Kala-Bhoomi International Museum Symposium | Pivoting Museums in the Midst of a Pandemic | 15th March 2022
Registration Link: Click Here
Topic: Museums and Indigenous Peoples
Date: Saturday, 19th February 2022
Time: 7:30-9:00 PM Indian Standard Time
Recording Link: Click Here
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) was adopted by the General Assembly on Thursday 13 September 2007. The Declaration is the most comprehensive international instrument on the rights of Indigenous Peoples, over 6% of the world’s population. It establishes the universal framework of minimum standards for the dignity and well-being of Indigenous Peoples. It was drafted by Indigenous Peoples from across the world. ICOM Code of Ethics & ICOM Cultural Diversity Charter; and UNESCO 2015 Recommendation concerning the Protection and Promotion of Museums and Collections progress the UNDRIP Declaration (https://onmuseums.com/about/
Guest: W. Richard West Jr., An eminent lawyer who is the Founding Director Emeritus of the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC; and immediate Past President of the Autry Museum of the American West, Los Angeles.
Host: Professor Dr Amareswar Galla, UNESCO Chair on Inclusive Museums and Sustainable Heritage Development, AnantU, Ahmedabad; Emeritus Faculty at the Australian National University, Canberra; and Chairperson, International Research Network Conference on the Inclusive Museum, Philadelphia, 2022. (https://onmuseums.com)
Through the ages, philosophers have sought to lend their own meaning to the word “imagination”. Implicit to all was the fundamental function that imagination plays: the invisible alchemy of the mind that can envision — and represent — possibilities beyond what is actually present.
Today, two years after the beginning of the global pandemic — when a microbe put mankind in peril – it is, perhaps, time for a fresh look at the redemptive role of imagination in a world in crisis.
It is against this backdrop that the Centre of International Modern Art (CIMA), Kolkata, and Ashoka University have come together once more, with a symposium titled “Imaginations; Rural, Urban, Global”.
The two-day virtual conference, which is a collateral event of CIMA Awards 2022, will be held on February 6 & 7, 2022.
CIMA, designed under the guidance of renowned art galleries in London and New York, opened in 1993 and quickly became one of the premier art galleries in India. With 11,000sqft state-of-the-art gallery space in Kolkata, a comprehensive database and evaluation and publication facilities, CIMA has curated and organised over a hundred exhibitions that have won critical and popular acclaim in India and abroad. CIMA also holds interdisciplinary interactions and seminars with the participation of scholars, artists, directors and performers of international repute.
Ashoka University is a pioneer in its focus on providing a liberal education on a par with the best in the world. It is a leader among private universities in India for arts, science and mathematics. With a strong emphasis on foundational knowledge, thorough academic research based on rigorous pedagogy and hands-on experience with real-world challenges, the campus in Sonepat, Haryana, draws students from 30 states in India and 27 other countries.
Over the two days, the speakers at the symposium will discuss and debate a host of topics, including art and crisis, creative challenges in the face of ideological warfare, the impact of artificial intelligence, and extension of the frontiers of imagination through the virtual world.
Also on the cards are topics such as merging boundaries in cinema, the fine arts, music and performance, contemporary role of museums and universities in the 21st century and container and the content: the form and content debate translated into architecture.
n the aftermath of the pandemic, the symposium also hopes to dwell at length on the impetus to futuristic ideas, throwing fresh light on human, scientific and technological encounters explored in a unique way.
“Draw back the curtains and open the windows wide,” said Oscar Wilde.
The idea is to delve into multiple strands of thought so that imagination can take wing and fly, and humankind can get the freedom to turn their minds towards infinity.
More information about session details can be found here.
Prof Galla will be speaking at Session 3 on Contemporary Role of Museums and Universities in the 21st Century (6th February 2021 – 5:30 to 7:00 PM IST)
International Symposium | Educational Pedagogies & Technologies for Sustainable Development | 24-26 January 2022
The International Symposium on “Educational Pedagogies & Technologies for Sustainable Development (EPTS 2022)” spanning across 3 days will showcase the following:
Renowned speakers presenting keynote addresses by sharing experiences in the areas of pedagogical approaches and educational technologies and vision on reimagining education.
The keynote addresses will be followed by a panel discussion to brainstorm and ideate on the design and development of a global curriculum and an online platform for educating students and faculty on different pathways for translating sustainable innovation and development in communities through participatory approaches. The platform aims to educate students and empower communities worldwide in designing, developing, deploying, and sustaining solutions in alignment with UN SDGs.
Updates on the event can be found here: https://amrita.edu/
Prof Galla delivered a keynote address on Indigeneity, Inclusion and Sustainability and participated in the panel discussion on Ethics of Engagement and Cultural Democracy in the Digital Domain.
India is one of the best-prepared countries for post-pandemic tours. It creates the opportunity to reflect and rethink the future of tourism by bringing about a paradigm shift in diversifying visitor experiences: Professor Amareswar Galla, PhD, Chair Inclusive Museums and Sustainable Heritage Development, UNESCO, at the session, Discover #Incrediblelndia Connecting with Culture, Heritage & Spirituality, at #IndiaPavilion #Expo2020Dubai #IndiaAtDubaiExpo #Expo2020Dubai #Investindia #AmritMahotsav
Date – 22 December 2021
Time – 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Topic – Valuing Culture – Phd Thesis of Dr Deborah Tranter
Speaker – Prof Dr Amareswar Galla, UNESCO Chair on Inclusive Museums and Sustainable Heritage Development
The lecture focused on making rhe PhD candidates understand the fundamentals of thesis writing. Drawing on his primary supervisory experience with Dr Deborah Tranter and others from the University of Queensland, Prof Galla reelected on the process of writing a PhD thesis.
Returning the Loot: How to Tackle the Illicit Trafficking of Cultural Property in South Asia | 15-16 December 2021| UNESCO House, New Delhi
A two-day capacity building workshop focusing on the means to combat the illicit trafficking of cultural property in South Asia was organised at the UNESCO House, with an inaugural session held in the presence of senior government officials and experts, representatives of international organisations and diplomatic missions.
Entitled “Returning the Loot”, and based on the principles of the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property, the gathering of experts aimed to raise awareness on the need to strengthen national legislation and tighten controls, establish greater regional cooperation, and strengthen security in museums and at heritage sites.
Worldwide, the illicit trafficking of cultural property represents today the third largest international criminal activity, and is surpassed only by drugs and arms trafficking. While the amount of global sales of art and antiques was recorded at US$ 50.1 billion in 2020, experts estimate that the illicit trafficking of cultural property may separately total up to US$10 billion every year.
According to INTERPOL figures, 854,742 cultural objects were seized globally by law enforcement agencies in 2020, but the illicit traffic and looting of cultural heritage increased dramatically in the last decade all over the world, owing in part to globalisation of the marketplace, with easier flows of capital. More recently, the vulnerability of security at sites and museums during the COVID-19 pandemic has also been a point of concern.
“There is a growing recognition of the inalienability of cultural property from its place of origin, and all the stakeholders must work together to fight illicit trafficking. One of the tools at our disposal is the 1970 UNESCO Convention but international partnerships and regional cooperation must be significantly bolstered.”
He mentioned the joint activities of UNESCO with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and pointed out that the workshop is held in the wake of the recent return of 157 artefacts and antiquities from the United States on the occasion of the visit there of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in September 2021.
Among the countries most ready to co-operate with regards to illegal trafficking of cultural property, Mr. Falt singled out and praised Australia, which has returned a number of objects in recent years and has pledged to return 14 more objects in 2022.
Speaking from Canberra, the Curator, Provenance at the National Gallery of Australia, Ms. Bronwyn Campbell spoke of her country’s commitment and willingness to combat illicit trafficking of cultural property.
The session was also addressed by Ms. Lily Pandeya, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Government of India.
“The workshop is a turning point high level UNESCO event that could make India a leading country in fighting illicit traffic in cultural property. A comprehensive systems approach has been scoped to develop a framework for safeguarding all forms of India’s rich heritage, especially in the context of international looting during the pandemic”
– Prof Dr Amareswar Galla, UNESCO Chair on Inclusive Museums and Sustainable Heritage Development, Anant National University, India
The high level workshop was led by him and focused on capacity-building and engagement with prominent decision-makers and key stakeholders to unpack challenges and opportunities for South Asia.
The 1970 UNESCO Convention marked its 50th anniversary in 2020 and has become increasingly significant against emerging challenges to the protection of cultural heritage from theft and illicit trading. It equips States Parties with a framework to prohibit and prevent the import, export and transfer of cultural property, as well as encourage its return and restitution.
- Dedicated brochure entitled “Returning the Loot”
- About the 1970 UNESCO Convention
- Text of the 1970 UNESCO Convention and Operational Guidelines
- Video – 50 years of the fight against illicit trafficking (watch here)
- Interview of Prof Dr Amareswar Galla on 1970 Convention (watch here)
- OPED on illicit trafficking by Mr Erick Falt & Prof Dr Amareswar Galla entitled “India Needs a ‘Local’ Push to Stop Cultural Property Trafficking“