Research Themes

Our research themes are chosen in relation to the urgent questions emerging from society in relation to us as a museum, our history and our collections. We explore these themes collaboratively with the individual fellows/scholars whom we invite, or in major funded research projects. Our past research themes were founded on questions of care/repair, gender, planetary histories and migration. For this next period, we continue these inquiries, but with greater focus on issues of history writing, indigeneity, and the question of community. This last theme also profoundly informs our ongoing conversation about the ethics of our practices within the museum, a conversation which we hope to facilitate across our organization.  

Photo credit: Scanned image from Aram Lee studio visit. Photo by Esmee Schoutens

Questions and Practices

We are centring the following lines of inquiry: Questions of Indigeneity in a (European) Museum Context, Practices of 'Withness' (the quality of being or doing with something) and conceptual 'jam sessions' as forms of togetherness. Our community collaboration project, titled 1873: 150 Years of Shared History, is prompted by the question of indentured labour in the Dutch Caribbean context as well as worldwide. Additionally, we are collaborating with Small Axe, a journal for Caribbean Criticism, funded in part by the Mellon Foundation, on the project In the Wake of Modernism.

Our projects are also at times more conceptually oriented, in that we are thinking through the intellectual histories that have and continue to shape us as a museum and as society. Our hope is to rethink all of these research themes and concepts, along with the histories of photography, fashion and design, as global movements. We are committed to engage various trajectories of arts and philosophies, as they have existed and intersected across the globe. In this way, we seek to decentralise Europe and European epistemologies as we try to give a platform and voice to makers and thinkers from the whole world.

Ongoing Research Themes

1873 Research Project
Questions of Indigeneity in a (European) Museum Context
Caribbean Modernisms
On Exhaustion
On Exhaustion