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Research Field 06 Midterm Seminar Brochure: Envisioning 21st Century Museums


MeLa* Midterm Seminar Brochure, providing an overview of the contributions presented by MeLa Partners and museum pratictioners at the Midterm Seminar in Paris, “Let the Museum Speak,” is now available on the MeLa website.

Two years and a half after the MeLa Kick-off Meeting held at at Musei Capitolini and MAXXI in Rome, which inaugurated the beginning of the MeLa Project activities, the Midterm Seminar has represented an important milestone fostering introspection, dissemination, collection of new stimuli and planning of further tasks, as well as gathering new key findings through the coalescence of theories and practices.

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MeLa Research Field 02: Final Brochure Released


The RF02 Final Brochure, presenting the activities developed within the Research Field 02, is now available on the MeLa website.

The scope of Mela Research Field 02, investigating “Cultural Memory, Migrating Modernity and Museum Practices,” is that of exploring the complex interactions between the cultural formations of memory, belonging and contemporary museum practices in the light of migration. Researchers analysed the emerging cultural debate on the historical nature and contemporary sense of the museum through study and field work in diverse European localities and institutions. Given the crucial role that museums have played in narrating national identities and cultural belonging, the research has brought to the surface the difficulties faced in registering and exhibiting histories that tend to be excluded or marginalised in existing understandings of modernity. Here, the recovery or archaeology of unregistered histories lead the research to reconsider the role and potential changes that the museum could promote as a social and political actor.

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‘Side by Side – Living in Cazenove’: Exploring Community and Diversity at Hackney Museum

“What does community mean to you?”

This was the question underlying the process that led to the “Side by Side: Living in Cazenove” exhibition at Hackney Museum (23rd January – 17th May 2014).
On Thursday May, 10th we engaged in an interesting conversation with some of the staff involved in the development of the project: Sue McAlpine (Collections & Exhibitions Officer, Hackney Museum), Cheryl Bowen (Community Education Manager, Hackney Museum), Tanya Harris (Our Museum Project Coordinator, Hackney Museum), and Harriet Murray (designer of the exhibition, co-curator and community partner). This gave us the opportunity to explore the contents of the exhibition, as well as its “Hello Cazenove!” design process and the link with the nature, vision and approach of Hackney Museum. » Read more

MeLa Research Field 03: Final Brochure Released


The RF03 Final Brochure, presenting the activities developed within the Research Field 03, is now available on the MeLa website.

MeLa Research Field 03, which has investigated “Network of Museums, Libraries and Public Cultural Institutions”, aimed to leverage the power of cultural networks, for supporting European cultural institutions to better address contemporary challenges of globalisation, mobility, migrating heritage and cultural dialogue, and the use of Information and Communication Technologies.
Desk and field research activities included several real-life case studies, surveys and interviews with scholars and practitioners, meetings with stakeholders and policy makers, an international workshop and an international conference, and various publications.

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Debating the Insights Beyond Kader Attia’s Continuum of Repair (Whitechapel Gallery, London, 1st May 2014)



The MeLa Project is supporting a special event promoted by the Whitechapel Gallery and the Curating Contemporary Art Programme at Royal College of Art, which will present a lecture related to the exhibition “Kader Attia. Continuum of Repair: The Light of Jacobs Ladder.” The event will take place on 1st May 2014 in the Zilkha Auditorium at the Whitechapel Gallery. » Read more

MeLa RF03 at the EU INSITE Project International Workshop on ‘Narrations and Communities: Building Communities for Making Citizenship’


MeLa RF03 leader Dr Perla Innocenti was invited speaker at the international workshop ‘Narrations and communities: building communities for making citizenship’ organized on 12-15 April 2014 by the EU-funded INSITE project in the special venue of Officine Emilia. Perla spoke about ‘Migrating Heritage and approaches to digital storytelling’ and liaised with scholars and practitioners from economics, sociology, cultural heritage, museums, ICT and governmental organizations.

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MeLa Research Field 01: Final Brochure Released


The RF01 Final Brochure, presenting the activities developed within the MeLa Research Field 01, is now available on the MeLa website.

The objective of the first MeLa research field is to explore the importance of place in European museums for the construction of identities. Researchers analysed key displays in museums that focus on historical and contemporary issues around place, identity and belonging with specific reference to the migration and movement of people. Additionally, researchers interviewed staff and visitors in order to understand how and why museums develop such displays and how visitors, including those with migrant backgrounds, respond to them. Migration has inevitable connections with some of the most pressing issues in European societies, such as the mobility of people, multiculturalism, diversity, equality of opportunity and social cohesion or division. Museums have the potential to play an important role in exploring these issues, and some do so in responsible and thoughtprovoking ways. However, this research has produced a number of suggestions for practice that can facilitate the constructive contribution that museums can make to social, political and cultural relations and debates.

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MeLa On Air. The Project Presentation at “European Magazine” (h. 13:30, March 29th 2014)


On Saturday 29th of March,

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Francesca Lanz will present the MeLa Project during the programme “European Magazine” that will be broadcasted by the Polish Radio 2, from h. 13:30-14:00 (live streming at,Dwojka).

During the short interview – that will be translated in Polish – Francesca will introduce the research topics, the adopted approach and the main insights gathered so far, including the MeLa Books Series and the latest publication “European Museums in the 21st Century”.

Towards an European Index for Valuing Cultural Heritage

The project “Cultural Heritage Counts for Europe” will gather, analyze, consolidate and widely disseminate the existing data on the impact of cultural heritage – i.e. the impact on the social, economic, cultural as well as environmental. It will result in a European mapping of both qualitative and quantitative evidence-based research carried out at the European, national, regional, local and/or sectorial levels.

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Europa Nostra leads the project in partnership with 5 other organisations, ENCATC (the leading European network on arts and cultural management and policy education), Heritage Europe-EAHTR (European Association of Historic Towns and Regions, UK), The International Cultural Centre (Krakow, Poland), The Raymond Lemaire International Centre for Conservation (RLICC, KU Leuven, Belgium), and The Heritage Alliance (as associate partner from England, UK). The project is supported by the Culture Programme of the European Union.

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MeLa RF03 Book ‘Migrating Heritage: Experiences of Cultural Networks and Cultural Dialogue in Europe’


MeLa Research Field 03 is delighted to announce the publication of Migrating Heritage. Experiences of Cultural Networks and Cultural Dialogue in Europe, edited by Perla Innocenti and published by Ashgate.

Bringing together an international forum of experts, this hardback and ebook volume, looks at how museums, libraries and other public cultural institutions respond to the effects of globalisation, mobility and migration across Europe. It puts forward examples of innovative practice and policies that reflect these challenges, looking at issues such as how cultural institutions present themselves to and interact with multicultural audiences, how to support networking across European institutions, and share practice in core activities such as archiving interpreting and exhibiting artefacts. Academics, practitioners from museums and public institutions and policymakers explore theoretical and practical approaches from a range of different disciplines such as museum and cultural heritage studies, cultural memory studies, social anthropology, sociology of organizations, cultural heritage management and cultural heritage informatics.