PO.RO.S – Roman Portugal Museum in Sicó (Portugal)
The critical appreciation that a museum is a “bourgeois institution” began with the student movements in the 1960s but has widened throughout the late twentieth century and continues to this day. This calls to a set of questions surrounding the usefulness of the museum to the community, including the growing need for these cultural institutions to reach a wider audience than the scholar. The PO.RO.S Museum (Roman Portugal in Sicó) ̶ which at the end of 2018 won the Heritage in Motion Award in the category of Best European Multimedia Museum ̶ is the specific case that we intend to address regarding the museum as a means of communication. The mission of this museum is precisely to mediate and promote the Roman cultural heritage as a cultural space that acts as a facilitator of knowledge for all types of audiences. It is this ability to communicate with diverse audiences that explains that, unlike most European museums, the number of visitors has grown rapidly. This is, therefore, what we mean in our communication: to realize the relevance of the contemporary museums, as well as the key to the success of the new museology.
National Kyiv-Pechersk Historical Cultural Preserve (Ukraine)
The Newly Identica of Ukrainian Museums: Chasing Fashion or Fighting for Audiences’ Awareness
Visual language is an important component and effective tool of communication for museums, in conditions where museum institutions are forced to compete with the entertainment sphere and advanced social networks (Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, etc.). In addition, the successful museum identica is able to bring the museum beyond the so-called information bubbles inherent for Ukrainian reality.
Searching for new identicas of Ukrainian museums take place in the conditions of degradation of visual-aesthetic perception, in a toxic visual environment, full of discriminatory advertising, signs, street advertising, banners, lack of approved city design codes.
At the same time, the visual images and language of a museum should reflect the vision and mission formulated and articulated in the institution's strategic documents. Corporate identity (including logo and fonts) should reflect the conceptual foundations of the museum's activities, values, positioning of the institution in society, its philosophy and personality.
In Ukraine, museums often go the opposite way. The vast majority of state museum institutions do not have such documents as a strategy (as an exception, the cases of the State Museum of Natural History (Lviv) and Mystetskyi Arsenal (Kyiv) can be considered). In general, the key museum managing tool is the planning and reporting documentation and development plans for a year and 5 years, which is submitted by the applicant for the position of museum director during competitive selection. As a result, the new identica of Ukrainian museums is often the result of the work of a small group of people inside a museum staff, an initiative from the outside (from volunteer designers) or from within (administration’s direct order).
On the example of the museums in Kyiv, which over the last 5 years have updated/changed/created their visual language, we can consider different mechanisms and ways of developing identica. The involvement of sociological research methods (survey by questionnaire) gives an opportunity to answer the irritating question: whether the newly identica of the Ukrainian museums speaks to the visitor, whether the essence, philosophy and values (if expressed in visual language) of the institution are perceived/read, whether the images read by visitors are correlated with the meanings created by the corporate visual style makers?
Barbara Ewa Banasik
The Asia and Pacific Museum in Warsaw (Poland)
What Moves Us? How Can We Set Collections in Motion? Museum’s Collection Through the Young Artists’ Eyes
In the late 2020 The Asia and Pacific Museum will open its permanent exhibition. In the process of identifying the needs of our future audience we decided to create a project called MOTION. It was directed towards young people in order to find out how the people who grew up in multi-cultural Poland perceive cultures of Asia and Pacific.
We decided to open our collection to young artists and asked for their commentary in the form of artistic expression. We invited students from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw and they participated in a series of workshops, visited Museum’s magazines, worked with curators in order to choose one object that MOVED them or the one that they wanted to set IN MOTION. They created their own artworks and as a result we created the exhibition displaying the pairs – object from Museum’s and student’s artwork – and the connection between the two.
We engaged with our audience, our neighbours (the Academy), artists, young generation and as it resulted in a kind of commentary towards the collection and a teaser of it for the public as the exhibition MOTION is the last temporary exhibition before the opening of the permanent one. For the Museum it has been an amazing opportunity to see the objects through the eyes of the young generation and an inspiration for using the objects for exciting creativity in our visitors.
University of Split (Croatia)
What Museum for Contemporary “Cultural” Tourism?
In the last decades tourism has shown enormous growth on an international level. So called “cultural tourism” in especially on the rise. We could almost say that there is an overall obsession about travelling and discovering new cultures. By its definition the aim of cultural tourism is acquiring new knowledge and experience that meet the intellectual needs and individual growth of the traveller. The question should be raised whether cultural tourism is transforming into mass tourism and what are the consequences to sustainability of certain historical places and of its authentic historical and cultural values.
In accordance with these trends in growing “cultural tourism” museums are rapidly transforming its collections form “traditional” to “contemporary”- digitalized, simplified and interactive so they can be attractive and easily understandable to wider public. Even whole historical city centres are being transformed into an “open air” museum that function only during a tourist season.
This subject will be discussed on a few examples of historical cities on the Croatian coast and presentation of their heritage. These examples could be interesting as Croatian coastal cities are, just as most of the Mediterranean destinations, under the strong pressure of “cultural tourism” and its potentials just as its risks in environmental, cultural and social sense.
The Russian Museum of Ethnography (Russia)
Saint-Petersburg State University (Russia)
The Role of Museums in the Strategies on Governmental Support to Small Indigenous Peoples of Finno-Ugric Group in the North-Western Federal District of Russia
The present trends regarding the loss of identity and culture of small peoples arising from globalization call for governmental involvement in ensuring of their cultures. The potential for loss of cultural codes of peoples living in Russian Federation reaffirmes the need to support and develop ethnographic science and ethnographic centers. Major artefacts of traditional culture in the regions are concentrated in the local history museums. Consequently, they should be accorded the role of the core of cultural-touristic cluster.
Emerging ideas at the international and national levels that consider tourism as a strongest driver to restore, protect and promote indigenous cultures lent greater importance to the issue of interaction between tourism and museums. The local history museums are included in the programmes for development of tourism industry; in addition to preservation of heritage, museum directors’ responsibility is creating the conditions for an increase in visitors from other regions of Russia.
Although the state, community and private museums are legally separated, in practice the history of the formation of collection of indigenous cultural objects in museums, their ongoing operation highlight the blurring of the lines between these institutions.
The State programmes for the support of small indigenous peoples, the efforts of their еthnic and cultural associations, the involvement of lead museums and regional cultural institutions in the implementation of international assistance projects give reason to envision even more intense collaboration and common strategy on support to indigenous peoples.
The paper deals with the experience of the North-Western Federal District of Russia in the implementation of ideas of development and support of activities of Ethno-Cultural Centres for Finno-Ugric peoples, which combine the functions of museums with functions of folklore and craft centres.
Completed and planned projects of ethnocenters, museums and ethnoparks for Vepsians, Izhorians and Votics are analysed in the light of recommendations of the International Finno-Ugric Movement and particularities of museums of Finno-Ugric minorities culture and way of life.
Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art (Latvia)
Latvian Most Visited Museums as Agents for Social Inclusion: the Relevance of Museums’ Missions to their Actual Contribution
The debate of the social role of heritage institutions has risen the questions regarding social inclusion, representation and involvement of communities with the goal to strengthen the processes of sustainable development, intercultural dialog and social cohesion. One of late topicalities is the worldwide debate on new definition of what is good or relevant museum in 21st century. Although the social role of the museum has been discussed for decades, the limits of relevant and meaningful role for the museums in the process of strengthening the social inclusion in society is not obvious. Even more – regarding the role of museums as agents for social change the “lack of evaluation has helped to keep museums’ contribution invisible” (Sandell, 1998).
In this paper author will look at the missions, daily operations and evaluation of the nine most visited museums in Latvia (reaching 50% of total visits in 150 state recognised museums in 2017)1 regarding social inclusion within the framework of general and non-specifically controlled legislative requirements in this area.
Most visited museums, having wider audience, can set an example for the sector in both (1) reduction of the physical barriers, using the universal design and thus achieving the same accessibility of the museum to everyone or in other words “on equal terms”2, and (2) thoughtful implementation of focused social interactions with vulnerable groups3, becoming from exclusive places “about something to being for somebody” (Weil, 1999).
As public funds are distributed among state recognised museums heavily relaying on museums’ own understanding of their social mission in society, only internal museums’ urge for being an agent for social inclusion, which is driven by knowledge or interpretation of what social inclusion stands for, strategic decision by museum authority, individual interest of the employee, stakeholders or other museum specific motivators, is the actual driving force for Latvian most visited museums to become (or not) the agents for social inclusion.
1Latvijas muzeju nozīme dažādām sabiedrības mērķgrupām: muzeju un sabiedrības mijiedarbība. Pētījuma rezultātu ziņojums, Latvijas kultūras akadēmija, 2018, p.33
2The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006) recognised the right of people with a disability to take part “on equal terms” in cultural life (article 30).
3The discourses of EU institutions define vulnerable groups as groups that experience a higher risk of poverty, discrimination and social exclusion than the general population. Vulnerable social groups are following: ethnic minorities, immigrants, persons with reduced mobility, persons with sensory impairment, the homeless, LGBTQ people, drug users, the elderly, the unemployed, etc. This variability indicates that vulnerable groups are not vulnerable per se, but that vulnerability is the result of a long‐lasting construction of the foreign and different as the symbolic “Other”. The inclusive museum ‐ Challenges and Solutions, State of the Art and Perspectives Proceedings of the 1st and 2nd COME‐IN!‐Thematic Conferences (9th November 2017 in Udine / Italy and 26th June 2018 in Erfurt / Germany)
Elvira Bloma, Vika Eksta
The Rainis and Aspazija Museum, Association of Memorial Museums (Latvia)
A Museum Reaching Out – Emoji Poetry at Rainis and Aspazija House, Latvia
I will present examples of successful and innovative projects at Rainis and Aspazija House, that combine cultural heritage and modern art and literature in our museum, pointing out the main objectives and conclusions:
1. Cooperation with Latvian Academy of Art, artist Maija Kurševa and her students. Art based on Aspazijas' poetry deconstructions, a personal perspective, exhibition "Pyre", 2017. Seven young artists with seven young poets - poetry collection and exhibition "How to Overcome Itch in The Skull", 2018.
2. Cooperation with online literary magazine and publishing house "Satori", a paraphrase poetry collection "Rains and Aspazija.
Reloaded", based on Rainis and Aspazija poetry, involving sixteen contemporary Latvian poets, who were invited to remake the poetry of both classics, 2018.
3. Exhibition - workshop - experiment "Emoji Poetry", investigating the boundaries of language and raising attention to visual poetry.
Announcing an Open Call and awarding the best emoji poems submitted, watching how schools incorporate emoji poetry tasks into their agenda.
Héctor Valverde Martínez
National Autonomous University of Mexico (Mexico)
Museums for a Digital Generation
Given the scene that was raised from ICOM for the redefinition of the Museum concept, a series of questions arise about the relevance of what the Museum means as an Institution for contemporary societies, and, above all, for a mediated generation that seems to interact more and more instantaneously through multiple digital devices for the development of their daily activities, as well as access to information and, therefore, to knowledge.
Where is the museum in this equation? On the horizon of the digital communication processes, two scenarios are glimpsed: One where museums become obsolete spaces close to disappearing, as it is easier to acquire new knowledge through digital mass media. And the other, that in the face of despair of becoming digital spaces, they become entertainment centers lacking of a value beyond visual spectacularity.
The relationship that museums are beginning to keep with their visitors is more aesthetical and for entertainment purposes than social or even educational, so the museum began to focus its operating logic on satisfying the demands of visitors who are looking for entertainment, so that the museum relevance is relegated to economic metrics, that is, the ability they have to attract large masses of people who do not establish a real relationship with the museum or its contents but that mean a blockbuster exhibition.
From a hermeneutical perspective, the main digital tools present in Mexican museums will be analyzed to identify the role that museums - such as communication devices - have for a digital generation, as well as identify what could be the right balance in the process of communication through digital media to make museums socially relevant.
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Athique, A. (2013). Digital Media and Society: An Introduction. Cambridge, UK, Polity Press
Ávila, Manjarrez, Sabido & Valverde. (2018). Towards a Poetic of the needs. In ICOFOM Study Series, vol. 46 — 2018, 308-312
Cerquetti, M. (2016). More is better! Current issues and challenges for museum audience development: a literature review. ENCATC JOURNAL OF CULTURAL MANAGEMENT & POLICY, Vol. 6, Issue 1, 2016, -
Darley, A. (2002). Cultura visual digital. Espectáculo y nuevos géneros en los medios de comunicación, Paidós Comunicación
Gándara Vázquez, M. (2013). La narrativa y la divulgación significativa del patrimonio en sitios arqueológicos y museos. En Gaceta de Museos, Núm 54: Museografía. (17-23). Ciudad de México. INAH
Jiménez-Blanco, M. (2014). Una historia del Museo en Nueve Conceptos. Cátedra. Madrid
Vackimes, S. El museo contemporáneo: ¿simetría de sustancia y accidente?, Revista M Museos de México y el Mundo. CONACULTA, México, Vol. 1, Núm. 3, Otoño 2005:16-22
Valverde, H. (2019). El Mito del Museo moderno en las sociedades del siglo XXI. In The Future of Tradition in Museology. Materials for a discusión. Papers from the ICOFOM 42nd symposium held in Kyoto (Japan), 1-7 September 2019, 164 – 168
Lidija Mustedanagić, Tijana Stanković Pešterac, Natalija Vulikić
Museum of Vojvodina Novi Sad (Serbia)
Challenges of the Digitalization in the Development of Museums – Case Study Museum of Vojvodina Novi Sad
In order to remain relevant, museum collections have to be more open, not only through the exhibitions and catalogues, but also through digital databases. Nowadays, a creation of databases in the context of cultural heritage protection is considered to be a necessity. Their visibility is thoroughly framed and secured by the established boundaries of scientific disciplines. The collection accessibility is also assumed as an act of demystification. It is important to view the museum treasures, not only as a possession of the privileged, but as a possession of every citizen. The process of digitilization was recognised as inevitable in the Serbian museums too. With it, many Serbian curators gained a clearer picture of the low degree of the accessibility of their collections. The Museum of Vojvodina developed the existing museum software. The database can be searched through the website of the Museum, through the Timus application within the permanent exhibition, and through the Browser of cultural heritage, which was created by the Ministry of Culture and Information. Since large financial assets have to be collected to renovate the permanent exhibition, information and communications technology (ICT) has been used also in the domain of presentation of the exhibited artefacts in the purpose of its modernisation. With the 45-years experience of the museum education, the experts created an Augmented Reality application, Museum e-KnowAll, designed for children ages 4–6. The multimedia guide Cultural Places in five languages was implemented through the Exhibition. Aiming towards the visitors who like to play the Escape Room games, the project Escape Museum: the Secret of Immortality has been realized as a well-designed game in a museum setting, created on the basis of stories and objects from the past in order to animate the players to become more familiar with the exhibits of the Museum.
Vytautas Magnus University (Lithuania)
New Technology Role in the Process of Transformation in the Museums
New technology application in the museums, which began in XX. already greatly influenced changes that are happening in the museums. Despite the fact, that new technologies can enrich the visit or it can fulfil the expectations of the person, it might as well be a challenging task to adapt the created devices justified by the foundation of the new technologies. Moreover, it should be noted that art museums and galleries encounter an additional task to present static and often difficult to understand at first sight works of art in an interesting fashion.
At the beginning of this presentation’s paperwork, aspects such as the most detectable appliances in the museum, which stimulates with the support of the new technologies: interactive terminals, immersive environment, handheld guides - are presented. Following the text consecutively, strategic steps that the museums should take into account, in pursuance of excellent integration of the devices, are reviewed. The second part of the presentation introduces with the accomplished research, that was investigated in different art museums of Lithuania (Lithuanian Art museum, National M. K. Čiurlionis Art Museum, MO museum), furthermore, in the study it discusses about the integration in many art museums of one of the most popular technological apparatus – handheld guide. The examination data were collected by visiting the art museums, which were presented earlier, performing interviews with the employees of the museums and by implementing the focus groups. Informative research methods aided to collect a large amount of information as well as supported to evaluate the integration of hand and the impact of the museum’s attractiveness broadening, looking to it from different perceptions.
Both, scientific literature, which was used to prepare the presentation and the completed analysis, reveals that the new technologies can be used as a tool, in order to support the museums to stay relevant and tempting to nowadays visitors. Nevertheless, the integration of the devices should be a systematic and a measured process. Only in such a case, the new technologies will help to correspond to a Kenneth Hudson phrase: “A good museum is one which I come out feeling better than when I went in”.
Patoo Cusripituck, Jitjayang Yamabhai, Teerawan Mingbualuang
Mahidol University (Thailand)
Museum of Cultural Anthropology: a Meeting Point between Good Deeds and
The Museum of Cultural Anthropology (MCA), a small museum at RILCA, Mahidol University exists for a better understanding of the cultural practices of ethnic groups in Thailand. Fundraising for the survival of the museum is a big challenge. MCA needs to raise funds of all kinds, including currency capital, social capital, and intellectual capital from “philanthropists” who can be categorised into three groups, namely benefactors, sponsors and, and investors. Benefactors are those who are willing to give without expecting anything in return, while sponsors are people who give but expect a yield in some form equivalent to what they have provided. Investors are those people who expect to profit in some way. MCA delivers three core values - volunteerism, engagement, and good deeds to encourage and satisfy the needs and expectations of all contributors. The museum creates a space for them to be able to be seen as charitable, benevolent and wishing to do something good for the benefit of society and humankind as a whole - using their own personal capital. MCA is trying to connect with these particular target groups through interpersonal communication by building ymmetric and close relations between capital providers and the community. Museums are meeting points – a juncture for philanthropists to engage, interact and share with the communities they so generously benefit. The ultimate goal is to create an empathetic society of diverse cultures that supports and maintains itself harmoniously.
Palanga Amber Museum Collection, Lithuanian Art Museum (Lithuania)
Development of the Communication Field. The Case of the LAM Palanga Amber Museum
In the high-tech age, museums face new challenges. How to stay attractive to visitors? How operate in a competitive field on an equal partner basis to deliver an attractive leisure product? But it is equally important to preserve the fundamental values of museology. In my opinion, these are the main questions that all museums raise in order to achieve sustainable growth and relevance.
Palanga Amber Museum (the branch of National Lithuanian Art Museum (LAM)) was established near the seashore, in the former mansion of counts Tyszkiewicz in August 3rd of 1963. For over 55 years Amber museum is developing its field as an institution accumulating amber exhibits, also as a centre for amber research and dissemination of the information. Every year about 100 000 visitors visit Palanga amber museum.
On the 24th of April 2015 museum after last renovation opened its doors for the visitors where modern exhibition of amber on the 2nd and restored historical interiors on the 1st floor were represented. For a long time, not all museum spaces were fully adapted for the convenience of visitors. After the reconstruction in 2011-2015, the spaces of museum were adapted to modern cultural tourism, including new expositions; the Centre of the Baltic State cultural communication and art events; a visitor service terminal and a conference room.
Basement level spaces have been expanded, furnished and adapted for educational activities. A variety of educational programs for students, families, people with visual and mental disabilities are promoted through social media and introduced through directly work with the schools.
In the field of researching and storing collections, the Palanga Amber Museum is beginning to work on 3D digitization of amber articles, while facing the challenge of finding a solution for creating digital images for transparent amber.
The museum hosts exhibitions, cultural meetings, conferences and seminars, classical music concerts which also attract interested visitors. For more than thirty years there has been a series of concerts called “Midnight Serenades” on the mansion's terrace.
Now you can travel around the Palanga Amber Museum using your smartphone or tablet, not only when you are inside the museum but also at home. Just download a mobile application “izi.TRAVEL” and start your audioguide tour at Palanga Amber Museum!1 But it's always better to feel everything yourself.
1“izi.TRAVEL” mobile application. A user guide http://old.ldm.lt/PGM/izitravel_en.htm; For more information - http://www.pgm.lt/Inf_lankytojui/titulinis_en.htm
Museum of Vojvodina Novi Sad (Serbia)
Dialogue with the Audience in the Regional Museum
Research and exhibition projects in a complex regional museum such as the Museum of Vojvodina are usually organized by staff of a certain department, and projects that are looking beyond boundaries of one discipline are much more exceptional. However, some recent exhibitions were created as a product of team work of curators with different proffesional fields of research (ethnology, archaeology, history, art history, pedagogy). At the same time, these interdisciplinary projects were also collaborative projects that included work with members of communities in order to find the best way to define and present their heritage. These projects led us to more transparent museum practices, but also faced us with myths that kept us from seeing and solving certain problems.
This presentation will focus on the examples from the ethnological museum practice which represent different approaches to minority cultures. This kind of research and interpretative practices develop much more complex and multifaceted relationships between museum and audience. What are the effects of these approaches from the point of view of community members? What have we learned about this kind of communication processes, and what values and meanings were the stumbling blocks? The presentation will examine how museum researchers and curators manage to explore new ways of connecting with the audience and collaborators in the conditions of the outdated legal framework and no clear ethical guidelines in dealing with sensitive historical facts and narratives.