Contested Representations : Revisiting Into the Heart of Africa
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The controversy surrounding the significant "Into the Heart of Africa" exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum in Canada is explored in this compelling and analytical text. The exhibit has become an international, controversial touchstone for issues surrounding the politics of visual representation, such as the challenges to curatorial and ethnographic authority in multicultural and postcolonial contexts. Asking why the museum's exhibit failed so many people, the author examines such issues as institutional politics, the broad political and intellectual climate surrounding museums, the legacies of colonialism and traditions of representation of Africa, and the politics of irony. By drawing upon anthropological and cultural criticism, the book offers a unique account of the ways in which an ambiguous exhibit about colonialism became the site of an expansiveInto the Heart of Africa."