In 2024, together with a number of partners, we plan to publish a new guide to decolonisation with a focus on Ukraine. This will be the first guidebook developed specifically for museums and cultural heritage institutions in Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and around the world.

Developed and tested in collaboration with a range of international partners and subject experts, the guide will include case studies and examples of how curators can be more effective in cataloguing, labelling, and contextualising Ukrainian history and heritage. 

The guide will act as a tool for specialists and non-specialists allowing them to more accurately identify and describe cultural heritage from Ukraine. It will also help promote wider understanding of historical efforts, by imperial powers, to subjugate Ukrainian history and heritage. 

The guidance will offer practical solutions to the key questions:

  • How do we identify Ukrainian cultural heritage?
  • How do we accurately assign location information to cultural heritage items in situations of historically changing state borders? 
  • How do we promote appropriate language, terminology and labelling? 
  • How do we fairly represent contested heritage? 

The project is being developed through an international partnership project, led by the Ukrainian Institute and developed in collaboration with the Museums Association (MA), the United Kingdom and Ukraine National Committees of the International Council of Museums (ICOM UK, ICOM Ukraine), and supported by the British Council.

The new guide builds on the work of the Museum Association’s ground-breaking publication 'Supporting Decolonisation in Museums’ (2021) which developed extensive resources to address questions about how British imperial and colonial history is represented in museums. This new project will extend that work, exploring how to approach similar themes and problems in the context of Ukraine and Wider Europe.

The guide will evolve from a series of workshops, focus groups and independent testing and will be published in digital format. It will be completed by summer 2024 and available to download free of charge.

Keep an eye on our social media for news on the development of this guide and to find out how you can contribute to the initiative.