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

Museums and Communities: Diversity, Dialogue, Collaboration

21-23 October 2015

Hanoi, Vietnam


In 2015, ICME Annual Conference addresses the contemporary museum’s concern with power, representation and affect. Specifically, conference considers the transformation of exhibition spaces from sites where knowledge is transmitted to passive audiences towards potential contact zones or forums where diverse community voices and visibilities are raised and new knowledge(s) actively constructed in on-going dialogue.

The organizing committee is calling for papers to consider this broad theme from a number of angles as a major interest lies in the creativity of disciplinary and spatial border crossings. This conference raises a number of questions, which in one way or another have been vital considerations at ICME’s conferences over the years.

How can we reinterpret and reimagine historical collections, together with source communities to engage diverse new audiences? What new collaborative ways of working with material culture and the intangible  heritage from which it emerges might enhance the social value of museums?

Is social media and technology helpful to museums intent on engaging diverse audiences? Can technological innovations contribute to more genuinely inclusive engagement? Does technology and interactivity detract from the aura of the real? Are traditional curatorial skills, knowledge and indeed posts put at risk by the ‘turn’ towards new media and audiences?

How might community perspectives and diverse new voices be integrated into curatorial practice in substantive ways? Can museums and communities partnerships promote genuine intercultural understanding in place of fearful stereotype? Is it possible that new collaborations might enable museum collections, often established in colonial times with all the ‘difficult histories’ of this heritage, be reemployed to progress a more positive future? What fresh collaborative relationships with artists, source communities and local communities may be seen to enhance understandings of ‘us’ and ‘them’ in the frontier zone of ‘both-and’ that lies beyond restrictive ‘either-or’ binary oppositions.

The promoters warmly invite original contributions reflecting on what a museum is (and may be) in the twenty-first century, opens up the potential role for developing more cohesive communities, working with similarities – ties that bind humanity – while perceiving differences as strengths.

Submissions should be sent as a WORD document attachment to: vmg4(at); jenny.walklate(at); Paulina.VanderZee(at); ninh(at); mario(at); swackernagel(at) by June 14, 2015.


» link to the Conference