Saturday, 14 July 2018

“Whites only”: would you go in?

There are two recent incidents which made me think. They are lessons learnt and they influence my way of evaluating situations and making professional and personal decisions.

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Does it concern us?

Syrian archaeologist Khaled al-Asaad, murdered by ISIS in August 2015 (Photo: Marc Deville/Getty)
Translated from Greek, my article on the political role of archaeological museums in the 21st century. Read here

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Museum profissionals: new skills

My article in the latest issue of ICOM Portugal News Bulletin (Series III, June 2018, Nr. 12), available in english here.

Saturday, 7 July 2018

Guest post: "Pioneer Cities of Culture and how Istanbul changed the narrative", by Filiz Ova

World Cultural Cities (Tianfu) Symposium, Chengdu, China

I am writing this article from from Beijing, on my way back from the World Cultural Cities (Tianfu) Symposium
 in Chengdu, China. I am amazed by their openness, friendly hospitality and, at the same time, their urge to westernize. It reminds me very much of Turkey at the beginning of the Republic, when scholars, artists, specialists from Europe were invited to implement the principles of high culture.  Contrary to China, however, not with the aim to become a global superpower, but with the somewhat naïve intention to become a secular democratic Republic.

Monday, 11 June 2018

Discussing the decolonisation of museums in Portugal

Photo: Maria Vlachou

I love museums. I love them for what they are; I love them for what they are not, but can be; I love them for their potential. I especially love them because of the work developed by a number of colleagues around the world so that museums may adapt to new realities, remain or become relevant for people, and even reinvent themselves. I particularly love them lately because of the controversies they cause or face, pushing our thinking and practice forward.

Saturday, 26 May 2018

Can there be political democracy without cultural democracy?

Artemrede, Project Odisseias, "Histórias em Viagem"
This is the english translation of my article "Haverá democracia política sem democracia cultural? O lugar das 'periferias' em Portugal", published in Revista Observatório 24 | Arte, Cultura e Educação na América Latina, ITAÚ Cultural. Read here

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Cultural appropriation: less gatekeepers, more critical thinkers

"La Japonaise" by Claude Monet, Museum of Fine Arts Boston (image taken from

For Nandia

My first contact with the concept of cultural appropriation happened in July 2015 because of “Kimono Wednesdays” at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston (MFA). On the occasion of the display of Claude Monet’s “La Japonaise” (a painting of the artist’s wife, surrounded by fans, wearing a blond wig and a bright red kimono), visitors were invited to put on a kimono similar to the one shown on the painting and share their photos on social media. According to the museum, this was a way of engaging with the painting. For some people, though, the activity lacked any context regarding the garment, becoming just “fun”; others criticized it for reinforcing stereotypes and exoticizing Asian Americans; for others, it was blatant racism; (read Seph Rodney’s article).