Happy International Museum Day, everyone! This year’s theme is Museums as Cultural Hubs: The future of tradition, focusing on the new roles of museums as active actors in their communities. Directly from the ICOM website, read below the visual interpretation of the theme for the poster:
For the 2019 poster, we wanted to emphasize the first part of the theme: “museums as cultural hubs”. This was a big challenge because it is about representing the museum as a hub in relation with the local communities. So we chose sign everyone knows as the localization sign. We transformed it into an entity gathering other entities and we used it to create a mesh for the background. This repeating sign also evokes the concept of polycentricity. It highlights the new role of museums as a platform and the link between museums and the future while respecting traditions.
On Thursday, I was invited to give a lecture on ancient Nubia at Appalachian State University. When I talked about life on the dig at Dangeil, I mentioned Jabba the Toad and his other amphibian friends who live in our shower room. Jabba is a really big toad, but the others are smaller and hang out by the water drain. They sit there, covered in suds, staring at us with their big googly eyes while we’re showering. Jabba turned out to be of great interest to a young, budding archaeologist who attended the lecture.
Here’s Jabba the Toad… as seen on the Dangeil Twitter feed (where I got the photo for my presentation).
In 2017, the theme of International Museum Day is “Museums and contested histories: Saying the unspeakable in museums”. In this day and age, It is a rather pertinent topic and here is how ICOM explain why museums are important institutions in our tumultuous world.
History is a vital tool for defining a given people’s identity, and each of us defines ourselves through important and fundamental historic events. Contested histories are unfortunately not isolated traumatic events. These histories, which are often little known or misunderstood, resonate universally, as they concern and affect us all.
Museum collections offer reflections of memories and representations of history. This day will therefore provide an opportunity to show how museums display and depict traumatic memories to encourage visitors to think beyond their own individual experiences.
By focusing on the role of museums as hubs for promoting peaceful relationships between people, this theme highlights how the acceptance of a contested history is the first step in envisioning a shared future under the banner of reconciliation.
Very prehistoric Holiday Wishes to all my readers!
In addition to health, peace and happiness, I hope 2017 will bring you lots of vicarious adventures and wonderful archaeological discoveries (via my website, evidently!)
Thanks to all for reading.
I would like to wish all my readers—family, friends and random strangers!—a wonderful Christmas and a new year filled with great discoveries.
Thank you for following my blog!
The banner photo of me and Khafre in the Cairo Museum has been swapped out for something more recent! You’ll now find an image taken by NCMA photographer Karen Malinofski after the installation of the model of a boat in the Egyptian galleries in the West Building. It will randomly appear up in the banner…