Ashild Brekke

Research Interests

My research interests are social inclusion, museums and social justice, the social agency of museums and participation. I’m looking into participatory and inclusive practices in Norwegian museums and archives, and I would explore further if and how these institutions can play an active democratic role in Norwegian society. In particular I would like to find out what sort of structural challenges (i.e socio-cultural) the institutions meet when trying to implement participatory and inclusive practices (both internally and in collaboration with new audiences).

Also, I’d like to find out how the use of seed money may affect the implementation of longer-term changes (i.e. towards a more inclusive and participatory practice) in an institution. Is this kind of project funding helpful or does it encourage short-termism, thus blocking the possibility of embedding inclusive and participatory practices in the institutions?

My supervisor is Dr. Viv Golding. I am currently a Distance Learning student based in Oslo, Norway.

Research background/academic experience

I’m a social antropologist, and have previously done research on young people/adolescent subcultures in an urban environment.


2006 – 2008 Museum studies, Oslo University College, Norway

2005 – 2006 Culture and heritage studies, University of Oslo, Norway

1998 MA in Social anthropology  (Cand.polit.), University of Bergen, Norway. (Thesis: Tomorrow’s grown-ups: teenagers and identity in a borough in Bergen)

Professional experience

I’m a senior adviser for the Arts Council Norway where I’ve been working since 2007 (previously the Norwegian Museum, Library and Archives council until merging with ACN in 2011). My main fields of responsibility are community participation, social inclusion, access and learning. From 1998 to 2007, I worked for Save the Children Norway, on issues such as community participation and child protection in emergencies. I was also part of the SCN emergency standby team during this period, working closely with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.


2014 “Coffee and Cigarettes: on trust-building processes between the Norwegian government and the Romani traveller Community”. In: Cairns, Sam, Alex Drago, Jenny Kidd, Amy Stearn and Miranda Stearn (eds.):  Challenging history in the Museum - International perspectives. Ashgate. London.

2013 “A question of trust – addressing historical injustices with Romani-people” . In: Golding, Viv and Wayne Modest (eds): Museums and Communities: New Approaches to Curation and Collaboration. Berg. London.

2010 Jo fleire kokkar, jo betre søl - medverknad i arkiv bibliotek og museum. ABM skrift nr. 62. Oslo. (Handbook on good participatory practices for museums, libraries and archives. NMLA)

2008 “Langsomt ble landet vårt eget - men kva skjedde sidan?”. In: Brekke, Åshild  Andrea, Merethe Frøyland og Kirsten Røvig Håberg (red.): Mange meninger om museene. ABM skrift, elektronisk utgåve. (Article presenting results from a sample survey on audience attitudes to a permanent exhibition at a large open air museum. Oslo University College/NMLA)

2008 Brekke,  Åshild Andrea, Merethe Frøyland og Kirsten Røvig Håberg (red.):  Mange meninger om museene. ABM skrift. (Electronic publication presenting various student surveys related to audience development. Oslo University College/NMLA)

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