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Historian, David Olusoga joins Collections and Learning Curator, Melanie Hollis to discuss the function of history and the institutions that preserve it.

In recent years the decolonisation debate has been focused on museums and public statues. Yet demands for decolonisation and the restitution of objects acquired, is a part of a far broader debate. Britain is a nation afflicted by two simultaneous ailments - 'colonial melancholia' and 'colonial amnesia'. We feel diminished by the loss of empire, while having forgotten its critical details. Decolonisation is part of a new age of reckoning in which long-hidden histories are re-emerging into the light. The trauma of this moment is forcing us to ask a fundamental question - what is the function of history and the institutions that preserve it?

This will the the focus of a talk by David Olusoga, who will be joined by Collections and Learning Curator, Melanie Hollis. David is a British-Nigerian historian, writer, BAFTA Winning producer, presenter and Professor of Public History at the University of Manchester.

Melanie curates the Ipswich Museums World Cultures collections and was involved in Power of Stories. This incredible exhibition at Christchurch Mansion features iconic costumes from Marvel Studios’ Black Panther alongside museum objects. From folklore to fake news, the show explores how stories can be used to unite or divide us.

If you have a question for David or Melanie, email it to and we will do our best to pose as many as we can.

Can't join us on the day? This webinar will be available until 22 October 2021, but only to those who have booked.

TalkMuseums online

Colchester Castle

Castle Park, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1TJ

01206 282939


Opening times

Daily, 10am – 5pm (Sun from 11am)

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