“I am not a Black artist, I am an artist”. Identity Politics and Curatorial Practice

On the occasion of its 20th birthday the MEK – Museum Europäischer Kulturen – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin hosted the conference “What’s Missing? Collecting and Exhibiting Europe”. The conference focused on blank spots: Which objects, narratives, methods and actors have not been paid any (or enough) attention to and are missing in our museum reflections on contemporary daily lives and societies in Europe?

My presentation was about the ongoing difficulties and obstacles BIPoC artists and cultural practitioners face when working in white dominated environments ‒ between hyper visibility and invisibility. These affect the daily work within institutions as well as ways of (non) presentation within the exhibition space. The presentation »Contemporary Muslim Fashions«, at the Museum Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt, Germany, served as an example to illustrate not only the attempt of an inclusion of a contemporary cultural aspect that is for different reasons (still) seen as not being fully integral to European culture, but also discuss the challenges the museum as an institution faced and continue to face in terms of community outreach and visitor engagement.