In September 2019 the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam opened its doors to the public for the much awaited exhibition Chagall, Picasso, Mondrian and Others: Migrant Artists in Paris. With migration as the underlying theme, this temporary exhibition presented the work of renowned modern artists and some lesser-known artists by taking a deep dive into their triumphs and struggles of making art while being a migrant in the city of Paris.
For the visitor, the exhibition route ended with the Salon, a room created as an extension of the exhibition narrative and designed with the intention of creating a moment of reflection for the public (fig. 1). The Salon was a product of the Stedelijk’s collaboration with Amsterdam-based writer and rapper Massih Hutak. Conceptualized by Hutak, the Salon engaged visitors by posing a personal question in relation to ideas of home, belonging, and identity, requiring them to respond on a blank sheet of paper in written or drawn form. Based on these responses, monthly sessions were hosted by creative professionals such as poets, artists, and musicians who shared their skills with the visitors and reflected on the submissions, which brought forth multiple narratives of migratory experiences. In addition to the Salon, an audio tour was developed in collaboration with the same diverse team of People of Color (PoC) creative professionals which narrated the ways in which they experienced the exhibition. By engaging in these collaborative efforts, the Stedelijk moves away from archaic notions of storytelling where museums were known to provide absolute knowledge and dominant narratives told from a White, European perspective. Instead, it allows for visitors to engage in their own meaning-making processes, which are facilitated by the trickling of new voices into the museum space.
Fig. 1. The Salon in Migrant Artists in Paris at the Stedelijk. Photograph by the author, October 27, 2019.
A closer look into the Stedelijk’s activities in the last decade gives us the impression of the extensive public programs that have accompanied its exhibitions. However, the public program created for the Migrant Artists in Paris exhibition specifically stands out because it stemmed from a strong impulse to shift focus from the international and closer to home; thus expressing an understanding of a non-homogenous public that constitutes the museum audience in the Netherlands. This is reflected in the museum’s newly realized vision as captured in a statement by director Rein Wolfs, who assumed office later in December of the same year as the exhibition. Wolfs notes, “The Stedelijk has set its sights on a bold, innovative course that brings forward a plurality of voices.… The Stedelijk is a public museum that strives for an inclusive program that is socially engaged and thought-provoking.” His statement is an important indicator of the paradigm shift in museology, wherein it can be argued that the Stedelijk can be categorized as a “post-museum,” referring to museums moving beyond their walls into community spaces and opening up their collections, activities, and programming to people. This notable shift in the history of the largest museum of modern and contemporary art and design in the Netherlands marks a defining moment to be considered while thinking about its long-standing existence.
As much as the inclusion of these new voices points towards an optimistic future for museums in a rearticulation of the institutional systems in place due to their colonial legacies, it is important to consider the ways in which these voices are being exercised. This can be better understood by employing Chantal Mouffe’s conception of the agonistic public space, where she emphasizes the importance of understanding public spaces as hegemonically structured and allowing for confrontation of such hegemony without necessarily reaching a consensus. Understanding the museum as such a public space, the museum becomes a site for dissent and allows for pluralism. Along similar lines, Janet Marstine argues, “Contemporary museum ethics is not a canon of ideas based on consensus. The principal ethical debates of the twenty-first century are marked by strong differences of opinion from diverse contributors, not neatly settled through negotiation, and this is a sign of health.” The creation of this space is instrumental in developing inclusionary practices that acknowledge social inequalities in accessing the museum. Using this statement as the premise, this paper will explore the complexities of inviting PoC creative professionals into the museum space with specific focus on inclusivity, openness, and community. The paper aims to make visible the power relations that exist in such collaborations as a way of rethinking these relations to be recognized and reworked. Taking off from aspects of the collaboration that constituted the Salon, the paper is an exploratory study that delves into ways of decision-making, exercising voice and agency, and ensuring longevity in such reciprocal relationships. By exploring the intricacies of the dynamics of a collaboration for a museum with a predominantly Western and modern history, the paper aims to establish fair practice for collaborations, especially with PoC. Here, it is important to highlight that the research for this paper has been motivated by the author’s close interactions with the people who are instrumental in conceptualizing, designing, executing, and researching the space since its inception. These interactions, in the form of both formal and informal conversations, during and post-exhibition, have revealed a sense of urgency to focus on various aspects that manifest collaborative networks that museums such as the Stedelijk are currently engaging in.
Navigating Hierarchies in the Museum
As museum professionals, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that museums are not essentially viewed as open spaces in light of the amount of gatekeeping in place due to curation, inaccessible language, and frequent valorization of objects from distant cultures. While museums such as the Stedelijk are gearing their experiences to be more visitor-centered, the image of the museum is maintained to be an exclusionary space for many. The concept of the “contact zone” proves to be instrumental in discussing museum collaborations because it was one of the pioneering ideas that established the museum as a space for dialogue and transculturation. As opposed to traditionally limiting views of the role of a museum, the concept of a museum as a contact zone allowed us to understand it as less of an institution and more of a constitution of relations concerning collection and presentation stemming from various aspects of culture. However, the contact zone has often been reappropriated as a colonial contact zone and has largely been used in opening up the discussion about collaboration and consultation with source communities. These kind of collaborations, which have set precedents for equitable partnerships and participation, are extremely important in oiling the wheels of the spirit of collaborative efforts in museums. Nonetheless, these collaborations mostly deal with discussions of ownership, preservation, or display of cultural artifacts—which are in relation to the primary functions of a traditional museum. These collaborations function differently than those with creative professionals (as is the focus of this essay), whose services are called upon specifically to share their skills and expertise in relation to their practice. In case of the aforementioned Salon, the monthly sessions with the collaborators took the form of interventions which were inspired by the responses of the visitors. Here, the collaborators organized various workshops and debates as new forms of public engagement which centered on their lived experiences and cultural identities. This form of interaction with visitors goes beyond the museum’s unidirectional, often didactic knowledge creation methods that stem from Western epistemological logics.
The collaborations initiated for the public program of the Migrant Artists in Paris exhibition allow us to view the Stedelijk as a forum where there is willingness to share authority, generate public value, and engage in discussions of social importance. When asked about the process of this collaboration with the museum, Hutak expresses that he had complete agency in executing his ideas for the Salon, collecting the themes, and conceptualizing the audio tour. Although this points towards a positive step for the museum, the Stedelijk still exists as a predominantly White and European institution, as reflected by its staff and collection. In order to further develop best practice, the Stedelijk has to develop similar ethos in other forms of daily operations and institutional structures that constitute the museum. As the museum works towards making itself more engaging and accessible, there needs to be an overhauling of power structures that have led the museum into the sacred sphere. Giorgio Agamben suggests “profanation” as an act that allows for a space to be returned for communal use by neutralizing power structures. Rogier Brom draws on this notion and argues that the deactivation of the old use of a space in order to create a new one encourages the people involved to make this space meaningful and in the process creates an active public. At the same time, the discussion about neutralizing power structures cannot be used to blindside the systems of hierarchies that perpetuate the museum. One way of diminishing hierarchical systems in the organization of the museum can be by identifying informal hierarchies. Essentially, informal hierarchies refer to striations in society shaped by the imbalance of power among various groups that leads to certain communities being faced with behavior or division of labor that undermines their being. Often these hierarchies are visible in our daily lives, where “some people are systematically ignored and belittled no matter what they do or say; or some people are always expected to do much more certain kinds of work like cooking, cleaning, child-care and so on.” The existence of these hierarchies creates an impermeable status quo that results in people from marginalized groups not being able to participate freely and fully in institutional matters. In order to investigate how informal hierarchies play into the decision-making processes and organization of museums, there is a need to look beyond the walls of the museum to see how we navigate these social relations outside of the museum and in our personal lives.
While the discourse around decolonization of institutions often revolves around allowing for participation of formerly colonized, immigrant, or diasporic communities, it is important to note that such participation puts the onus on these communities to share their lived experiences. As evident in the Salon monthly sessions led by different collaborators, the themes require them to share their lived experiences stemming from their multicultural backgrounds and highlight how it shapes their creative practices. While sharing of these experiences can be instrumental in opening up museums to newer worldviews, collaborations which are based on such reliance are heavily lopsided. Thus, one way to neutralize these existing power structures is by shifting the responsibility towards museum professionals in positions of power to reflect on their privilege and how it informs their politics. Such a process where one examines their social relations in their personal and professional lives allows for greater visibility of informal hierarchies that potentially operate within collaborations. In doing so, it is possible to unlearn internal prejudices that keep such hierarchies in place. Simultaneously, this process is also instrumental in identifying several access barriers to the museum for marginalized groups. Here, the work of recent organizations such as Musea Bekennen Kleur (MBK, translates to Museums Confess Color), a platform for museums in the Netherlands to engage in in-depth discussions about achieving diversity and inclusion, becomes important in thinking about ways in which these hierarchies can be made apparent. MBK organizes reflection sessions for museum staff, wherein they discuss their personal prejudices, challenges, and ways to overcome them. In the presence of a diverse expert group, professionals from the museum sector engage in exchange of knowledge and experiences. The expert group consists of people who are not necessarily from the cultural field but have felt othered or marginalized and consider diversity an important tenet in their practice. The nature of these reflection sessions allows for learning based on empathy and helps orient museum staff to participatory work. Making transparent such efforts and simultaneously working towards neutralizing power structures during collaborations are extremely important in building equitable partnerships.
Originally, salons in seventeenth-century France served as spaces for gatherings of intellectuals and socialites to meet and engage in literary discussions. These places facilitated conversations among “culturally compatible participants” to discuss social and political affairs, exchange ideas, and experience intellectual stimulation. However, these conversations were often presided over by a skilled salonnière, who would use this space to uphold existing social and political conventions. Hence, even though salons functioned as spaces where one could engage in discussion, they remained highly moderated spaces which consolidated the power of the homogenous upper class. Thus, the term “Salon” carries with it certain exclusionary connotations which apply to the case of the museum as well. One of the main reasons these seemingly open spaces continue to maintain ambiguous positions which do not enable active participation from people from diverse backgrounds is because they function on the basis of invitations. In case of museum collaborations, there is always a person in a position of authority who determines who will be invited to the museum space. As Nancy Fraser reminds us, museums are “invited spaces” rather than claimed spaces. Thus, anyone in charge of doing the inviting not only holds an upper hand in determining who permeates the museum space but is also in charge of deciding the agenda. It is due to the complexities that exist in this notion of inviting that make museum collaborations an extremely sensitive issue that, at the very outset, demand thorough consideration of the museum’s intention to collaborate and an evaluation of the efforts and resources that the museum is willing to commit to it.
An important step that has been made in the direction of developing principles that can be used in guiding museum collaborations are two documents titled “SAR Guidelines for Collaboration,” the result of a three-year collaborative project between Native and non-Native museum professionals, cultural leaders, and artists. These documents are geared towards building meaningful, long-term collaborations with source communities in relation to museums that house cultural artifacts. However, they also offer us important insights to take into consideration while collaborating with creative professionals from a non-Western background.
The “Guidelines for Museums” opens with the statement,
True collaboration does not happen immediately—it is process driven and takes time and commitment. The specific manner in which you collaborate will be unique to your museum, the community, and the project. Do not confuse collaboration with a single invitation to view or comment on collections, or to rubber-stamp exhibition content. Collaboration is about sharing both authority and decision-making and includes cooperative planning, definition of outcomes and roles, task accountability, transparent budget discussions, and a clear structure for communication.
As is made evident by this statement, collaborations cannot be limited to one-time invitations; ensuring longevity of the relationship is crucial for a collaboration to become meaningful and successful. While the notion of inviting a guest collaborator, whether as a program-maker or a curator, is becoming increasingly common in museums in the Netherlands, this also indicates that these are temporary measures which occur in limited time and are not reflective of structural changes that are taking place in museums. For instance, the Stedelijk’s Annual Report (2020) notes the Salon as being one of the most successful public programs that took place in 2019–2020. However, it is essential that we also ask the question as to how collaborations can take shape beyond one-time projects which somehow fit into the institution’s agenda. In order to achieve this, the museum must incorporate feedback mechanisms and aftercare processes that allow for the ideas developed during a collaboration to be put to further use or form the basis of essential restructuring that the museum is undertaking. This also includes any initiatives that are taken by the museum post-collaboration, which may be documented material that is being shared with the public. It is crucial for museum staff to ensure that the services and efforts of the collaborators are credited and highlighted. In doing so, the best practice is to ensure that any documentation that has taken place during the collaboration has been done with prior consent and that the consent forms are revisited before sharing this material in social media or public relations material, in order to ensure that all parties involved in the collaboration are satisfied with the language and framing with which the material is being shared.
Decision-making and Co-ideation
Returning to the abovementioned quote from the guidelines, one of the most important factors that governs equitable collaborations is that of decision-making. Due to existing hierarchical organizational structures of museums, it is often that the decision-making process involves going through various channels and personnel. Within the museum, curators and directors often hold greater power in major decisions such as exhibition themes and acquisitions, while educators are brought into the decision-making process later to create complimentary programs. At the very outset, it is important to begin a collaborative effort by making these channels, positions, and roles in the museum transparent to collaborators. By doing so, the museum staff are able to counter the assumption that the organizational structure, which varies from one institution to another, is common knowledge to the public. At the same time, this allows for the collaborator to determine their position in the museum space and acquaint themselves with various points of contact in the museum. From what might seem like a simple task of familiarizing a collaborator with the workings of the museum, this strategy allows for the museum to create a meaningful division of labor—where the museum, in an extension of its role as educator, takes the onus on itself to make its inner workings visible rather than placing the responsibility on a collaborator to make themselves aware of this knowledge.
Along with communicating the process of decision-making in the museum openly, it is also important to consider how these processes can be made more inclusive once the collaborators feel welcome in the museum space. One way of ensuring this is immersing in the process of collaborative ideation before moving on to the decision-making stage. In her work, adrienne maree brown extensively discusses the concept of collaborative ideation, which she suggests is essential in creating meaningful collaboration. Here, the intention is to move away “from competitive ideation, trying to push our individual ideas, to collective ideation, collaborative ideation. It isn’t about having the number one best idea, but having ideas that come from, and work for, more people.” Firstly, thinking together and birthing these ideas in collaboration gives the collaborators access to the space where these ideas are usually conceived. Secondly, this process can be used to co-create agendas which determine what topics are discussed in a meeting. By making this a shared task, not only is there democratization in the collaborative effort but it allows for the creation of adaptable and flexible agendas that accommodate the overflow of conversations. When a singular entity is responsible for deciding which topics make it onto an agenda and how much time is dedicated to each matter, there is immense potential of misplaced priorities, which may take away time from important conversations and undermine certain important issues that may be thought as crucial by the group. Thus, collaborative ideation can be used to decide which conversations demand more time and importance, how many sessions are required to discuss a certain matter, etc. This challenges the common practice of museum staff deciding the agenda for a meeting to which a collaborator is invited. In this process of deliberation and negotiation, the roles and responsibilities of museum staff and the collaborators become clearer. At the same time, collaborative ideation also allows for the reiteration of the shared vision which binds the involved parties and creates space for discussion on how to build on this shared vision.
In discussing multivocality in the museum through collaboration, it is important to mark the stark difference between fulfilling certain necessities as demanded by the policy plans and the willingness to initiate collaborations as a way of enriching value for the museum and the collaborator. The latter requires extensive work that goes beyond grand imagery which ends up as marketing material for the museum. Notably, “Having a seat at the table is a necessary but not sufficient condition for exercising voice. Nor is presence at the table (on the part of institutions) the same as a willingness to listen and respond.” This statement points out the difference between representation and authentic collaboration, leading us to think about ways in which voice is exercised in museums. In this case, Hutak’s presence at the table, along with others, while critically examining the chief curator’s plan at the early stage was essential in kindling this collaboration. His contributions to the museum’s educational and public program and being vocal during various panels organized by the museum is what led to the idea of the collaboration.
One of the main reasons collaborative efforts lose their meaningfulness is because they take place in isolation and are often attributed to fall under the helm of the education department of a museum. In this process of keeping activities separate, it is easy to lose sight of how the museum’s broader context affects these collaborations. For instance, in an attempt to diversify its collection, the Stedelijk has set aside half of their acquisitions budget for work by artists of color or practitioners with a non-Western background, and the museum aims to present a solo exhibition featuring an artist from outside Western Europe and North America or artist of color once a year. This initiative is a result of long-term debates that the museum has undergone in regards to decolonizing and demodernizing its collection. This newly formed awareness that is guiding the museum’s policies has been shaped by a closer and intentional look into its collection, which reveals artworks that never made it into the canon because they were not considered worthy of collection. As Susan Crane reminds us, “Being collected means being valued and remembered institutionally; being displayed means being incorporated into the extra-institutional memory of the museum visitors.” Such gaps that exist in museum collections where works of artists from certain marginalized groups were never collected or displayed has led to the silencing of certain cultures. This process not only alienates these groups and communities from the museum space as artists or visitors, but adds to the historical silencing of oppressed peoples. Taking this into account, it must be noted that the nature of such silencing, often embedded in invisible structures, plays a significant role in determining how voice is exercised in certain spaces.
Essentially, it is important to take into consideration that speaking (up) or articulation are not necessarily skills that come naturally to everyone. By recognizing the role of museums in such silencing, which has taken place by consolidating colonial structures of power, a contemporary museum is able to create and facilitate spaces that make possible the exertion of voice and the ability to be heard. This is why the audio tour for the Migrant Artists in Paris exhibition is an exemplary effort wherein we witness a unique convergence of the museum’s voice with that of the collaborators. The audio tour consists of perspectives of poet Gershwin Bonevacia, poet and writer Rachel Rumai, illustrator and print designer Ikram El Messaoudi, and musician Hutak, “interspersed with stories by Maurice Rummens, the curator of the exhibition.” This fresh perspective of looking at artworks while guided by lived experiences of creative professionals of a multicultural background not only challenges the long-standing authority of the singular, curatorial voice but also dismantles the notion that the curator is responsible for imparting factual knowledge. Decentralizing knowledge systems with the audio tour and the Salon values the visitor’s intelligence and points towards a shift of the museum being considered a site of expertise to being viewed as a public forum. By inserting the “I” in the stories told via the audio tour, the collaborators are able to practice active agency, which is central to the notion of “capability-building.” As Bernadette Lynch argues, “The role of the museum is not to be helpful—by ‘doing for’ or ‘on behalf of’.… Rather, it is to help create the circumstances by which people can help themselves, building their own capabilities.” Thus, the audio tour exemplifies this notion of capability building, because it gives the platform to the collaborator to exercise their voice and choice—a framework that can be argued as crucial to meaningful collaborations. As evident, Hutak uses his active agency to invite PoC creative professionals from different walks of life to share their points of view, and in doing so, exercises his voice and choice in the museum. At the same time, capability-building focuses on the existing merit of the collaborator rather than the notion of empowerment which, in a way, replicates hegemonic power structures by assuming a deficit model where the museum assumes an emancipatory role by empowering a marginalized person.
While this essay highlights some of the persistent issues that pervade collaborative efforts in museums and offers ways in which we can tackle these issues, it is important to understand that establishing ethical standards requires reflexive practices. There can be no universal set of rules that museums can follow to ensure fair practice, because each collaborative effort requires learning and unlearning new behaviors and cultural sensitivities. Essentially, it is important to view and undertake museum collaborations as an ongoing process of collective learning. By doing so, we allow the space for mistakes and failures, as is characteristic of any learning method. As Marstine notes, “Central to the project of museum ethics is the sharing of ethical challenges and opportunities with diverse stakeholders to understand and address larger patterns of behavior.” It is often the neoliberal systems which have come to dominate the art world that lead museums to constantly compete against each other for various kinds of resources. In this scourge of resources, whether human or financial, museums often do not openly communicate the ethical challenges that emerge in such collaborative efforts. By making failures and challenges that take place in such collaborations transparent, room can be made for discussion, problem-solving, and a sense of allyship. The notion of collaboration and collaborative ideation can equally apply to museum networks who can co-create to maximize diversity of resources in the form of people, skills, spaces, and money.
As is made evident in this essay, complexities in collaborations mostly arise due to the existing rigid power structures that persist in a museum. While acknowledging informal hierarchies can be key to neutralizing some of these structures, it must also be noted that the sense of authority that the museum holds can be attributed to knowledge systems and its assumed role of stewardship of objects and cultures. In present times, participation and democratization are not only essential for museums to maintain social relevance but are also key factors that determine the potential of how museums are going to adapt in a world where social injustices are increasingly becoming more apparent. Thus, museums must shift their priority from objects to people and ask themselves how they wish to exercise their agency and who they wish to serve. The publication The Constituent Museum tackles some of these issues by posing the question, “What would happen if museums put relationships at the center of their operation?” This approach is key to thinking about meaningful collaborations which can only be formed as a result of a strong, authentic relationship created between the museum staff and the collaborators on the basis of a shared vision, trust, and willingness to listen. Placing collaborators as museum constituents also allows for deeper and longer engagement wherein the collaborator is always viewed as a facilitator, stakeholder, and someone who can inspire.
Najiba Yasmin is a Netherlands-based visual artist and researcher originally hailing from India. She recently graduated from the University of Amsterdam with an MA in Museum Studies. She was a participant artist at the CINECLUB #4 “Queer Diasporas” in Nieuwe Vide in Haarlem, where she explored the crossroads of pleasure and privilege. Her research is focused on museum ethics and activism, and she seeks to bring her interest in care work to the field of museology as a way of offering alternate value systems.
 The paper titled “The migration mosaic: The Salon in ‘Migrant Artists in Paris’ as a Third Space” (2019) by the author of this essay served as a precursor to this exploratory research. The paper analyzed visitor responses as a way of understanding how they navigated their cultural identities and migratory experiences in the context of the exhibition. These responses were studied in relation to various aspects of the Salon, such as its spatial design, the featured music, etc. Some of these responses that highlight visitor participation in this exhibition can be found on the museum’s website. See Stedelijk Museum, “Migrant Artists in Paris – Your Contributions to the Exhibition,” 2020, https://www.stedelijk.nl/en/digdeeper/migrant-artists-paris.
 As a part of the public program, a film screening of the French independent film La Haine (1995) took place, followed by Hutak’s discussion with two creative professionals, Daria Bukvić and Shady El-Hamus. The program also consisted of a podcast that was recorded with the audience in an exhibition room featuring a conversation between Hutak, Thomaz Azier, and Yousef Gnaoui. The program closed with a finissage, featuring interviews by musician Massih Hutak with the creative professionals who hosted the monthly sessions in the Salon, poet Gershwin Bonevacia, poet and writer Rachel Rumai, and illustrator and print designer Ikram El Messaoudi, as well as two mini-lectures, one by Hutak on the rap duo PNL, the other by the author of this essay on the Salon.
 Davina DesRoches, “The Marketized Museum: New Museology in a Corporatized World,” The Political Economy of Communication 3, no. 1 (2015): 2–24.
 See, for example, Margriet Schavemaker, “Changing the Game: Museum Research and the Politics of Inclusivity,” Stedelijk Studies, no. 8 (2019). Here, Schavemaker highlights how the public program in the Stedelijk since 2016 has opened up for voices outside the museum, citing examples such as “Stage It!” and “Stedelijk Statements,” with detailed analyses of the same.
 Chantal Mouffe, “Art and Democracy: Art as an Agnostic Intervention in Public Space,” Open! Platform for Art, Culture & the Public Domain (2008), 1–7, www.onlineopen.org/art-and-democracy, accessed May 20, 2021.
 Janet Marstine, “The Contingent Nature of the New Museum Ethics,” in The Routledge Companion to Museum Ethics: Redefining Ethics for the Twenty-First-Century Museum (2012), 6.
 Stedelijk Museum, “Annual Report 2020” (Amsterdam, 2020), https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/production-static-stedelijk/images/_museum/Jaarverslagen/2020/Jaarverslag 2020_ENG_summary.pdf, accessed on May 10, 2021.
 Mary Louise Pratt, The Arts of the Contact Zone (Profession 91, 1991); James Clifford, “Museums as Contact Zones,” in Routes: Travel and Translation in the Late Twentieth Century, ed. James Clifford (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997), 188–219.
 Robin Boast, “Neocolonial Collaboration: Museum as Contact Zone Revisited,” Museum Anthropology 34, no. 1 (2011): 56–70.
 Duncan Cameron, “The Museum: A Temple or a Forum,” Curator: The Museum Journal 14, no. 1 (1971).
 Massih Hutak, in discussion with the author, June 2020. (From the beginning, on February 14, 2019, Massih Hutak was also involved in the making of the exhibition as a member of the expert group that advised the Stedelijk Museum. The other members of the expert group were: Jessica de Abreu, co-founder of the Black Archives, Wim Manuhutu, Director of the Migration Museum, The Hague, Gregor Langfeld, Assistant-Professor History of Modern Art, University of Amsterdam, Emma van Meyeren, Amsterdam based writer and DJ (moderator), together with Jeftha Pattikawa, Project Manager Studio I (Inclusion) at the Stedelijk Museum. Due to the fact that the exhibition was an alternative for another exhibition that was canceled at a late stage, there was unfortunately no time and budget for more than one meeting with this expert group. The wall texts of the exhibition were co-edited by the Stedelijk Curator of Photography Vincent van Velsen, at the time an external writer, art critic and curator. – eds.)
 Steven K. Vincent, “Elite Culture in Early Nineteenth-Century France: Salons, Sociability and the Self,” Modern Intellectual History 4, no. 2 (2007): 327–51.
 A French term referring to a woman who hosts a salon. See Dena Goodman, “Enlightenment Salons: The Convergence of Female and Philosophic Ambitions,” Eighteenth-Century Studies 22, no. 3 (1989): 329–50.
 Jolanta T. Pekacz, Conservative Tradition in Pre-Revolutionary France: Parisian Salon Women (New York: Peter Land, 1999).
 Nancy Fraser, “Rethinking the Public Sphere: A Contribution to the Critique of Actually Existing Democracy,” in The Cultural Studies Reader, ed. S. During (London: Routledge, 1999), 109–42.
 Yuha Jung, “The Ignorant Museum: Transforming the Elitist Museum into an Inclusive Learning Place,” in The New Museum Community: Audiences, Challenges, Benefits, ed. N. Abery (Edinburgh: MuseumsEtc, 2010), 272–91.
 The term “demodernizing” here refers to the concept as used and popularized by Charles Esche, where he defines it as, “Distancing from modernity itself, in the sense, demodernizing our collection by no longer understanding it to be living tradition but as a tradition that’s already passed. In some senses, simply to anthropologize modern art and to make it a product of a system, of a society and not the product of the artist as a genius… It’s taking out the artistic autonomy out of [these] works and setting them in a different context is one way in which we, within a museum, can think about how transcultural artistic exchange can be made meaningful with the legacies that we have.” See Charles Esche, “A Demodern Option?” (lecture, Salzburg International Summer Academy of Fine Arts, August 11, 2018).
 Cf. Jelle Bouwhuis, “How Far How Near: The World in the Stedelijk,” in How Far How Near: Global Collaborations (Amsterdam: Stedelijk Museum, 2014), 11, 13. “Around 1990, under Wim Beeren’s directorate, the Stedelijk renewed its interest in contemporary art from the specific regions of Eastern Europe and South America, thanks to Russian perestroika and the demise of the dictatorial regimes.… Beeren’s exhibitions such as U-ABC and Zuiderkruis foreshadowed, initially through photography, the progressive crumbling of the once so clearly drawn geopolitical divisions in ideas about art and the art collected by museums.… But such exhibitions rarely received a follow-up, simply because the presented works were difficult to slot into the paradigm of modern art.” This manifested in the following period through purchases of works by artists from other regions after they had exhibited at the Stedelijk in exhibitions like Malick Sidibé and Snap Judgment: Contemporary African Photography (curated by Okwui Enwezor). From 2006, for instance, the project spaces Docking Station, at the temporary Stedelijk Museum CS, and Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam, as well as the exhibition How Far How Near programmatically contributed to this development. Thus, the new policy reflects the effects of these long-term discussions which have allowed the curatorial staff to reflect on its predominantly Western art and diversify the collection and exhibition displays by acquiring works by artists of a non-Western background and involving them in the programming of temporary exhibitions.
 Susan A. Crane, “Museums and Memory,” in Museums and Memory, ed. Susan A. Crane (Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 2000), 1–13.
 Bernadette Lynch, “Neither Helpful nor Unhelpful – A Clear Way Forward for the Useful Museum,” in Museums and Social Change: Challenging the Unhelpful Museum, ed. Adele Chynoweth et al., 1st ed. (London: Routledge, 2020), 3. Lynch borrows the notion of “capabilities” from economist Amartya Sen (ibid.), who reinstates the importance of museums having the freedom to reach their own conclusions, debate consequences, and make changes for themselves. For Sen, ideas of justice are largely based on ideas of power, capability, and democracy.
 Marstine, “The Contingent Nature of the New Museum Ethics,” 6.
 John Byrne et al., The Constituent Museum (Amsterdam: Valiz, 2018).