European Commission - 7th Framework Programme European Museums and Libraries in/of the age of migrations last updated: February 2015

Intercultural Dialogue and Social Cohesion in Museums

27 April 2012

Riga, Latvia | Latvian War Museum

LEM project midterm international conference
Given that society is constantly changing, museums must regularly assess whether they are fulfilling their task of serving society adequately.
In the last decades the number of resident in Western European countries with an immigration background has increased steadily. Also the reemerging of nation states across Eastern Europe following collapse of Soviet Union caused division of population along ethnic lines.
Drawing on example of current right from the center Latvian cultural policy, which for the first time since regaining independency is about to put larger attention on possibilities offered by heritage institutions in addressing social cohesion problems and fostering stronger civic society, this international conference will aim at encompassing recent developments in social justice museum movement across Europe, particularly concentrating on museums role in being utilized for achieving social cohesion ends.
The conference will examine museum responsibilities and experiences in offering opportunities of cultural participation to people from all walks of life against the background of cultural integration policies of represented nation states.
  • Are museums being considered an asset for social cohesion in Europe?
  • To what extend does museums and their collections have been instrumentalized in fostering an open and unprejudiced civic society?
  • How does museums and their representative organizations campaign for putting museums on the map of national cultural policies and do they succeed in that?
  • How do museums cope with controversial questions in communicating with ethnically diverse audiences and how do they retain their academic independence under the strain of political demands?
These are some of questions the midterm evaluation conference, which takes place within Grundtvig sponsored LEM project, will try to address by offering floor to project participants from various European countries and some specially invited high profile museum policy makers and researchers.