The aim of this post is to invite conservators working with ethnographic collections and participating in the ICOM-CC Working Group on Ethnographic Collections’ activities to take part in the survey to determine the most appropriate name for this working group. The survey deadline is tomorrow, 19th of June at 5pm Ottawa time.

Background: At the ICOM CC Triennial Conference in 2008 Tharron Bloomfield (Maori) questioned the term ‘ethnographic’, quote: “The term ‘ethnographic’ conservator is at best old fashioned and inadequate, and at worst offensive and racist.  The word ethnographic suggests it is the culture of ‘them rather than us’, it also makes a judgment that one culture is superior to another.  Why are the clothing, weaponry and tools of my ancestors described as ethnographic, while the clothing, weaponry and tools of someone from a European culture not?  It is time for conservators who work with the cultural material to find another, more appropriate name for the material they work with.”

Since then the Name Change Committee has been discussing alternative names and now presents its recommendations.

The survey is open to all conservators, members and non members of ICOM, working with ethnographic collections. Please get in touch with the group’s Coordinator Carole Dignard by email Carole.Dignard_pch_gc_ca to have your name added to the Participants Contact List and she will send you a link to the survey.