Jasbir K. Puar


    WHEN INVITED TO RESPOND to the question “Where is enlightenment?” writer Jasbir K. Puar suggested a conversation with Amin Husain and Nitasha Dhillon of the New York-based groups MTL Collective and Decolonize This Place. Here, they speak about the role of cultural institutions in perpetuating structural injustice and what a decolonial analytic and practice could look like.

    JASBIR K. PUAR: You have organized successful actions at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Brooklyn Museum, in each case drawing broad attention to embedded structures of whiteness, colonial acquisition, and historical and cultural deformation. These institutions are cultural mainstays of New York and are driven by huge amounts of wealth and cultural capital, elite donors, and liberal ideologies. These are not “of the people” spaces, even as they purport to create artistic experiences for the people.

    Why direct your energies at these establishments?