Cadernos de Sociomuseologia nº 38 (2010) : Special edition 22nd ICOM General Conference Shanghai 7th - 12th November 2010

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    Representing traumatic pasts at the District Six Museum
    (Edições Universitárias Lusófonas, 2010) Bennett, Bonita
    Using this metaphoric framework as a starting point, I would like to focus on the characteristics of the District Six Museum which extend its work beyond being that of representation (of traumatic memory). Representation signifies in some ways distance and separation, a telling of a story depicted for others. The work of the Museum is more akin to what could broadly speaking be described as ‘engagement’. Although this is word is much over-used, it nonetheless indicates more closely an embodied practice which invites personal insertion, empathy and emplacement. It includes a whole range of sense-making practices by those closest to the Museum’s story – the dispossessed ex-residents – who participate in the memorialisation practices of the Museum in both harmonious and dissonant ways. The architectural metaphor of this seminar is key to this approach, indicating a practice which is constructed and layered, fixed yet changeable. It speaks to a spectrum of activities related to the imperatives to develop as well as conserve – elements which are central to the Museum’s work in relation to the process of return and restitution. To signify the unfinished business of representation, the permanent exhibition is called Digging Deeper, a framework which allows for an always further uncovering of facts, meanings and perspectives.
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    The Maré Museum: an integrated project of community development
    (Edições Universitárias Lusófonas, 2010) Vieira, Antônio Carlos Pinto; Silva, Claudia Rose Ribeiro da; Oliveira, Luis António
    The Maré Museum, founded on 8 May 2006, arose from the desire of the inhabitants of the community to have a place of memory, a place that is immersed in the past and looks to the future, a place that reflects on this community, on their conditions and identities and on their territorial and cultural diversity. The intention of the Maré Museum is to break with the tradition that the experiences to be recollected and the places of memory to be remembered are those elected by the official version, the "winner" version of the story that restricts the representations of history and memory of large portions of the population. The Maré Museum, as a pioneer initiative in the city scene, proposed to expand the museological concept, so that it is not restricted to intellectual social groups and cultural spaces that are not accessible to the general population. The museum has established recognition that the slum is a place of memory and so has initiated a museographic reading of the Mare community. ..
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    Desire for memory, desire for museums: the experience of the Memory Hotspots
    (Edições Universitárias Lusófonas, 2010) Chagas, Mário de Souza; Rocha, Eneida Braga; Pereira, Marcelle; Rose, Claudia; Gouveia, Inês; Toledo, Wélcio de
    Considering the principles of the National Museum Policy, created in 2003, the Brazilian Museums Institute – Ibram supports and encourages the development of museum practices and processes aimed at rewriting the history of social groups which were deprived of the right to narrate and exhibit their memories and their heritage. As effective action, in 2008, the Department of Museums and Cultural Centres (Demu/Iphan) – which gave rise to Ibram in January 2009 – started the Memory Hotspots Programme, with the main goal of fostering wide popular participation in matters related to social memory and museums. The Memory Hotspots Programme was inspired in and directly influenced by the Ministry of Culture/MinC, which created the National Programme for Culture, Education and Citizenship (Living Culture). The purpose of this Programme is to contribute to make society conquer spaces, exchange experiences and develop initiatives that foster culture and citizenship, in a proactive manner. The partnership struck between civil society and the state power gave rise to Culture Hotspots, inspired in the anthropological “do-in” concept, idealized by the then Minster Gilberto Gil.
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    Japan ecomuseums: global models for concrete realities
    (Edições Universitárias Lusófonas, 2010) Navajas Corral, Óscar
    The present document intends to analyze the different ecomuseums visited and studied in Japan trying to describe the reality of Japanese ecomuseology. From the descriptions of Japanese ecomuseums extrapolate the main features to build a model that is a possible reference for the XXI century ecomuseums.
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    The Centre of Memories: work in progress. Case of the Michel Giacometti Labour Museum, Setúbal, Portugal
    (Edições Universitárias Lusófonas, 2010) Victor, Isabel
    The work on Social Memory, focused on the biographic method and the paths of immaterial Heritage, are the fabric that we have chosen to substantiate the idea of museum. The social dimensions of memory, its construction and representation, are the thickness of the exhibition fabric. The specificity of museological work in contemporary times resembles a fine lace, a meticulous weaving of threads that flow from time, admirable lace, painstaking and complex, created with many needles, made up of hollow spots and stitches (of memories and things forgotten). Repetitions and symmetries are the pace that perpetuates it, the rhythmic grammar that gives it body. A fluid body, a single piece, circumstantial. It is always possible to create new patterns, new compositions, with the same threads. Accurately made, properly made, this lace of memories and things forgotten is always an extraordinary creation, a web of wonder that expands fantasy, generates value and feeds the endless reserve of the community’s knowledge, values and beliefs.
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    Musealising hope: reflections on the saga of an artistic installation of human solidarity
    (Edições Universitárias Lusófonas, 2010) Stoffel, Ana Mercedes
    “Musealising hope” reflects on the trials and tribulations of an installation designed as a tribute to the struggle for survival of African peoples who dare make the long trek to Europe by sea. Its accomplishment involved a number of players whose conduct and reactions to events bear witness to the manner in which artists, the media, heads of cultural institutions, museologists, welfare institutions, and politicians cope with the phenomenon of immigration and with our present-day multicultural societies. In turn, this artistic endeavour and its symbolic signification highlight the changes which art and culture have undergone over the past few years and the kind of transformation which new inter-ethnic communities have brought to bear on concepts such as national heritage, identity or memory.
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    The community museum: a space for the exercise of communal power
    (Edições Universitárias Lusófonas, 2010) Lersch, Teresa Morales; Camarena Ocampo, Cuauhtémoc
    This paper discusses two key elements in the field of museums: a summary of the concept of the community museum, on the one hand, and, on the other, a proposal as to how this concept is put into practice, especially in the early stages of the creation of the museum, when the social basis for the project is being established. We will discuss how the community museum combines and integrates complex processes aimed at strengthening the community as a collective subject, asserting its identity, improving its quality of life and building alliances between communities. In the second part, which has a methodological focus, we will discuss how the museum is born out of community aspirations to strengthen its identity and integrity, the initial process of consensus-building, the roles of different agents, both internal and external to the community, as well as some factors that foster or prevent community appropriation. To conclude we will emphasize the potential of community museum networks as a strategy to generate a broader field of action, in which communities can exercise greater autonomy, by collectively developing and appropriating projects of regional and even international scope.
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    Global models for concrete realities
    (Edições Universitárias Lusófonas, 2010) Navajas Corral, Óscar
    This paper intends to analyze the evolution of the Ecomuseums from their early appearance in the seventies until the present, emphasizing the characteristics which make them unique and different from all the other museums. This analysis will be used to show the Japanese landscape on ecomuseums and how the ecomuseum evolution might be a reference at internatioal level.
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    Socio-cultural visions of interactivity within Museums
    (Edições Universitárias Lusófonas, 2010) Tsitoura, Angelina
    The ideas on which this paper is based are drawn from my thesis “Interactivity in Museums. A Relationship Building Perspective” written in 2007 for the fulfillment of the Master Degree in Museology at the Reinwardt Academy in Amsterdam. The main arguments are that the notion of Interactivity conceptualized within a technological orientation coupled with the pedagogic approach of mere information transmission need to be reconsidered; that Interactivity in museums is a conception both misinterpreted and under-implemented; and that the problems of understanding Interactivity will resolve by identifying the aspects which define Interactivity and most importantly focus on why they matter in a broader socio-cultural context within museums. Without an intention to attribute all the developments and advances associated with new museological practice, in some deterministic way, solely to politics and economic change, I argue that the new strategies adopted by museums towards progression and broader accessibility –at least regarding interactivity, seem to be linked more with a dominant commercialization of culture and education, than with a belief towards an effect on social change through the promotion of social interaction within a pluralistic and multicultural society, acknowledging the diversity of nature, opinion and practices, which can be combined instead of contrasting each other.
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    Give or take: thoughts on museum collections as working tools and their connection with human beings
    (Edições Universitárias Lusófonas, 2010) Santos, Paula Assunção dos
    This paper proposes a look at museums from the perspective of sociomuseology, an area of research and practice under development in countries such as Portugal, Brazil and Spain. Sociomuseology was born from the Latin new museology tradition and is closely connected with the International Movement for a New Museology (MINOM/ICOM). The Lusofona University in Lisbon offers MA and PhD programmes in Sociomuseology. The University supports a research centre in Sociomuseology and publishes the journals Cadernos de Sociomuseologia, in Portuguese, and Sociomuseology, in English (for more information see Sociomuseology concerns the study of the social role of museums and of the continuous changes in society that frame their trajectories. The practice of sociomuseologists is based on their work with the different dimensions of social and community development from ecomuseums to networking and other ways of organizing social action in the 21st century in which heritage plays a strategic role.
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    Museum of the City of São Paulo: A new paradigm of City Museums in the Era of Megalopolises
    (Edições Universitárias Lusófonas, 2010) Franco, Maria Ignez Mantovani
    The City is a tomography of the present, indicating to the future, strata of past times. Nowadays city growth averages one million people every week; while back in 1950 there were eighty six cities with more than one million inhabitants, today they are four hundred all over the world. However the most significant effect of the urban process is, doubtless, the explosion of megacities. It took one century for the urban population – around three point four billion inhabitants – to surpass the number of people in the country, but United Nations projections indicate that by 2025, urban population will reach 61% of the total. Creating a new city museum in São Paulo requires that, in a first analysis, one should consider as geographic area of study some fifteen hundred square kilometres corresponding to the patrimonial intervention area. That is the area of the Municipality, politically divided into ninety six districts where eleven million people live, while approximately twenty million people live in the metropolitan area
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    Museums, memories and social movements
    (Edições Universitárias Lusófonas, 2010) Chagas, Mário de Souza
    From modernity to the contemporary world, museums have been acknowledged for their power to produce metamorphoses of meanings and functions, for their ability to adapt historic and social determination, and for their calling for cultural mediation. They derive from creating gestures which bind the symbolic and the material, which bind what is sensitive and what is intelligible. For this very reason the bridge metaphor fits them well, a bridge cast between different times, spaces, individuals, social groups and cultures, a bridge that is built with images and which holds a special place in the imaginary.
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    ICOM 2010: half a century of changes and impasse 
    (Edições Universitárias Lusófonas, 2010) Cardoso, Pedro
    Half a century, from 1947 to 2010, is enough for us to take stock of the impact of the “ideology of Development” on Heritage. An ideology induced by UNESCO and by ICOM. What has changed and what is still in an impasse? What effects has this ideology had on Heritage? It is after making this assessment that we can better understand the extent to which the theme of this 22nd ICOM General Conference – Shangai 2010 is ultimately an obvious product of that influence.