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Matters of Care: In Conversation with Cissy Serrao
How can ethnographic and world cultures museums use their collections and galleries as spaces which create active discussion around the impact of humans on the planet, while also highlighting what long-term perspectives can tell us about sustainability for developing positive futures? The project TAKING CARE explores the connections between ethnographic collections and questions regarding the climate crisis, the Anthropocene and issues related to the afterlives of colonialism (https://takingcareproject.eu/).

In the fourth week of the Matters of Care: Museum futures in times of planetary precarity conference series, we talk with Cissy Serrao, director of Poakalani & Company, a quilting school and guild in Hawai’i. Cissy's family has created Hawaiian quilts for many generations. In conversation with Jeremy Uden and Misa Tamura, she shares her thoughts with us on the cultural significance and symbolism of quilting in Hawaiian culture, why the patterns and tradition are so important to keep alive, and how she teaches this exciting and beautiful art.

May 6, 2021 09:00 AM in London

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Cissy Serrao
Cissy Serrao is the director of Poakalani & Company, a quilting guild and school in Honolulu, Hawai’i. Established in 1988 by Cissy’s parents, Poakalani and John Serrao, the guild was founded to preserve and appreciate the cultural heritage of Hawai’i.
Jeremy Uden
Jeremy is Head of Conservation at the Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford. His research interests include understanding materials and construction techniques of museum collections using non-destructive scientific techniques. He also researches pesticide residues on museum objects, and whether these residues potentially have an impact on human health.
Misa Tamura
Misa is a Senior Conservator on the Talking Threads textile research project at the Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford. She is also Chair of the Institute of Conservation Ethnography working group.