In the spring of 2019 the Musée d’Orsay, in Paris, presented an exceptional collection of colonial art, titled Black Models: From Géricault to Matisse.1 The exhibition, consisting mainly of nineteenth-century portraits, attempted to humanize depictions of exoticism, racism, and colonial propaganda. The paintings did not show, or allow the viewer to imagine, their subjects engaged in the inhumane labor with which they were still, at that time, associated.2 The Black Models exhibition is an analogous representation of the colonial relationship that has plagued the social sciences for the last four centuries, which often has made invisible the work of local researchers from the Global South. These parallels are particularly evident in the unequal racial distribution of roles, and of vulnerability, in difficult research contexts. Such inequality of conditions has led to a universalist monologue monopolized by discourse from Global North researchers that is already pervading the social sciences with regards to post–Covid-19 scenarios…Read More

Published by SSRC in May 28, 2020

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