The past two months of COVID19 incumbency have revealed the vulnerability of the museum sector in the world. The reports by ICOM, UNESCO and NEMO profile the severity of challenges faced by museums globally. They assist us with a heightened awareness of what the aspirational museum could be post-pandemic. This increased pool of knowledge makes it glaringly obvious that we must confront the insularity that is akin to being oblivious to our constituencies; become relevant to the people in their cultural and linguistic diversity, and address gross inequities of participation in the museum sector that pervade every corner of the world. While in the affluent localities of the world, museums are rolling out measured approaches to re-openings and enabling digital sprawling, there are many museums in almost every country that are closed, hopefully not forever. How can the institution of the museum become more relevant, inclusive, and grounded in the social, economic, and environmental realities of their respective contexts continues to be the biggest challenge? (https://onmuseums.com/) How can the post-pandemic museum become the quintessential civic space? How can it be understood both museological
and from a right based discourse embedded with accountabilities to race, ethnicity, colour, indignity, gender, class, age, sexual orientation and so on? How best can we minimise profiteering through illicit traffic in the cultural property under the shadow of COVID 19? How best can we ensure that the hard-won rights-based approaches to inclusion, equality, diversity, return, restitution, repatriation, and cultural democracy are not forgotten? How do we, once again, raise the awareness of international financial institutions such as the World Bank, IMF and ADB about the criticality of culture and museums in sustainable development? Hence the Webinar poses What Museums Post Pandemic?
Panellists: Lazare Eloundou, Director, Culture and Emergencies at UNESCO, Paris; Former Deputy Director, World Heritage Centre; & Former UNESCO Representative in Mali. Professor Dr George Abungu, Emeritus DG, National Museums of Kenya; Founding Professor of Heritage Studies, The University of Mauritius; Salzburg Global Fellow; & currently Special Adviser to the DG of ICCROM. Dr Alka Pande, Author and Art Historian; Curator, Visual Arts Gallery, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi; & Project Director, Bihar Museum Biennale, Patna.
Host: Professor Dr Amareswar Galla, Director, International Centre for Inclusive Cultural Leadership, Anant National University, Ahmedabad; Salzburg Global Fellow; and Founding Chair, International Research Network & Founding Editor Inclusive Museum Research Journal Collection (2008-2020).
Please read the ICOM, UNESCO and NEMO Reports along with the UNESCO 2015 Recommendation and the ICOM Cultural Diversity Charter. You can access them here. Please send any questions that you have to firstname.lastname@example.org