All at Sea? Using seaborne mobilities to decolonialise national narratives in British maritime museums

Sutherland, Claire (2022) All at Sea? Using seaborne mobilities to decolonialise national narratives in British maritime museums. Mobilities, 17 (3). pp. 382-396. ISSN 1745-0101

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The article argues that British maritime museums do more to represent the nation than the sea, thereby contributing to nation-building discourse, and offers an alternative way of thinking about belonging through the lens of maritime mobilities. The United Kingdom’s national maritime museums are, of course, but a few among many museums seeking to incorporate a more diverse range of community voices and perspectives into their collections and exhibitions. Yet maritime museums are a particularly pertinent example of Britain’s nation-building discourse due to the global reach of Britain’s seaborne colonialism and exploration, and the concomitant range of their galleries. The article discusses the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth, Cornwall (NMMC) in the wider context of how maritime museums depict the nation. It argues that the NMMC’s presentation of the sea illustrates how nation-building connects with colonialism in latent, largely unacknowledged ways that are broadly representative of Britain’s maritime museums. The article concludes that were maritime museums to take seaborne mobility as a starting point for decolonialised exhibits, they would provide visitors with a greater range of tools with which to critically analyse Britain’s maritime histories, the legacies of which are still being played out today.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: mobilities, maritime, museums, nation, decoloniality
Subjects: L900 Others in Social studies
V300 History by topic
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Social Sciences
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2021 10:59
Last Modified: 21 Jan 2023 03:30

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