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Matters of Policy Podcast

The Pitt Rivers Museum’s Matters of Policy Podcast: Join Bessie Woodhouse, Alexis Forer, Jip Borm and Megan Mahon as they take a deep dive into the Pitt Rivers Museum’s Collections Development Policy, interrogating the language used and debating the relationship between practice and policy in the contemporary museum. Through engaging discussions with professionals across the globe, from community artists to academics, the team uncover the colonial power imbalances within the policy and look for possible pathways forward through the application of decolonial practice.

Funded by the Knowledge Exchange. Special thanks to Marenka Thompson-Odlum for her supervisory role, and to Jack Fawcett for making the original music.

Series photo: Einsamer Schütze

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# Episode Title Description People Date
1 Introduction: What is this Policy anyway? Bessie, Alexis, Jip and Megan explore the themes presented in the museum’s Collections Development Policy. Why does it say so little about repatriation? Who is the widest possible public? And what even is preservation? Bessie Woodhouse, Jip Borm, Megan Mahon, Alexis Forer 04 Jan 2022
2 Policy and Practice with Faye Belsey ‘The future of collection doesn’t have to be the past.’ Jip and Alexis are joined by Faye Belsey, Deputy Head of Object Collections at the Pitt Rivers Museum, to discuss the relationship between collections policy and everyday practice in the museum. Jip Borm, Faye Belsey, Alexis Forer 04 Jan 2022
3 Mission Statements and Decolonial Practice with Dr. Cara Krmpotich Bessie and Megan are joined by Dr. Cara Krmpotich, museum anthropologist and Associate Professor of Museum Studies at the University of Toronto to delve into the role of mission statements and how to approach applying decolonial practice in museums. Bessie Woodhouse, Megan Mahon 04 Jan 2022
4 Dr. Laura van Broekhoven on Accreditation and the Impacts of Policy Jip and Bessie are joined by the Director of the Pitt Rivers Museum, Dr. Laura van Broekhoven. In this episode, we discuss the impacts of the policy, museum accreditation, and Laura's work at the museum and beyond. Laura van Broekhoven 04 Jan 2022
5 The Museum and Communities with Jaalen Edenshaw Alexis and Bessie are joined by Jaalen Edenshaw, a Haida artist, to discuss the relationship between the museum, the origins of its collections and communities today. Bessie Woodhouse, Jaalen Edenshaw, Alexis Forer 06 Jan 2022
6 Indigenous Futures and Museums with Solomon Enos Alexis and Megan are joined by Solomon Enos, an Indigenous artist from Hawai’i, to discuss the ways that museum policies can better engage with contemporary Indigenous artists and depict Indigenous futures. Solomon Enos, Megan Mahon, Alexis Forer 06 Jan 2022
7 Art and Indigenous Voices with Eiko Soga Alexis and Jip are joined by Eiko Soga, a Japanese artist and researcher, to learn how art can play a role in making collections accessible and how it can help museums connect with the voices of peoples behind museum collections. Eiko Soga, Jip Borm, Alexis Forer 06 Jan 2022
8 Comparing Decolonial Practices with Dr. Gina Borromeo and Jan Howard Jip and Megan are joined by Dr. Gina Borromeo and Jan Howard, curators at the Rhode Island School of Design, to discuss comparisons between how institutions approach decolonial practice, the barriers they face and how policy can reflect practice. Gina Borromeo, Jip Borm, Megan Mahon 06 Jan 2022
9 Accessibility and The Public with Beth McDougall Jip is joined by Beth McDougall, Families and Communities Officer for the Pitt Rivers Museum, to discuss the idea of the public and the museum's Access Policy. Jip Borm, Beth McDougall 06 Jan 2022
10 Funding, Possibilities and The Arts Council with Liam Wiseman Megan and Bessie are joined by Liam Wiseman, then Museums Relationship Manager for the South East, to discuss funding and the possibilities of de-colonial practice. Megan Mahon, Bessie Woodhouse, Liam Wiseman 06 Jan 2022
11 Museums and Living Objects with Carey Newman Megan and Alexis are joined by master carver Carey Newman to discuss the social and cultural lives of museum objects, and the ways museums can better engage with them. Carey Newman, Megan Mahon, Alexis Forer 06 Jan 2022
12 Pathways Forward with Dr. Laura van Broekhoven Jip and Bessie are joined again by the Director of the Pitt Rivers Museum, Dr. Laura van Broekhoven. This time we discuss looking forward to the future of the museum and its collections policy. Jip Borm, Bessie Woodhouse, Laura van Broekhoven 06 Jan 2022
13 Reflections: How do we move forward with the Collections Development Policy? Bessie, Megan, and Jip conclude this series by reflecting on the process of examining the Collections Development Policy. What can we take forward? Are changes too idealistic? Is there any hope for the future of museum policy? Bessie Woodhouse, Jip Borm, Megan Mahon 06 Jan 2022