Since the turn of the twenty-first century, a boom of museums focused on the Ainu cultural subject has emerged in both Russia and Japan. By conceptualizing museums as nonneutral and culturally embedded productions which attempt to convey knowledge of foreign spaces to home spaces, this thesis will analyze the ways in which various museum institutions in Russia and Japan, as well as those produced by Ainu activist groups, choose to tell certain stories about the disputed Kuril Island territories and the Ainu people, and to map those stories within the broader colonial framework of the Kuril Islands dispute and indigenous rights in Russia and Japan. The institutions discussed in this text are the Upopoy National Ainu Museum and Park, Japanese National Museum of Territory and Sovereignty, Russian Ethnographic Museum, Omsk Oblast Museum of Fine Art, Nibutani Ainu Cultural Museum, and Ureshipa Shirarika.
Sandall, Emily, "Museum Representations of Contested Spaces: The Kuril Islands" (2021). Slavic Studies Honors Papers. 5.
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The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.