Museums and Changing communities
In today’s opening session we heard interesting talks about museums and communities. We have created a professional museum network that can be alienating to local communities. There are gaps between the expectations between museum professionals and the communities. The misplaced expectations create a ground for misunderstanding intentions. It was strongly addressed that museum professionals should always work with the community to prevent unnecessary conflicts between museums and their audiences.
First speaker Áile Aikio from Sámi Museum Siida was telling us about the important issue of indigenous museums. The important question is: who has the right to tell the stories and create the narratives? Are the narratives told from the perspective of one’s own heritage or the heritage of the other? How would the indigenous people present their narratives opposed to cultural institutions run by non-indigenous museum professionals? Having the right to narrate one’s own heritage through the museum framework gives indigenous people the power to write their own history – contemplating on the image they are building of their own identities and perhaps to break the stereotypical image of indigenous culture and customs.
Throughout the session the same key issue was brought up: to have an open dialogue between museum professionals and the community each museum is working in. Reaching out to the community and creating reference groups around the issues makes museums matter more within the community they are built for.
Re-visit all the abstracts of this important session on #DIM2017 blog:
Guovtti ilmmi gaskkas. Balancing between two contested worlds. The challenges and benefits being an indigenous museum professional
Áile Aikio, Curator, Sámi Museum Siida, Anár/Inari, Finland
A difficult issue, or a difficult place? Adapting national museum policies to local museum realities
Maja Leonardsen Musum, Head of Department for Exhibitions and Education, Randsfjordmuseene, Oppland, Norway
The politics of diversity: excluding identities from the inclusivity movement
Antonio Rodriguez, Consultant, Traveling Exhibitions and International Programs, Strategic Partnerships and Alliances, Washington D.C., USA
Trembling walls. When the earthquake changes the identity of local museums
Valeria Pica, National Coordinator for Education and Mediation, Rome, Italy