Apart from the COVID 19 pandemic, one of the big impacts of 2020 was the Black Lives Matter movement which put questions of racial inequality at the centre of everyone’s attention. Not least were colonial legacies scrutinized and brought to the surface and many heritage institutions were held accountable and felt obligated to address their own colonial roots.
In the light of this important development, we want to take the opportunity to address how Nordic heritage institutions are dealing with questions of decolonization. The Nordic colonial history has by many been described as forgotten about or downplayed. The theme has however started to gain attention in recent years in the academy as well as by heritage institutions and activists. Some institutions also try to radically change the way they are approaching communities affected by colonial structures, the same structures which heritage institutions have been part of upholding and reproducing. With this conference, we want to bring you examples of such daring initiatives as well as spread knowledge about Nordic colonial heritage and its relation to colonial legacies in other parts of the world.
We want to address how colonial legacies are continuously persisting up until today, for example through heritage institutions, and discuss how we can institutionalize an ongoing process of decolonization within the sector. To put it simply: we should not need another Black Lives Matter movement in order to properly address our colonial legacy.