Does Curation Make Us Less Critical?

Posted on  by bilqees.mohamed

After reading the article titled Curation as Storytelling, I learned the role that curating plays in influencing and affecting independent thought. The article presented many intriguing ideas one of which deems curators as playing an integral part in the economy and knowledge production. Before reading this article, I always considered the practice of curating as limited to artistic forms. This perception was quickly challenged by the articles position that stated that that stories don’t hold intrinsic value, and unshared stories are “basically like rubbish, lying around without any value” and it is the role of the curator to revive this story from the garbage bin and to give it value. This idea challenged me a lot. From a post-modern perspective, stories are integral to the way we challenge the worlds social and political construction. As curators, I found it interesting that are positioned in a unique way- that they aren’t completely rejecting the possibility of stories, but rather validating and making stories consumable. This troubled me in a way, because of the rejection of the values of stories that can exist without categorization. Also, the imposition of the curators’ belief systems, biases, suggests a power imbalance that impacts human agency, capacity to define the value of individual stories. At the same time, I wondered how much of the world has been curated for us and even when we think we are taking the most progressive and non-categorical stance/view/opinion- whether we are co-opted in the knowledge economy by vying for the validation that our stories will make change. And if change is part of the knowledge economy that is predetermined by standards of what change should look like and which change should occur. I hope to revisit these thoughts during my time with SERT.

-Bilqees

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