Why Every Art Institution Should Have a Social Justice Curator
Jasmine Wahi, the Holly Block Social Justice Curator at the Bronx Museum, addressed recently in artnet the importance of the role of social justice in museums, specially in the wake of recent Black Lives Matter protests, and why every art institution should have a social justice curator.
Reflecting on what is a social justice curator and acknowledging she sees curators already doing this type of work in large institutions, although their titles may not explicitly say “social justice curator,” Wahi said:
A social justice curator is a cultural worker who creates exhibitions that prompt dialogue and subsequent change towards a more socially equitable and just society. I think an alternative title would be “visual activist”—a person who believes in the symbiotic relationship between art and social change. I’m not sure how many social justice curators there are currently. I think for now, every institution should have at least one social justice curator. I hope that one day there won’t be a need for such a position. But until then, I think it’s important to have a staff person who is dedicated to amplifying narratives and histories that have historically been ignored, unseen, or invisibilized by institutions.