Viral international movement denouncing sexual harassment and abuse of women
Many of the year’s most dramatic shifts in power within the artworld can be traced to a popular protest against its abuse. #MeToo went viral amidst accusations of abuse by movie mogul Harvey Weinstein in October 2017 and has, in the intervening 12 months, provided an umbrella beneath which diverse protests against sexual misconduct in the workplace have gathered. In the artworld, these include We Are Not Surprised, formed in the wake of claims against Artforum copublisher Knight Landesman, and anonymous handle @herdsceneand, which in October published allegations causing Riyas Komu, cofounder of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, to step down. Beyond high-profile resignations – and there were many more – #MeToo changed the prevailing climate in which curators are appointed, prizes awarded and exhibitions framed. While much more remains to be done, #MeToo’s most significant legacy may be to have pioneered a model by which power is made accountable to those excluded from it, whether by virtue of gender identity, ability, race, class or any number of other intersecting factors.