22nd April 2021

Bruno Brulon Soares (brunobrulon@gmail.com) is a museologist and anthropologist based in Brazil, professor of museology at the Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro (UNIRIO) and professor in the Post-Graduate Program in Museology and Heritage (UNIRIO / MAST).

He coordinates the Laboratory of Experimental Museology at this university, working closely with community-based museums and with several projects at the grassroots level involving cultural heritage and museums. Currently he is chair of the ICOM International Committee for Museology (ICOFOM) and co-chair of the Standing Committee for the Museum Definition (ICOM Define). His research currently focuses on museums decolonisation, community action and the political uses of museums and cultural heritage. 

Lauran Bonilla-Merchav is adjunct professor of Art History in the School of Plastic Arts at the University of Costa Rica.

She is a lecturer, Doctor of art history, with national and international experience, researcher, curator and consultant of art, culture, museums and heritage. She teaches humanities and cultural tourism courses at the National University of Costa Rica. She has published on modern and contemporary Costa Rican art, as well as on topics of museology. She is treasurer of the Costa Rican Committee of the International Council of Museums (ICOM Costa Rica, having served as chair from 2013-2019), as well as treasurer of the Regional Alliance of ICOM LAC (Latin America and the Caribbean). She also currently co-chairs the ICOM Standing Committee for the Museum Definition, which is undertaking a participatory process of consultation to reach a proposal for the new museum definition in 2022. 

Henry McGhie has a background as an ecologist, museum curator and senior manager

Having worked as a field ornithologist, he moved into museums and became increasingly interested in the potential of museums to support sustainable development agendas. He previously worked at Manchester Museum (University of Manchester) as Head of Collections and Curator of Zoology, where he led on activity relating to sustainability, academic development, and partnerships linked to sustainable development. Since 2016, he has been working to connect museums more generally with the Paris Climate Change Agreement, through working with the United Nations (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change). He has focused on exploring how museums can contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. This has involved arranging conferences and workshops, and making submissions to political inquiries. He led a submission to the Talanoa Dialogue ahead of COP24, on museums as key sites to promote climate change education, research and partnerships. 
In 2018, he was involved in getting ‘museums’ recognised as key sites for public education and public participation in the Workplan for the Paris Climate Agreement, at the United Nations, and in 2019 was involved in the review of the Doha Work Programme to help accelerate climate change education and public participation worldwide. He has been invited to speak at the United Nations on three occasions on museums and climate change education and public participation. 
Henry set up Curating Tomorrow in 2019 to support museums and similar organisations to contribute more effectively to sustainability, the SDGs, climate action and biodiversity conservation. He is a member of the ICOM Working Group on Sustainability, IUCN Commission on Education and Communication, and UNFCCC Education, Communication and Outreach Stakeholders. He is currently working on the redevelopment of the Whitaker Museum (Lancashire), as the consultant to Our Collections Matter (a project initiated by ICCROM on collections and the SDGs) and as a member of the organising team of Reimagining Museums for Climate Action, led by Prof Rodney Harrison, leading to an exhibition at Glasgow Science Centre ahead of and during COP26. He is the author of one book on the history of ornithology, co-editor of two books on climate change communication, and of many articles and book chapters on sustainable development themes.

23rd April 2021

Awhina Tamarapa is a Māori curator, writer and descendant of Ngāti Kahungunu and Ngāti Ruanui tribes from Aotearoa NZ.

She is involved in the Museum and Heritage Studies programme at Victoria University, Wellington as a teaching fellow and currently a PhD student.  She holds a Master of Arts in Museum Studies from Massey University, a Bachelor of Māori Laws and Philosophy from Te Wānanga o Raukawa, Ōtaki, and a Bachelor of Arts from Victoria University of Wellington, majoring in Anthropology. She is an experienced former Curator Māori at Te Papa and editor of Whatu Kākahu: Māori Cloaks (2011, 2019) published by Te Papa Press. 

Professor Conal McCarthy is Director of the Museum & Heritage Studies programme at the Stout Research Centre, Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand.

He has published widely on museum history, theory and practice, including the books Exhibiting Māori (2007), Museums and Maori (2011), and Museum Practice (2015), volume 2 of The International Handbooks of Museum Studies (Wiley Blackwell). In 2017 Conal was one of the authors of Collecting, ordering, governing: Anthropology, museums and government (Duke University Press), and a co-editor of a volume of essays in memory of Jonathan Mane-Wheoki (Victoria University Press). In 2018 he published the history of Te Papa (Te Papa Press), and in 2019 Curatopia: Museums and the future of research (co-edited with Philipp Schorch, Manchester University Press). He is alo the co-general editor of the Berghahn journal Museum Worlds: Advances in Research. Among his current research projects is the history of museum visitation in Australia and New Zealand, an international symposium on museums and archives, and a Marsden funded project led by Professor Dame Anne Salmond ‘Te Ao Hou: Transforming worlds in New Zealand 1900-1950’. His next books are a comparative analysis of Indigenous Museology in Australia and Aotearoa for Routledge, and for Nebraska University Press a study of the transformation of museum anthropology in the 1920-30s by the Young Maori Party led by lawyer, politician and ‘home-grown’ anthropologist Sir Āpirana Ngata. 

Rolando Vázquez is Associate Professor of Sociology at University College Roosevelt and Cluster Chair at the University College Utrecht, both at the University of Utrecht.

 He is the author of Vistas of Modernity: Decolonial aesthesis and the End of the Contemporary (Mondriaan Fund, 2020). Together with Walter Mignolo, he founded and co-directs since 2010 the annual Middelburg Decolonial Summer School, now located at the Van Abbemuseum for the last eleven years. He co-authored the report of the Diversity Commission of the University of Amsterdam in 2016 under the direction of Gloria Wekker. Through his work, he seeks to decolonise cultural and educational institutions beyond the dominant frameworks of contemporaneity, heteronormativity and coloniality.

Wayne Modest is the Director of Content for the National Museum of Worldcultures and the Wereldmuseum, Rotterdam and head of the Research Center of Material Culture.

He is also professor of Material Culture and Critical Heritage Studies (by special appointment) in the faculty of humanities at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam (VU). Modest was previously, head of the curatorial department at the Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam; Keeper of Anthropology at the Horniman Museum in London, and Director of the Museums of History and Ethnography in Kingston, Jamaica. 

He has held visiting scholar positions at the Yale Centre for British Art, Yale University and the School for Museums Studies, New York University. Wayne Modest’s work is driven by a concern for more historically contingent ways of understanding the present, especially in relation to material culture/museum collections. His research interests include issues of belonging and displacement; material mobilities; histories of (ethnographic) collecting and exhibitionary practices; difficult/contested heritage (with a special focus on slavery, colonialism and post-colonialism); Caribbean Thought. More recently Modest has been researching and publishing on heritage and citizenship in Europe with special attention for urban life, and on ethnographic museums and questions of redress/repair. 

Alissandra Cummins GCM, B.A. (Hons.), M.A., FMA is Director of the Barbados Museum & Historical Society

Alissandra Cummins is an art historian who focuses on the visual culture of the Caribbean from 18th to mid 20th centuries, with a special interest in the work of Agostino Brunias and black portraiture in West Indian art. She is the Chairperson of the Barbados National Art Gallery and also serves as occasional lecturer for the University of the West Indies’(UWI). Most recently she has served as the UWI’s Principal Investigator in an international consortium, EU-LAC-MUSEUMS examining Museums and Community: Concepts, Experiences, and Sustainability in Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean (2016-2020).  

Ms. Cummins has served in a number of key positions within the international relations, museum and heritage fields including: Founding President of the Museums Association of the Caribbean, Chairperson of the Executive Board of UNESCO and President of the Executive Council of the International Council of Museums (ICOM), and Editor in Chief of the International Journal of Intangible Heritage (www.ijih.org). She is currently the Vice President of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, as well as a member of the Advisory Board of the International Network of the Slave Route Project, and a member of the Advisory Board of the Rijksmuseum’s Slavery in the Netherland’s Exhibition.  

She is a member of the International Association of Art Critics, amongst other entities. She has played an instrumental role in developing new knowledge about both colonial, pioneering and contemporary artists in the Caribbean, as well as on the development of the region’s museums, artistic and cultural heritage. 

Heather Cateau is a senior lecturer in Caribbean History at the University of the West Indies’ St. Augustine Campus and the current Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Education.

She has held the positions of Head of the History Department and University Dean. Her research focus has led to a revisionary approach to plantation and enslavement systems in the Caribbean.  Her publications include: Turning Tides Caribbean Intersections in the Americas and Beyond co-edited with Milla Riggio; Beyond Tradition, Reinterpreting the Caribbean Historical Experience co-edited with Rita Pemberton, The Caribbean in the Atlantic World co-authored with John Campbell and Capitalism and Slavery Fifty Years Later co-edited with Selwyn Carrington. She has held Visiting Fellowships at the University of Iowa and the University of Cambridge.  She is the current President of the Association of Caribbean Historians and Chair of the Trinidad and Tobago Reparations Committee. She has also been part of several international research and technical teams. Her interest in Museology has led to the formation of a steering committee to advance Museum Studies at the University of the West Indies.  She has also been a member of the Board of the National Museum and Art Gallery of Trinidad and Tobago.