Displaying Violence

This issue brings together analysis of power issues faced by museums exhibiting conflicted or violent histories worldwide. It traces recent transformations of the ways in which museums deal with the representation of violence: whether they reflect on the standpoint of victims and integrate their voices; remain inclusive towards marginalised communities; address long silenced legacies of violence; and respond to ethical challenges associated with display of images, objects and curation of human remains. The examinations of culturally and geographically diverse curatorial practices highlight how museums challenge or perpetuate violence and hegemonic structures of power and marginalisation, how they represent a multiplicity of voices or homogenized narratives and manage to engage visitors with reflexive meta-questions. The understanding of violence in this issue does not remain limited to atrocities or physical harm but also poses questions regarding the violence of museum displays, and structural violence of the very institution of the museum, in past and present. As many papers focus on questions of colonial violence and its museal representation, they highlight the centrality of this issue to current public debates and discussions on the identity of the institution. In their choice of cases, the papers, moreover, expand the notion of museum space, to include not only sites of historical atrocities and off-site museums, but also botanic gardens and public spaces.

Stefan Benedik, Zuzanna Dziuban, Ljiljana Radonić (Hg.), Displaying Violence, Österreichische Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaften 1/2023.