A Loving Archive, Can You Imagine?

The moment we choose to love we begin to move against domination, against oppression. The moment we choose to love we begin to move towards freedom, to act in ways that liberate ourselves and others. That action is the testimony of love as the practice of freedom. – bell hooks [1]

Informal spaces to learn, find joy, and dream are necessary in re-shaping an increasingly dangerous world. Colonization, domination, surveillance, punishment, and hate rule the world we currently inhabit. Black queer and feminist thought encourages us to dream, to re-imagine a world that centers people over materiality and power. bell hooks, critically acclaimed author, professor, and activist, dreams of a world that relinquishes the understanding of love solely as a romantic noun. hooks urges us to understand love as an ethic in opposition of domination. In Outlaw Culture: Resisting Representations (1994), hooks writes on love, in hopes of a “progressive cultural revolution”. In chapter 20, “Love as a Practice of Freedom”, hooks teaches the idea of a love ethic. Through separating ourselves and our culture from colonization we allow ourselves the ability to "surrender participation in whatever sphere of coercive hierarchical domination we enjoy individual and group privilege."3 When thinking of surrendering our cultural ties to colonization, I wonder how museums, as cultural institutions, can be separated from colonial influence? In this essay, I explore the museum’s past, present and future in the context of a love ethic. By examining love’s place in the museum, and where it lacks, we are able to re-imagine a future where places of informal learning do not stem from nor center on colonialism.

[1] “Love as a Practice of Freedom”, bell hooks.

full essay coming soon. email me if you’d like to read more!


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Inspiration :: the precarity of white narratives in storytelling

work in collaboration with:: Social Lives of Museums (Anthropology course with Dr. Urmila Mohan, NYU)
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