The Danish colonial past is still an unexplored field in the Danish collective history. The Virgin Islands; St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. Jan were from 1754-1917 part of the Danish colonies and played a mayor part in the triangular trade in which made a great impact on the Danish economy. On March 31st. 2017 marked the hundredth anniversary of Denmark selling the islands to United States which in the media, and to a certain degree the population, brought up attention and spurred to confront our colonial past. The commemoration has also inspired museums to present new exhibitions that portray the Danish colonial history.
This paper aspires to examine selective museums and how they communicate Danish colonial history in relation to the Virgin Islands. Furthermore the paper examines how the communication of the museums correlate with the experience of the visitors.
With the method autoetnography we collect our empiri based upon our selves, additionally we include historical and exhibition concepts to broaden the basis of the analysis.
The two exhibitions that are the focal points of the project are “Stop slaveri!” from Arbejdermuseet and “Vestsjælland/Vestindien” from Holbæk Museum.
In our analysis the exhibitions show different ways of communicate the history. “Stop slaveri!” applies to a large extent on affective means to tell a specific narrative that condemns modern slavery as well as the past. As a visitor you experience a journey through time where you encounter the perspective of the slaveowners and the enslaved.
“Vestsjælland/Vestindien” on the other hand presents the history more neutrally and therefore rely on didactic means. The exhibition is clearly divided into three rooms where the main room tells the bond and interaction between the local community and the old Danish colonies. The second room is a video from an afrocaribbean artist that thereby provide a voice for the afrocaribbean society. The third room is dedicated to spark a debate about the colonial past. Both exhibitions have a clear division of “observatørhistorie” and “aktørhistorie”.
Later on we will discuss how the uses of history contribute to the communication of the exhibitions and also try to place the exhibitions in a wider historiography context. At last with terms like collective memory and collective identity we discuss the exhibitions in a modern perspective in comparison to the ongoing debate in the media.
We conclude that the communication and experience can contribute to the creation of new a historical consciousness, to form new memory communities and that new memory locations may arise.
|Uddannelser||Historie, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Bachelor|
|Udgivelsesdato||31 maj 2017|
|Vejledere||Tilde Strandbygaard Gabriel Jessen|
- Dansk Vestindien
- U.S. Virgin Islands
- Museal repræsentation