Dealing with a Difficult Past
PhD fellow Vibe Nielsen from the Department of Anthropology has contributed to the Danish journal Slagmark with the article 'Dealing with a Difficult Past - How Danish and British museums disseminate the international colonial trade and its present legacies.' The article explores the subjects colonialism, multiculturalism, and national identity.
The awareness in the Danish population of the problematic aspects of the colonial past has been limited for a long time. Although much has changed within recent years to change the general public awareness of Denmark’s role in the international colonial trade, the article argues that improvements can still be made. Through fieldwork at some of the biggest and most influential museums in the field of cultural, imperial, and maritime history in Denmark and the United Kingdom, Vibe Nielsen analyzes the different ways Danish and British museums are disseminating their countries’ involvement in the international colonial trade. The article argues that the differences observed in the museums can be seen in relation to the two countries’ different levels of multiculturalism in their populations, but also as a result of the fact that the international colonial trade was a bigger part of British history and therefore arguably has had a larger impact on the national identity in the United Kingdom than in Denmark.
Vibe Nielsen, Dealing with a Difficult Past - How Danish and British museums disseminate the international colonial trade and its present legacies, Slagmark Journal, Issue 75, Spring 2017.