Decolonising as rehumanising: some community lessons

Bruno Brulon Soares*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


By interrogating the concept of “decolonisation” and its nuanced applications in museology, the article revisits some community lessons to propose a new framework for decolonising as rehumanising. A brief sociohistorical reflection places this debate within the historiography of the New Museology movement. The article introduces a critique of New Museology as a conceptual and practical movement that does not break from coloniality and the various forms of colonial oppression perpetuated by global capitalism, notably in neoliberal nations. I will focus on the redistribution of authority and agency in the museum sector and on the limits faced by communities engaged in participatory projects in larger institutions. Finally, the article comments on four grounding lessons that can be learned from social groups practicing museology in the margins of the capitalist world. Facing complex dynamics of social inclusion and exclusion within the established museum sector, communities making museums in their own terms are tackling the limits of decolonisation, reclaiming their own liberation in the present world as a path to rehumanisation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-73
Number of pages11
JournalICOFOM Study Series
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jul 2024


  • Decolonisation
  • Rehumanisation
  • Community participation
  • New Museology
  • Anticolonial museology


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