Denmark’s museums are ‘too white’, artists claim — Analysis
Denmark’s public broadcaster has been accused of promoting a “wokeness on steroids” agenda, after featuring artists who criticized the excessive “whiteness” and lack of ethnic diversity in the country’s art museums.
The non-Danish-origin artists who participated in a Danish Radio (DR) documentary titled ‘Rebellion at the Academy’ this week slammed both the management and the artists who exhibit at these museums, noting how even the walls in such institutes are white.
“We only get one story told. We get a story of white men about white men for white men,”Artist Ihsan Ihsan was a student at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. He complained about the channel. He also said that some of the people responsible needed to be replaced. “relinquish their positions of power.”
Ihsan’s comments were supported by fellow artist Dina El Kaisy Friemuth, who graduated from the same academy. The channel was told by her how she felt. “as a brown person, it feels strange to go into these white institutions, where everything is white.”
“And I don’t just mean that the people who work there are white. All things are white. Even their walls.”
Meanwhile, the Organization of Danish Museums (ODM), which represents 170 of the country’s museums and conservation centers, conceded that the artists had raised a “relevant issue.”
“The existing power structures, which can help to promote a limited art expression … we cannot say we are free from it. And even though many places are working with the problem, we are not on target yet,” ODM Director Nils Jensen said.
Jensen stated that although the organization encourages its member museums to foster diversity-related projects, Jensen acknowledged that this is not the case. “responsibility for a specific exhibition and programme planning lies with the museums themselves.”
Nonetheless, the artists’ concerns prompted ridicule online, with Danish social media users countering that such criticisms themselves were “racist”In a country with a majority of white people, it is strange and unnatural. Facebook user DR was criticized for promoting a “ridiculous wokeness on steroids” agenda.
“I missed the bit where the criticism becomes more concrete – which Danish museums are specifically for whites?” tweetedTroels Heeger, Berlingske journalist