Museums as places for intercultural dialogue: selected practices from Europe

For many years now, scholars, museologists, and members of source communities have been debating the contemporary relevancy of ethnographic collections and their appropriate use given their nineteenth century origins and association with Western colonialism. In the thirty pilot projects carried out in the framework of MAP for ID ... many innovative and unconventional ways participants are breathing new life into these and other types of collections and museums.

MAP for ID’s focus on working with immigrant and minority communities to facilitate more harmonious and just integration addresses a question of great social concern not only within European societies but also in the United States.

That is: How do we go beyond being multicultural societies to being ‘intercultural societies where a plurality of cultures cooperates in dialogue and in shared responsibility.

MAP for ID exemplifies the ongoing trend within the international museum community to democratize museums and make them more accessible to wider audiences, socially relevant, and responsive to their publics’ changing needs and interests. The initiative underscores the International Council of Museums’ definition of a museum as an institution ‘in the service of society and its development.’ It is one thing, however, to accept this axiom and quite another to put it into actual practice. The MAP for ID projects provide us with concrete models of how to utilise the many resources of museums, artistic and cultural organisations to serve contemporary social needs and interests.

Author
Edited by Simona Bodo, Kirsten Gibbs, Margherita Sani
Language
English
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