How do museums in Europe represent histories and experiences of migration? How do they fashion identities connected to European places as destinations and places (sometimes multicultural ones) to live or to travel through? What is the relationship between European places and non-European ones, where they share historic connections resulting from colonialism or labour force agreements? How might we understand and study museum representations pertaining to place, identity and migration in contemporary Europe?
These questions are addressed in this book, which is the first of a series authored by researchers at Newcastle University in the context of the MeLa Project, Chris Whitehead, Rhiannon Mason and Susannah Eckersley. The book sets out the theoretical and methodological premises for MeLa Research Field 01, focused on Museums and Identity in History and Contemporaneity, and aimed at developing policy-relevant arguments concerning the cultural significance of place within museum representations, for questions of contemporary European [...]
The MeLa Book Series, which was started by the on-line publication of the Proceedings of the MeLa Kick-off Meeting in Roma – “Museums in an Age of Migrations. Questions, Challenges, Perspectives”, edited by Luca Basso Peressut and Clelia Pozzi, can already be downloaded from the MeLa website – is now about to be enriched by the new Project’s outcomes.
The books ensued from the preliminary research activities of the MeLa Research Fields 01.Museums & Identity in History and Contemporaneity, 02.Cultural Memory, Migrating Modernity and Museum Practices, 03.Network of Museums, Libraries and Public Cultural Institutions, and 05.Exhibition Design, Technology of Representation and Experimental Actions will be soon available. We report here the abstracts illustrating the upcoming publications.
The upcoming sequence of MeLa International Conferences is about to start!
On 3rd and 4th September, the first event will take place in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. Promoted by the International Centre for Cultural & Heritage Studies at Newcastle University, within the MeLa Research Feld 01 activities, the Conference will be the opportunity to trigger a fruitfull debate about “‘Placing’ Europe in the Museum: people(s), places, identities”, through the encounter between MeLa researchers and other scholars and museum operators.
Confirmed keynote speakers include Ullrich Kockel, Professor of Ethnology and Folk Life at University of Ulster, Annemarie de Wildt, Curator at Amsterdam Museum, and Peter Aronsson, coordinator of the EUNAMUS Project and Professor at Linköpings University.
A detailed report of the event will follow. Visit the MeLa website for further details, and download the abstracts and the program of the two-day conference.
Newcastle Upon Tyne, University of Newcastle, Old Library, 20th April 2012 MeLa official 2nd Brainstorming, organized by RF 01: Museums and Identity in History and Contemporaneity.
The Brainstorming has mainly focused on issues of migration (intended both as an event and as a process), of identity (connected to place, belonging/un-belonging, assimilation/inclusion/exclusion etc.), of place (intended as the physical locus of identity formation and as museums’ field of work, inspiring source, necessary condition, as well as scope). The RF2 contributions (UNO – Alessandra De Angelis, Mariangela Orabona), in terms of questions and debate, concerned the way museums could be (re-) thought according to a theory of “fluxes” ¬– museums as “space of fluxes”, rather than “place of places”, considering the relation between margins and centres in terms of border-crossing and spaces of invention as well as power. Utilizing the productive power of border thinking to evoke heterogeneity, multiplication and fragmentation as [...]
This Brainstorming allowed us to connect to researchers/experts across the topic of migration and to consider issues outside of our specific field of expertise in order to develop our ideas further.
Iain Watson, Director of Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums; Professor Ullrich Kockel, University of Ulster; Dr Cathy Ross, Museum of London; Dr Claire Sutherland, Durham University; and Zelda Baveystock, UK Migration Museum Project.
Chris Whitehead, Rhiannon Mason and Susannah Eckersley undertook a research fieldwork visit to Berlin in March to explore a variety of museums in and around Berlin for their potential to form RF1 case studies. We had a full programme of visits to a diverse range of museums over five days, spending our time familiarising ourselves with each museum’s displays, themes and texts while analysing what we found for connections both within each museum and across the different institutions visited. The museums and exhibitions visited were:
Jewish Museum Berlin, permanent exhibitions and temporary exhibition “Berlin Transit” Museum of European Cultures, Berlin Museum Neukoelln, Berlin Bezirksmuseum Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, Berlin, permanent exhibitions and temporary exhibition “Ortsgespraeche: stadt – migration – geschichte” (site/place conversations: city – migration – history) Silesian Museum, Goerlitz, permanent exhibitions and temporary exhibitions “Lebenswege ins Ungewisse” (Journey into uncertainty. Migration in Goerlitz-Zgorzelec from 1933 to the present day), and “Schlesien nach [...]