SWICH- Sharing a world of inclusion, creativity and heritage
From: http://www.swich-project.eu. Italian partner: Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico «Luigi Pigorini», Rom (IT).
Within the frame of SWICH (Sharing a World of Inclusion, Creativity and Heritage), ten European partner museums reflect current issues concerning the role of ethnographic museums within an increasingly differentiated European society. The EU-funded project runs from November 2014 to September 2018 and is based on the results of two earlier projects, Ethnography Museums and World Cultures (RIME) and READ-ME I & II, which dealt with the future of ethnographic museums. The focus now lies on central concerns of visionary ethnographic museum practice within the context of a post-migrant society. The project will increase the role and visibility of Ethnography and World Cultures Museums as centres of cultural encounters, open discourse, creative innovation and knowledge production based on transnational and international collaborations.
Globalisation and migration contribute to a diversification of European society, thus multiple cultural identities increasingly characterize its citizens. Ethnographic museums have to reflect such new circumstances and re-contextualize their collections that catalogue the diversity of world cultures in the light of such global and transnational changes.
The partner museums work on strategies for a future-oriented museum practice in a series of conferences, workshops, residencies and cooperative exhibition formats. These settings serve as platform for the discussion of future collecting strategies, the inclusion of contemporary art and the relational role of ethnographic objects in the complex networks between originating societies and local diaspora-communities. Furthermore, the significance of new digital technologies as tools for cross-cultural cooperation are examined.
Artists, scholars and members of descendant communities are invited for residencies, this enables a focused exchange within the institutions. Finally the outcomes will be presented progressively on the project website, in public programs, in a number of publications and innovative collaborative exhibition formats. The project revolves around a series of interrelated key concepts: co-creativity and experimental exhibiting, relationality, cultural subjecthood, emotional citizenship and diaspora. We address ideas of relationality, as a way to explore how ethnographic museums and collections are sites around which relationships are built between the museums and its multiple stakeholders, both historical and contemporary. Such a relational approach takes into account co-creative knowledge production, experimental modes of engaging with the collections and the importance of contestation. Similarly it addresses issues of Europe’s diversity by looking at the intersecting diasporas of objects and peoples. A major concern for this present project is Digital Futures addressing the question of how new digital technologies are impacting notions of citizenship and (trans-national) belonging and how the different stakeholders experience our museums and relate to cultural heritage presented in them.
With these interrelated concerns, Museums of Ethnography and World Cultures will develope new practices to address the shifting citizenship regimes and practices that are emerging in Europe.
- To develop inclusive, democratic or co-creative practices requires rethinking ideas of expertise, access to and governance of knowledge as well as experimenting other work models to involve communities;
- to reconsider the relational role of ethnographic museums as nodes or ‘mediators’, to build relationships with ‘indigenous’, originating and diasporic communities;
- to develop new modes for public engagement especially with the museums’ collections, exhibitions and other programs. Bringing together different disciplines and methodologies for interpretation and display, including anthropologists, artists, designers, scholars/critical thinkers from Europe and overseas we want to develop strategies that can help to maximize the publics’ encounter with and experience in ethnographic museums;
-to reflect on the potential that new digital technology can offer us as museums.