Rendering Race Through a Paranoid Postsocialist Lens
Activist Curating and Public Engagement in the Postcolonial Debate in Eastern Europe
This chapter engages with the heated public debate on racial representation and colonial history that arose around Kumu Art Museum’s exhibition Rendering Race (2021) in Estonia. As an academic activist intervention, it proposed an important shift by changing racist titles of artworks from the twentieth century and thereby for the first time in the museum’s practice considered minority groups as its publics. The chapter analyses the curatorial strategies used and the key points of contention in the public debate to consider what it revealed and obscured about Eastern Europe’s relationship to the aftermath of European colonialism.
Keywords: Eastern Europe • Activist curating • Renaming • Postcolonial Europe • Postsocialism • Estonian art