And these conflicts have still not been resolved. Racism, homophobia, transphobia, and sexism are all still huge problems in US society (and all over the world). The Equal Rights Act still hasn’t been passed, African Americans continue to face racism on a systemic and institutional level, Native Americans are still fighting for their rights and access to land, healthcare, and education. This has really come out full force again recent years, such as through Black Lives Matter, the activism surrounding the threat to abortion rights, and the protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline and on Mauna Kea in Hawaiʻi against the construction of the TMT Telescope. Looking back at the 1960s and 1970s in the US can be a learning experience in terms of what to do and what not to do.
C&: In Germany, Museum Ludwig is a pioneer when it comes to critical and honest examinations of its collection. Yet relative to other countries, there is still much work to be done. What are the biggest challenges you are currently facing?
JM: I think the challenge lies in having and continuing to have these discussions. They demand not only a critical examination of the museum and its history, but also a lot from you personally: you have to be willing to question yourself, what you know or think you know, and be open to criticism and learning from others. It also goes beyond curatorial work or research – it’s also about how we work together as a team in the museum. That can be hard, but it’s something that everyone at the museum is committed to. It can be challenging but it’s also very rewarding. You watch yourself and others grow.