The George Floyd Uprising in 2020 gave a tremendous impetus to the century-old movement to restore looted artwork to its country of origin and raised broader questions about reparations. To discuss where the situation is now, this panel brings together leading international artists, curators and scholars.
- Bénédicte Savoy (Technical University Berlin) was a co-author of the 2018 report to President Macron on what to do with France's looted artwork and is the author of Africa's Struggle for its Art: History of a Postcolonial Defeat (2022).
- Curator and author Dan Hicks (Oxford University) is the author of the breakout hit book The Brutish Museums: The Benin Bronzes, Colonial Violence and Cultural Restitution (2020) and has been key to the movement to return the "bronzes" to Benin.
- Palestinian artists Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme created the multi-media installation "And Yet My Mask is Powerful" (2017), concerning Neolithic masks taken from the West Bank and surrounding areas, telling a "dense story of erasures and reappearances, dispossession and resistance, the archaic resonating in the contemporary."
In short, far from erasing the past, the work of restitution creates new histories, new insights and new artwork.
Part of the MCC Keynote Series: New Edges in Media Studies. The event is organized and moderated by Media, Culture, and Communication (MCC) Professor Nicholas Mirzoeff (NYU), author of White Sight: Visual Politics and Practices of Whiteness (2023).