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Ownership (N)

Ownership is very important for museums. Who owns the artefacts? Who tells the stories?

A very simplified, very short summary of what's involved:

In the past, explorers travelled to new worlds (new for them), by boat, on foot, or carried by horses, camels, elephants or humans.

The explorers saw many wonderful things there and took some of them home to show them to the people in their own country, in museums and zoos. 'Things' included objects, art, animals, even people. 'Taking' included: receiving as gifts, buying, or stealing.

The stories that the museums told about these 'things' were told from the perspective of the explorers. Dates and locations may have been correct, but many of the stories were not. Slowly, museums changed and added more information. They started to consult the previous 'owners', the people who had made these objects, used them, knew their histories.

Then, two things happened. The previous owners wanted their objects back, to put them on display in their own museums for their own people. And they wanted to tell their own stories, from their perspective. Not as consultants, but as the rightful owners and experts.
Developments that are still ongoing, that have many more sides and and no 'one size fits all' solution.

The same things have been happening, are happening, with respect to the Deaf community. In the past, their history was told by hearing people, from the hearing perspective. Then, Deaf people became involved as consultants. Now some Deaf people want their objects, stories, histories returned to the Deaf community, because Deaf people are the rightful owners and experts.

Again, there is no 'one size fits all' solution.
In theory, on paper, the best solution of course is for Deaf and hearing experts to work together, to teach each other, to learn from each other,  to acknowledge and benefit from each others expertise. In the real world, unfortunately, things may be more complicated.

Further reading: https://www.museumnext.com/article/what-does-it-mean-to-decolonize-a-museum/