Unfinished Empire? CRAACE conference

Our conference

Unfinished Empire? Visual Arts and Architecture in Post-Imperial Contexts, 1900–2022 

will take place at

The Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague

on 19–20 May 2023.

The call to decolonize the visual arts rests on the notion that empires, even after they have fallen, continue to shape artistic values, concepts and practices. It argues that even when post-independence states declared their liberation from their former rulers, imperial and colonial regimes cast a long shadow it has proven difficult to evade.

The general contours of this argument are well known, but while broad critical explanations of hegemony, neo-colonial domination and decolonizing are established, there have been fewer focused individual historical studies of how and why imperial and colonial ideologies and attitudes persisted, even among the colonised. The dismantling of, for example, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, British rule in Africa and India, imperial Japan, Tsarist Russia and the Soviet Union, may have had enormous political consequences, but there were many patterns of continuity of practice, values and ideas. Many individual artists and architects, cultural institutions and creative networks in post-independence states may have sought to establish new post-colonial ideas and practices, but many others perpetuated the old. Analysis of this phenomenon is the theme of this conference, which seeks to examine the post-imperial ambivalences faced and negotiated by individual and groups of artists and architects, artistic organisations and institutions, even entire municipal, regional and national governments.

Keynote speaker: Prof. Tapati Guha Thakurta, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Kolkata

Location: The Museum of Decorative Arts, 17 Listopadu 2, Prague

The conference is free to attend, but registration is necessary. Click here for the registration form.

More information on the programme will follow soon.