ARIA research seminar
Recent developments from scholars, curators, and educators thinking from and with the global south have introduced new perspectives to research at the intersection of fashion and museum culture studies. Urgent, critical and radical interventions are called upon to address the complicity of museums in the colonial violence of the past that continues in the present through the makeup of their collections, the taxonomies that govern these museums and their practices, and the narrow definitions of fashion that support hegemonic, western aesthetics and capitalist standards.
We have invited curators, thinkers, creatives and educators that critique, confront and disrupt fashion in the museum and beyond to join us for an interdisciplinary and immersive multimedia research seminar in Antwerp that includes an interactive walking tour and zine-making workshop. We share the call for more radical, dissident, anti-imperialist approaches that Françoise Vergès urges us to take up if we want to imagine the post-museum (2023). We are also seeking contributions for a zine that engages with students over questions of race, class, gender, and power in the context of both fashion in the museum, and fashion that has been excluded from the museum.
By bringing together presentations that deviate from the colonial conventions of knowledge making, we aim to explore the paradox of fashion museums as both places of colonial violence and sites for decolonial initiatives. Through poetry, photography and performance, a making thought-space, a shared dialogue, a reading, a walkabout inviting fashion-led urban-thinking, and more, we aim to find ways to journey through and with the violence towards decolonial healing. Can we move beyond/confront colonial complicity within the house of colonial violence? Can the fashion museum be reimagined out of its current framework of hoarding/storing colonial fashion knowledge?
Can we confront issues of epistemological violence with fashion museology to invite decolonial dialogues? And, how can the post-museum transform into more ephemeral spaces for decentred, pluriversal and diverse fashion knowledge productions?
Day 1 - Tuesday 3 October
+ screening of designer Aidan Muis and Khumo Morojelo’s short film documentary DUNUSA: Life of a Garment (2023, Johannesburg, ZA).
Day 2 - Wednesday 4 October