Exhibiting Livingstone: A life and legacy on display - NMS Research Repository
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Journal article

Exhibiting Livingstone: A life and legacy on display

9 September 2013

Abstract

The paper combines a biographical and a geographical perspective to construct an auto-critique of a commemorative exhibition as a museological event. Taking as its primary focus the bicentenary exhibition staged in the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh in 2012–2013, it situates an autobiographical exploration of the process of collaboration involved in exhibiting Livingstone within broader contexts provided by recent scholarship in critical museology, commemoration and nationalism. Aspects of the production and consumption of the exhibition are examined, the latter through an analysis of visitor comments. In addition, the Scottish museological commemoration of the 200th anniversary of his birth is placed in historical context through reflections on past and future commemorations of Livingstone. The Scottish bicentennial exhibition is compared and contrasted with the centennial exhibition in Edinburgh. An upcoming Livingstone bicentenary exhibition in Chichiri Museum is also considered in the context of Livingstone's international legacy, particularly in its agency in acting as a fulcrum and a focus for museological engagements between Scotland and Malawi.

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