Challenging Exhibitions

Although I have worked in the museum sector most of my adult life I am still frustrated by how many of them still fail to make themselves relevant to their communities (despite constantly saying that they are).

I was therefore hugely impressed by this exhibition in the University of Kansas. It takes the testimony of sexual assault victims and places their words beside clothes they were wearing at the time of the assault (as the victims describe in their witness statements).

OK, this is not in a museum or art gallery. It is in a students’ union building. Even better!

And not all museums will have costume collections and/or exist to express the history of criminal justice and/or sexual health and wellbeing.

But what a fantastically simple, yet harrowing and highly-impactful idea for an exhibition. Dispelling the myth that victims of sexual assault “were asking for it” by the way they dress.

I’d like to see more bold, confrontational, community-situated exhibitions like this in the UK.

If you know of any please detail them in the comments section below.


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