MA Shiraiwa Shikoh

80000 €

A doctoral research project, “Ideology of Heritage, Museum, Cultural Politics, and Construction of National Identity in Finland and Japan”

Tieteellinen tutkimus ja taiteellinen työ / niihin pohjautuva työ | Kolmivuotinen

Yosuke Kaifu, an anthropologist that specialises in human evolution, tells us that the migrations, intermarriages, and cultural hybridisations have been repeated throughout human history. Therefore, there is no ‘pure ethnicity’ or ‘pure culture’ existing (2016). As a curator and educator, this statement has become my pursuit of understanding human culture, ethnicity, and heritage- directing more on the fluidity and ambiguity of these elements while showing distinctions and uniqueness. Culture and heritage are ever-changing. Historically, national museums have materialised an imagined superior ‘we’ society based on the nineteenth-century nation-state apparatus, which created ‘others’ as uncivilized groups. Museums have seemingly evolved to maintain their relevance to an ever-changing society. Nevertheless, the recent events of COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter have brought attention on global injustice and inequality in museums. Using a theoretical and practical model, my doctoral project seeks to understand how museums can achieve cultural and social sustainability while highlighting cultural and social equality for all ethnicity, cultures, and other social minority groups. This is a multidisciplinary and comparative study between Finland and Japan that examines the relationship between practices and cultural politics within national museums. Simultaneously, I will investigate the relationship between the museum discourse and the role of academic disciplines in a historical context: preserving and reconstructing the West-centric preferences in modern-day museum practices as a global standard. My aspiration is that this comparative study will shed light on a global pattern of how national museums negotiate power. There is a need for the decolonisation of museums and, to some extent, within academic disciplines. I will seek the future museum direction to support a sustainable society for all of us to co-exist.