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"Cultural heritage and history are among the most powerful political tools available" - Nordic Academic Press on its book "Disrupting Homogeneity" co-authored by Katherine Hauptman.
Katherine Hauptman not only has a solid and genuinely impressive track record, including a doctorate in archaeology and the chairmanship of the Swedish ICOM, Sweden's national association within the International Council of Museums. She also has all the "right" opinions for a top job in the Swedish cultural sector. Now she will be the new director of the History Museum.
The History Museum is one of Sweden's largest museums with collections containing more than ten million objects. Every year, tens of thousands of visitors from Sweden and the rest of the world come to the museum to see "one of the world's largest Viking exhibitions, Sweden's finest gold and silver treasures, unparalleled medieval art and unique finds from one of the most violent battles in Swedish history - the Battle of Gotland in 1361."
My mission is to develop the activities, for example by highlighting specific stories and topics that are not as well known but so important for understanding Swedish history.
In Hauptman's background we find her role as project manager for JÄMUS, the Swedish National Historical Museum's governmental assignment for equal representation in the museum sector.The project's final publication was published in 2014 Genusförbart, which Hauptman co-authored.
Genusförbart problematises that "diversity work on gender and LGBTQ issues" is sometimes met with "resistance" when the Ministry of Culture (MP) wants to impose its ideological world of thought on museum employees. Furthermore, the publication discusses how museums can enforce diversity and gender work in the different parts of their operations despite the resistance of their employees.
The new director of the Historical Museum is also co-author of the book Disrupting homogeneity, in which various authors in the cultural and heritage sector seek to challenge "ideas of cultural homogeneity". In the book, they ask what role cultural institutions play in creating a "more open" society "where everyone has a place".
The publisher Nordic Academic Press states in his description of the book that "cultural heritage and history are among the most powerful political tools available" (an opinion shared by the Green Party), and that this particular book shows how this political tool can be used to "liberate" us all from what they call "homogeneity shackles".
According to Nordic Academin Press, Hauptman and the other co-authors see this work as "a great responsibility" and that there are "enormous opportunities" for cultural institutions and other social actors to use our cultural heritage and history for political purposes.
Very simply put, museums are part of the collective memory of a society. So what you include in this collective memory is very important. Museums have the task of making visible and legitimising the values of society, different groups of people and their part in history.
According to Hauptman, museums have the task of "legitimising the values of society". Whether she is referring to the values of the average Swede or the values of the identity-political left is unclear, but I have my suspicions.
In an interview with Unesco from last year, Hauptman is asked whether museums do not take too much of a political stance and thus cannot be said to be independent.
To this she replies that it has not been considered a political position to stand up for what she calls "human rights" because in Sweden "for quite a few years there has been a consensus" in the cultural sector. But now in the past year, as more and more voices have begun to criticize the ideological norm that prevails in the cultural sector, Hauptman rightly notes "that museums have always been political and always will be."
The Historical Museum is part of the State Historical Museums, the agency that appointed Katherine Hauptman as director. The agency was established on 1 January 2018 and is headed by the head of the agency Maria Jansén together with a Board of Supervisors consisting of four persons, including the former Green Party member and now Social Democrat Seher Yilmaz, communications consultant and president of the Identity Policy The Justice Agency.
The Justice Agency acts with supposedly "good" pretences in its work for increased "equality" and "diversity", but in reality it is, as Jönköpings-Posten wrote about 2016, an organisation that "drives a political agenda".
The work of the Justice Agency is to lobby recruiters to appoint so-called "racialised" people and people with non-Nordic backgrounds to positions in the media, business, etc. Simply put, the organisation shares Mona Sahlin's (S)-branded and morally dubious view from 18 years ago that "if two equally qualified people apply for a job in a workplace with few immigrants, the one called Mohammed should get the job. It should count as a plus to have an ethnic background other than Swedish", as she stated in an interview in Göteborgs-Posten on 22 October 2000.
Another person who have a past on the board of the Justice Mediation that I wrote about just last week is Barakat Ghebrehawariat, who was recently elected to the National Museum's Board of Trustees. Two boards of trustees for two major museums. Two representatives with a background in the Fairness Commission. Things are going well for Justice Mediators.
This is no coincidence, of course, given that in 2015 the organisation initiated formal cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and was commissioned by the Minister of Culture herself, Alice Bah Kunhke (MP), to develop a list of the "right" people that the Minister of Culture could appoint to various boards and supervisory councils.
Barakat Ghebrehawariat was on the list. The last time he was on the list was in October 2017. another of the Justice Agency's lists with influencers who were not "very homogeneous", or as they clarify; "who are not young women with a Nordic background".
On the same order list for the Ministry of Culture we find the ever topical Alexandra Pascalidou but also Behrang Miri, better known as the guy who in 2012 coined the term Tintingate after he ordered a purge of Tinin books from the children's library Tiotretton at Kulturhuset in Stockholm because, according to him, the books had a "colonial perspective". He also ordered further purges of children's books with "homophobic or xenophobic content", but after the media storm, Kulturhuset decided to return the purged children's books.
Previously, the organization, as reported by News Today in 2015, "received 3.2 million SEK from the state Vinnova for a project called "The Justice Counter", but critics call it "The Race Counter" instead. The idea is to use a digital tool to investigate who gets a say in a newspaper article based on, for example, the race of the individual."
In the world of justice, people are divided into "homogeneous" and "non-homogeneous" groups. They talk about "us" and "them". It reduces individuals to their skin colour, ethnic background or sexual orientation. These are the ideological currents that now have the power to influence the activities and recruitment of several of the country's largest museums.
The future will tell if and how the new director of the History Museum, Katherine Hauptman, will work to "disrupt the homogeneity" of the History Museum's exhibitions.
Why do I pay attention to this kind of news?
Why can't I just spend time writing about folk dances, little frogs and historical events that took place hundreds of years ago?
Quite honestly, I would prefer to spend my time, and especially the time I spend on my work with Allmogenate everything else than daytime political drivel. A small part of my soul dies every time a politician opens his mouth and speaks.
But when clumsy politicians and special interests within the state see our cultural heritage and history as political tools to be "used" in building their perfect dream society, then it is the duty of every normal person to speak out.
The omission of good is the accomplishment of evil, as the old saying goes, and in this case it is being fulfilled in Sweden's tax-subsidised cultural sector.
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