria, the onus of responsibility falls on foreign institutions to exhibit art that documents, communicates, and expresses a culture under threat. This talk will examine the role – and indeed the responsibility - of arts institutions and artists during times of political unrest, both at home and far away.

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The Courtauld Institute Museum Series

Politics over the Public: the role of museums. June 23, 2016

Should state-funded art museums be neutral spaces for political debate? Museums are widely considered to hold public trust: does the display of overtly political art run the risk of jeopardising the neutrality required for them to remain unbiased? In recent years, the closing down of exhibitions due to controversial content has attracted media attention and public outcry.

This debate brings together artists and museum professionals from across the United Kingdom, to discuss these issues. In what situation is the museum a productive site for the making and display of political art? Does the museum decontextualise or fetishise politically-charged works or does it add force to the artist’s voice? From the perspective of the public museum, how political is too political; Where, if at all, is a line to be drawn?

Dr Anna Marazuela Kim: Andrew W. Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow
Peter Kennard: Artist
Alistair Hudson: Director of Mima
Dr Wendy Earle: Birkbeck University

UNICEF NextGen London

During the exhibition week of works to raise money for Syria, Blain|Southern and Next Gen London hosted a lively panel discussion focusing on art and conflict.  Dr. Anna Marazuela Kim, Andrew W Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow at The Courtauld Institute specialising in image and violence, moderated a panel discussion between HRH Alia Al-Senussi, Louisa Macmillan, and Tammam Azzam  the Syrian contemporary artist primarily known for his large-scale projections of Western paintings onto bombed out buildings in Syria.

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