Decolonisation + Democratisation

This autumn, supported by Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Colchester + Ipswich Museums are being joined by some award-winning speakers.
Scroll down to find out more about our free webinars for 2021 and how to book.
You can also find links to past webinars and further resources.

2021 Programme

A colour head and shoulder photograph of a black man wearing rectangular framed black glasses and a dark blue shirt. He has hair in fine braids and is looking at the camera. Behind the man is a grassy landscape which is out of focus.

History Doesn't Care About Our Feelings

Thursday 23rd September, 1 – 2pm

Historian, David Olusoga joins Collections and Learning Curator, Melanie Hollis to discuss the function of history and the institutions that preserve it. As an example, they will reflect on some of the work involved in creating the Christchurch Mansion exhibition, Power of Stories.

A colour photograph of a cark haired man wearing black rectangular glasses, a light pink shirt and grey suit jacket. The man has a close trimmed beard and moustache and is looking directly at the camera. To the left of the frame is a tree-lined brick path leading to a yellow and white building

Empireland Q&A with Sathnam Sanghera

Monday 27th September, 5 – 6pm

In this live Q&A , ‘Empireland’ author, Sathnam Sanghera will be sharing his thoughts on the themes of the book with Museum Manager Frank Hargrave. Your questions are welcomed as we consider how the full story of empire has been downplayed by museums in the past.

A composite image. On the left is a colour, head and shoulder photograph of a white man with shirt blondish hair. He is wearing a dark blue suit jacket, white short and blue tie, and is looking directly at the camera. The man's expression is neutral.

Colonialism and Collecting: Empire and Museums

Wednesday 29th September, 1 – 2pm

Museum Director, Tristram Hunt will discuss the history of the V&A, which holds collections amassed from across the British Empire and beyond. He will be examining how that heritage is reflected in the V&A’s galleries today, and how the museum is confronting and addressing the issues surrounding those histories.


Get Involved

    2020 Programme

    During November and December 2020, we hosted a series of live-streamed webinars.
    Heritage and arts organisations from across the country explored how they were engaging and sharing ownership with communities.
    Screenshot of Subhadra Das from our Decolonisation + Democratisation seminar series

    Decolonisation + Democratisation

    Wednesday 4th November, 12.30 – 1.20pm

    Historian, comedian, writer and museum curator, Subhadra Das talks to the Art’s Council’s, Liam Wiseman.

    A screenshot from the Reinterpreting Regions of our Decolonisation + Democratisation online seminar. The screen shows 3 photos - a heart Grenfell image, a woman heading a football and another woman holding fruit in a market

    Reinterpreting Regions

    Wednesday 11th November, 1.30 – 2.30pm

    We delve into the place-based projects ‘Snapping the Stiletto’ and the Museum of London’s, ‘Curating London’.

    A screenshot from the Community Created Permanent Displays online seminar. The screen shows a photograph of a window. Photographs of an Abraham Lincoln statue and quotes are in each of the window panes. A white woman is talking in the top right hand corner

    Community Created Permanent Displays

    Wednesday 18th November, 6 – 7pm

    Manchester Art Gallery and the Science Museum talk through their experiences, as they went from community contribution to co-creation.

    A real person stands in an elabourate black and white striped dress inside a glass case. To the left is a text panel with the title 'We Are Colchester'

    Beyond the Museum’s Walls

    Wednesday 25th November, 1.30 – 2.30pm

    Through loans and external partnerships, the Courtauld Institute and Colchester Museums discuss different approaches to sharing activity.

    A screenshot from the Sharing Power seminar. A photo on the left shows groups of people in discussion. A photo on the right shows lots of post-its with statements and questions written on them

    Sharing Power

    Wednesday 2nd December, 6 – 7.15pm

    Ipswich Museums, the South London Gallery and York Museums Trust reveal some of the hidden and, often hard histories being brought to the fore.

    A screenshot from All Together Now, the final of our Decolonisation + Democratisation online seminar. The screen shows 12 people on a Zoom call

    All together now

    Wednesday 9th December, 1.30 – 2.30pm

    We welcome back all our speakers, as Subhadra Das chairs a wrap-up roundtable.

    Find Out More


    Online seminars/ talks

    Museums Association – Decolonising Museums video hub
    Cornwall Museums Partnership – Decolonisation – Where do I begin?
    Association of Art Museum Curators – Beyond Statements series
    Essex Cultural Diversity Project – Stand Up For Diversity
    Museum Next – Decolonising Display
    TEDx Talks – various


    Julie’s Bicycle – The Colour Green series



    Dan Hicks – The Brutish Museum
    Alice Proctor – The Whole Picture
    MuseumNext – various
    Museums Journal – various


    Museums Association – Decolonisation Working Group

    Where will your adventure start?