Cultural human boundaries: representing disability in portuguese museums

Research output: Working paper

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The inclusion of social minorities and marginalized groups in museums has gained prominence both in practices and contemporary international museological thinking, regarding issues of access, content and collaborative action. However, disabled people – although considered one of the largest social minorities in the world – remain underrepresented in most museum exhibitions and public programs. When they are present, they appear in derogatory contexts little aligned with the advances developed over the 21st century in the rights of equality and otherness of disabled people.
This paper explores some of the current issues in curatorial and interpretive
practice, addressing and problematizing the way how museums explore disability through its collections. Also, it will focuses on a post-doctoral project with the aim to analyse a set of disability-related objects from the DGPC museum’s collections. The potential of collections to foster new disabled people identities will be addressed, based on two main questions: “why disability representation matters?” and “why should museums explore disability representations?”.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLisboa
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)978-989-8492-85-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2023


  • Disability
  • Identity
  • Museums Discourses
  • Representation


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