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Museum as Activist: (Re)inventing Institutional Paradigm at the Museum of Movements in Malmö

Zabalueva, Olga LU (2018) TKAM02 20181
Division of Ethnology
Abstract (Swedish)
Vad händer bakom museimontrar och magasindörrar? Vem bestämmer vilket kulturarv som ska bevaras och vilken del av det ska utställas? Vem driver det osynliga maskineriet av museernas backstage-funktioner och genomför dagliga museirutiner?
Museer som modernitetsinstitutioner har en särskild roll i processen för kunskapsproduktion och maktfördelning inom samhällen, först och främst genom att synliggöra vissa grupper och historier. Sedan 1900-talet uppmärkte man efterfrågan på strukturella förändringar i museer och på 2000-talet står det klart att museer behöver agera och framhålla sitt sociala ansvar. Det leder dock ganska ofta till projekt som satsar på museets externa funktioner, till exempel programverksamhet och utställningsproduktion.
... (More)
Vad händer bakom museimontrar och magasindörrar? Vem bestämmer vilket kulturarv som ska bevaras och vilken del av det ska utställas? Vem driver det osynliga maskineriet av museernas backstage-funktioner och genomför dagliga museirutiner?
Museer som modernitetsinstitutioner har en särskild roll i processen för kunskapsproduktion och maktfördelning inom samhällen, först och främst genom att synliggöra vissa grupper och historier. Sedan 1900-talet uppmärkte man efterfrågan på strukturella förändringar i museer och på 2000-talet står det klart att museer behöver agera och framhålla sitt sociala ansvar. Det leder dock ganska ofta till projekt som satsar på museets externa funktioner, till exempel programverksamhet och utställningsproduktion.
I denna masteruppsats föreslår jag en ram för att omformulera museets inre strukturer och analysera ett ambitiöst museiprojekt som utvecklas i Malmö.
Malmö är en av de brännpunkterna för migrationsdiskursen eftersom den förbinder Sverige med kontinenten via Öresundsbron. Staden är också känd för sin starka tradition av folkrörelser och aktivism. Rörelsernas museum i Malmö (eller det nationella demokrati- och migrationsmuseet) är ett projekt inriktat på breda ämnen som migration, mänskliga rättigheter, demokratiska folkrörelser och idéburna organisationer. En förstudie genomförd av Kulturförvaltningen i Malmö Stad under 2016–2017 framhävde vikten av att etablera den framtida institutionen i form av ett museum: ett öppet, tryggt och trovärdigt offentligt utrymme som kan skapa en diskussion kring problematiska samhällsfrågor.
För att förstå hur aktivism och samhällsskapande initiativ kan hitta en plats i museets hjärta använder jag en kulturanalytisk studie av aktivism och folkrörelser som genomfördes vid Kulturförvaltningen i Malmö Stad under hösten 2017.
Genom att koppla ihop traditionell museipraxis med aktivistkulturer strävar jag efter att svara på frågan om det är möjligt för en kulturinstitution att ta sin egen ställning som aktivist i det moderna samhället. (Less)
Abstract
What exactly happens behind museum displays and repository doors? Who decides what heritage has to be preserved and what part of it should be exhibited? Who operates all this invisible machinery of the museums’ backstage functions and executes its daily routines?
Museums as institutions of modernity have a specific role in the process of knowledge production and power redistribution within societies, first of all by empowering certain groups and discourses and making them visible. The demand for structural changes in museums and for enhancement of museums’ social agency and responsibility voiced through the recent decades, results quite often in projects aimed at external museum functions, such as educational programs and temporary... (More)
What exactly happens behind museum displays and repository doors? Who decides what heritage has to be preserved and what part of it should be exhibited? Who operates all this invisible machinery of the museums’ backstage functions and executes its daily routines?
Museums as institutions of modernity have a specific role in the process of knowledge production and power redistribution within societies, first of all by empowering certain groups and discourses and making them visible. The demand for structural changes in museums and for enhancement of museums’ social agency and responsibility voiced through the recent decades, results quite often in projects aimed at external museum functions, such as educational programs and temporary exhibitions, and does not touch museum management or collecting policies.
In this thesis, I suggest a framework for reimagining the inner structures of museums as cultural institutions based on an ambitious museum project started from scratch.
The Southern Swedish city of Malmö is one of the ‘hot spots’ for migration discourse, as it connects Sweden to the continent through the Oresund Bridge, and is known for its strong tradition of civil society-based activism. The Museum of Movements in Malmö (or the National Museum for Democracy and Migration) aims to address a broad range of subjects, including migration, human rights, popular movements and civil society-based activism. A feasibility study conducted by the city’s Cultural Department in 2016–2017 asserted the importance of establishing this future institution as a museum: a transparent, safe and credible public space which can engender open discussion around difficult issues.
In order to understand how activism and community-making initiatives can find a place in the museum’s core, I employ a cultural analysis on activist movements grounded in the ethnographic fieldwork conducted at the Malmö Cultural Department during autumn 2017. By approaching traditional museum practices via activist cultures, I aim to answer the question: Is it possible for a cultural institution to take the standpoint of an activist in a changing society? (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Zabalueva, Olga LU
supervisor
organization
course
TKAM02 20181
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
migration museums, participation, activism, museum definition, democracy, Museum of Movements, museology, civil society, MACA
language
English
id
8948930
date added to LUP
2018-06-14 10:37:09
date last changed
2018-06-14 10:37:09
@misc{8948930,
  abstract     = {What exactly happens behind museum displays and repository doors? Who decides what heritage has to be preserved and what part of it should be exhibited? Who operates all this invisible machinery of the museums’ backstage functions and executes its daily routines?
Museums as institutions of modernity have a specific role in the process of knowledge production and power redistribution within societies, first of all by empowering certain groups and discourses and making them visible. The demand for structural changes in museums and for enhancement of museums’ social agency and responsibility voiced through the recent decades, results quite often in projects aimed at external museum functions, such as educational programs and temporary exhibitions, and does not touch museum management or collecting policies.
In this thesis, I suggest a framework for reimagining the inner structures of museums as cultural institutions based on an ambitious museum project started from scratch.
The Southern Swedish city of Malmö is one of the ‘hot spots’ for migration discourse, as it connects Sweden to the continent through the Oresund Bridge, and is known for its strong tradition of civil society-based activism. The Museum of Movements in Malmö (or the National Museum for Democracy and Migration) aims to address a broad range of subjects, including migration, human rights, popular movements and civil society-based activism. A feasibility study conducted by the city’s Cultural Department in 2016–2017 asserted the importance of establishing this future institution as a museum: a transparent, safe and credible public space which can engender open discussion around difficult issues.
In order to understand how activism and community-making initiatives can find a place in the museum’s core, I employ a cultural analysis on activist movements grounded in the ethnographic fieldwork conducted at the Malmö Cultural Department during autumn 2017. By approaching traditional museum practices via activist cultures, I aim to answer the question: Is it possible for a cultural institution to take the standpoint of an activist in a changing society?},
  author       = {Zabalueva, Olga},
  keyword      = {migration museums,participation,activism,museum definition,democracy,Museum of Movements,museology,civil society,MACA},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Museum as Activist: (Re)inventing Institutional Paradigm at the Museum of Movements in Malmö},
  year         = {2018},
}