Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 77–96 | Cite as

‘Such endings that are not over’: The slave trade, Social Dreaming and affect in a museum

  • Julian Manley
  • Myna Trustram
Original Article


The paper explores Social Dreaming (SD) as a method for understanding the affective responses to one of the exhibitions that marked the bicentenary of the 1807 Act that abolished the British slave trade, Breaking the Chains: The Fight to End Slavery, at the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum (BECM) in Bristol. It asks whether SD can serve the evolving purposes and mission of museums and their role in society. The theory and practice of SD is described and findings are interpreted from a psychosocial and Deleuzian perspective. Finally the value and potential of SD is discussed as a process for attending to audience reactions to disturbing exhibitions.


museum social dreaming affect slavery psychosocial 


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychosocial Research Unit, School of Social Work, Care and CommunityUniversity of Central LancashirePrestonUK
  2. 2.Manchester School of ArtManchester Metropolitan UniversityManchesterUK

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