Talks & PanelsFree

Decolonial futures for ancestral remains in Scotland

In Edinburgh University’s Anatomical Museum, there are nearly 1700 ancestral remains displaced from over 55 countries across the world. Often former students stole these people from burial grounds and battlefields and sent them to anatomy professors in Scotland.  Taken illicitly, their descendants are often unaware that their ancestors still reside here.

This panel brings together curators and museum researchers to discuss what it means for academic institutions to be accountable to these colonial legacies. The panellists will discuss the importance of proactive anti-colonial work for ancestral remains in Scotland, and reflect on caring and humanising approaches in seeking reparative justice. In particular, this discussion will focus on ethical ways of knowledge-sharing and how to make this sensitive knowledge visible.

The panel will reflect on the importance of sharing provenance (i.e. information about where these people came from and how they got to Edinburgh) in ways that are accessible and accountable to descendant communities.

Book Now