Reading Material attempts a step towards decolonising the Tropenmuseum archive by offering speculative voices for archival accessions through literary pairings with textiles held in the collection. This approach aims to unlock some archival silences by offering speculative, rather than definitive, voices for archival accessions with limited or partial provenance. Multiple voices are sought in an attempt to loosen the archive from a blinkered quest for accuracy through a single definitive historical voice. It is an intentionally eclectic strategy that moves from selected textiles towards literary voices, and from selected literature back into the archive in a search for combinations which do not exclusively privilege either the textile or the text.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the Reading Material project is extended through 2023.