From May 14-28, 2022, ReConnect/ReCollect will host a two-week, paid residency at the University of Michigan that invites three visual artists– Maia Cruz Palileo, Francis Estrada, and Janna Añonuevo Langholz– to engage our Philippine collections, exploring the themes of archives, material history, decolonial praxis and restitution, and Filipino, Filipinx, and/or Indigenous identity. The artists, carefully selected among many talented applicants, will not be obliged to produce original work either during or after the residency period; rather, the residency shall serve as an opportunity to engage in conversations with the ReConnect team and the Filipino/Filipinx community around creative expression as inspired or provoked by the content of our collections in the encounter with them. As a collective of scholars and community members deeply interested in defining and exploring what it means to decolonize Philippine collections, we ourselves are in the midst of learning, reflecting on, and effecting change as a team. Together we will ponder the history of imperialism, collecting, and archives in a process that fosters openness and exploration. More to come.
ReConnect/ReCollect works in partnership with collections faculty at the University of Michigan’s Bentley Historical Library, Special Collections Research Center, and Museum of Anthropological Archaeology to create recommendations for representing Philippine collections held by various campus units.