MUSEUMS AND JUSTICE
6 DECEMBER 2023, BENAKI MUSEUM/PIREOS 138
12:00 – 18.20 (Eastern European Time)
11:30 – 12:00
Dr George Manginis, Academic Director, Benaki Museum (GR)
Lina G. Mendoni, Minister of Culture and Sports, Hellenic Republic
Matthew Lodge, British Ambassador to the Hellenic Republic
George J. Tsunis, U.S. Ambassador to the Hellenic Republic
Anastasia Andritsou, Director, British Council in Greece and Cyprus
Dr Sophia Handaka, CoMuseum Host, Curator of World Cultures, Benaki Museum (GR)
12:20 – 12:45
Symbiosis in the Frontiers – Elevating a New Ground
Skinder Hundal MBE, Global Director of Arts, British Council (UK)
Skinder Hundal, Global Director of Arts at British Council and Chair of the Cultural Leadership Board, West Midlands, will discuss the impact of art, heritage, and enterprise on a global and local scale, with a focus on how art spaces and museums are bypassing the belt of mediocrity in promoting ideas and practical actions to challenge systemic inequalities and elevate “new” civilisations.
12:45 – 13:10
Different by Design: A New Model for Accessible Museum Exhibitions
Sarah Schleuning, The Margot B Perot Senior Curator of Decorative Arts and Design, Dallas Museum of Art (U.S.A.)
Speechless: different by Design was an experiment—a groundbreaking museum exhibition at the Dallas Museum of Art—intended to foster inclusion, empathy, and a greater understanding of how we experience the world through our varied senses, merging exploration, aesthetics, and innovative new design. Most significantly, speechless asked the museum as an institution to reconsider aspects of its role, to shift, to grow, to do more and be more. Using the exhibition as a case study, speechless curator Sarah Schleuning discusses how museums can explore new methods of communicating through art, how they can expand their participatory role in the greater community, and how they can be spaces that foster empathy and understanding of difference.
13:10 – 13:20
Status of the Artist: UNESCO advocacy for preferential treatment for artists and cultural professionals to protect and promote the diversity of cultural expressions
Karalyn Monteil, Head of Programmes & Stakeholders Outreach, Culture Sector, UNESCO
Through two key UNESCO normative instruments, the 1980 Recommendation concerning the Status of the Artist and the 2005 Convention on the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions, UNESCO advocates for preferential treatment measures for artists and cultural professionals, including the improvement of the professional, social and economic status of artists through the implementation of policies and measures related to training, social security, employment, income and tax conditions, mobility and freedom of expression.
Both UNESCO documents remain as relevant today as the decades ago when they were drafted given the ongoing challenges worldwide in the area of DEAI as well as social and economic rights and the impact of digital technology, including AI, on the work of artists.
What does Diversity and Representation mean for artists?
Michael Afolayan, Αctor, Μusician, Αctivist, Founder of Anasa Cultural Center (GR)
Maria Kotti, Dancer, Exis Inclusive Dance Company (GR)
Eva Michailidou, Dance therapist, Dance teacher, Dancer, Exis Inclusive Dance Company (GR)
Theo Prodromidis, Artist (GR)
Christos Papamichael, Artist, Director liminal (GR)
14:05 – 14:15
Crimes against Cultural Heritage during the War: Approaching Justice | ONLINE
Anastasiia Cherednychenko, Museologist, Historian, Chair of the ICOM Ukraine (UA)
In the context of the military actions carried out by Russia against Ukraine, distinct signs of genocide are manifested, according to the UN Convention of 1948 and the definition of Raphael Lemkin, including “cultural genocide”. The world community faced the need to review the existing architecture of cultural heritage protection during military conflicts due to its insufficient effectiveness, as it became clear during previous conflicts, in particular in Syria.
Museum experts also face the question of how to respond to such manifestations of genocide when representatives of the Russian Federation, with the participation of Russian museum professionals appropriate Ukrainian cultural heritage, from the looted museum collections to the rewriting of historical narratives and the creation of propaganda exhibitions using items that were looted, as in the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine as well as on the territory of Russia.
Thus, how should international networks, associations of museum professionals, national associations, and individual museums react if Russian museum professionals participate in war crimes that violate the norms of the international community?
This issue is extremely important since the war in Ukraine has become a massive and vivid example of cultural genocide, which, at the same time, is not the only one, but shows how the lack of reaction creates a sense of impunity and contributes to the commission of more and more crimes against cultural heritage.
they see me rolling, they hating
Katerina Vrana, Stand up Comedian (GR)
14:40 – 15:20 | BREAK
15:20 – 15:45
Building a more equitable future? | ONLINE
Esme Ward, Director at Manchester Museum, University of Manchester (UK)
Esme Ward will explore how Manchester Museum, at the University of Manchester, is seeking to reimagine and renew its creative and civic role, sharing experiences and stories rooted in Manchester that grapple with the complexities and challenges facing museums today and propose a more truthful, equitable and values-driven approach.
15:45 – 16:10
Justice from Within: Starting with the Museum in the Mirror
Micah Parzen, CEO, Museum of Us (U.S.A.)
The murder of George Floyd helped catalyze a social justice turn among many museums in the United States. While an increasing number of institutions began “talking the talk,” however, few committed to truly “walking the talk” in action-oriented ways. The result is that many such efforts fall short as highly performative, thus perpetuating the very harm they purport to address. With an eye toward avoiding these pitfalls, this keynote will explore the importance of starting with the museum in the mirror and asking it to change its internal ways first, before trying to make the outside world a better place.
16:10 – 16:55
Defining Diversity-Equity-Inclusion-Accessibility in the Cultural Sector
Anders Bettum, Senior Curator, Oslo Museum; Coordinator of the National Museum Network of Minorities and Diversity; Associate Professor, University of Oslo (NO)
Annie Fletcher, Director, Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) (IE)
Natalia Sielewicz, Curator, Head of Programming, Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw (PL)
Marina Tsekou, Education Curator, EMST – National Museum of Contemporary Art (GR)
Andromache Gazi, Professor of Museology, Department of Communication, Media and Culture, Panteion University (GR)
16:55 – 17:20
Museums… Spaces for Community Connection and Belonging
Hanouf Al-Alawi, National Outreach Manager, The British Museum (UK)
The speaker developed a portfolio of pioneering and inclusive learning and outreach programmes at the British Museum, Natural History Museum, Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, and UNESCO with a focus on underserved audiences. She will share her experience in using assets-based approaches, co-production, and trauma-informed approaches to create safe and inclusive spaces for diverse community groups, drawing on examples from her work in the museum sector, volunteering, third- sector organisations and international development.
17:20 – 17:45
Afroditi Panagiotakou, Director of Culture, Onassis Foundation (GR)
17:45 – 18:10
A Possible Museum
Elvira Dyangani Ose, Director Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art, MACBA (ES)
A Possible Museum is a new way of approaching the institution. It is not only the Museum that could be but is not, the ideal projection of some unfulfilled desires. A Possible Museum is also what can be done, the framework of possibilities that open up, yet are still restricted by what already exists. It is neither the avant-garde impulse to produce anew while rejecting the past, nor the conservative instinct to perpetuate what is already established, but the affection with which we can take care of something for its own good, and not only, nor always, to make it grow.
18:10 – 18:20
Dr Sophia Handaka, CoMuseum Host, Curator of World Cultures, Benaki Museum (GR)
18:20 – 19:30
Pop-up VR Exhibition
The Abandonment Museum: Capturing Past Traumas, Shaping a New Future
Oana Drăgulinescu, Founder, The Abandonment Museum (RO)
The Museum of Abandonment, launched in 2021, is a groundbreaking digital initiative addressing child abandonment in Romania. Serving as both a cultural endeavor and a prominent communication initiative, it seeks to reshape societal views on the one million individuals raised in Romanian orphanages. Focused on the notorious Sighet Hospital – Foster Care, our first digital exhibition combines 3D scanning, gaming interaction, and augmented reality and brings attention to the severe issue of extreme abandonment. The project stands out as a powerful tool for fostering awareness and understanding of the complexities surrounding this social phenomenon and its effects.
Networking Event | Benaki Museum/Pireos 138