Post-colonial heritage in the present: museums, archives, art and activism

Leverhulme Trust Conference

Organised by CNR ISPC and British School at Rome

12-13 October 2022

Coming to terms with the long-lasting impact of colonialism has recently been the focus of several cultural institutions transnationally.

From the 90s onward, scholars have noted multiple ways to deconstruct narratives of colonialism as a shared European contested history.

Recent years saw momentum in the global debate on decolonising museums and heritage sites, thanks to the diversification of heritage professionals, repatriation issues, and demand for dealing with neo-fascist racism following the 2020 Black Lives Matter movements.

While much of the critical discourse focuses on institutions, museums in particular, as having colonial origins, this conference seeks to look comparatively at the deconstruction of colonial narratives in museums and heritage sites in various parts of the world to understand contemporary dynamics better.


The conference seeks to address the following themes:

  • Reading the colonial archive
  • Repair and Restitution
  • Contested heritage sites: monuments, street naming and statues
  • Curating museum colonial collections
  • Artistic practices
  • Cultural activism

Venues of the event

The event will take place in Rome.

CNR | Aula Marconi on October 12th 2022.

Brith School at Rome on October 13th 2022.

This conference is generously funded by the Leverhulme Trust as part of Dr Flaminia Bartolini’s Fellowship ‘The construction of the other: Italo-African memory and identity at the ex-Colonial Museum in Rome’.

Call for papers

Contributors should reflect on, but be not limited to, the following questions:

  • What are the challenges in an institution dealing with the colonial past?
  • In what ways do cultural practices contribute to creating new decolonial narratives?
  • What recent political developments have made key changes in academic, artistic and curatorial practices, and how do these shifts influence the interaction with the colonial past?

The deadline for submission is January 31st, 2022.


Please, submit an abstract of max 300 words along with your CV to Flaminia Bartolini (