most wanted
25 April 2019



On the 25th of April, the new gallery-exhibition MOST WANTED on the popular culture of illegality will open in Museum Volkenkunde. The opening is an invitation only event.

Robin Hood, Don Corleone and Pablo Escobar: leaders of gangs, criminals in the eyes of the law, who are often seen as heroes by those in their own circles. In places where the authorities can do little for the local community, they offer security, a sense of pride and stability. What exactly is a criminal, and who decides the rules on this?  

The exhibition ‘Most Wanted’ explores how popular culture, from film and games to fashion and art, emphasises, glorifies and enhances the power of criminal organisations. Three themes – Carers, Heroes and Icons – place the ‘criminal’ in a broader context, highlighting the fact that the meaning of criminal is ambiguous and in constant flux. 

This exhibition and the accompanying publication Most Wanted: The Popular Culture of Illegality are part of the research project The Popular Culture of Illegality: Criminal Authority and the Politics of Aesthetics in Latin America and the Caribbean. This research project studied the popular culture through which the socio-political authority of criminal gangs is produced in Latin America and Caribbean countries. The NWO funded project was granted to Prof. dr. Rivke Jaffe and Dr. Martijn Oosterbaan.