Changing Museums: The Role of Funders and Decision-Makers

Since starting work in the museums sector in Germany, I have gained a new appreciation for the positive role funders and political decision-makers can and do make in the effort to change museums into meaningful social agents. They can be and regularly are valuable allies. So, although I share most museum professionals’ unease about the … Continue reading Changing Museums: The Role of Funders and Decision-Makers

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Thinking about Refugees, Heritage and Integration

  Next month, I will represent ICOMOS ICIP at the Voices of Culture Structured Dialogue on the Inclusion of Refugees and Migrants through Culture. In preparation, the organisers have posed three questions [1] for each participant network to respond to. As I collated the response from ICIP’s network, it’s been really interesting to revisit the … Continue reading Thinking about Refugees, Heritage and Integration

Interpretation and Integration: Where ‘education’ may become an obstacle.

The main research question for my PhD was whether or not interpretation delivered the public benefits of heritage as asserted in relevant legislation and policy. A key benefit is mutual understanding/social integration and cohesion, and sometimes also more directly, peace [1].   I’ve been thinking a lot about this particular benefit over recent months. In … Continue reading Interpretation and Integration: Where ‘education’ may become an obstacle.

The German MA’s Recommendations for Representing Migration

A couple of weeks ago, the German Museums Association (Deutscher Museumsbund) published recommendations for museums on how to include and represent migration and cultural diversity in their work. I was really impressed by two key concepts that frame the entire document: Migration is the Norm This is a fact that is evident when we burst … Continue reading The German MA’s Recommendations for Representing Migration

Social inclusion, integration: Too big a task for interpretation?

Two days ago, I was told by someone calling himself ‘an Englishman’ that I should ‘go back to my own country’.  This has left me deeply shaken on several levels, and it is also making me ask some uncomfortable questions about my own assertions and beliefs about the potential of interpretation [1]. Only a few … Continue reading Social inclusion, integration: Too big a task for interpretation?