Talk and Discussion about Migration and Diversity in European Museums
In many European countries, history is still told mononationally, often disregarding places and narratives of minority communities. This event placed various European museums – who play an active part in shaping commemorative cultures – at the heart of the discussion.
Program of the Evening
Dr. Christina Johansson (University of Malmö) began the evening with a talk on migration, memory, and museums.
A Reflection on Different Approaches Used in Sweden
Migration has always contributed to the development and reshaping of societies and urban spaces. Today, migration movements have become a global phenomenon, where the number of countries affected—socially, economically, and culturally—is continually increasing. As in the past, the reasons why people move are varied and often complex. Sometimes it is about fleeing poverty, war, ethnic conflict, environmental disaster, or persecution; yet people also move for other reasons, such as work or study, or out of curiosity and a sense of adventure.
Historically, an important role of museums has been to contribute to national homogenization, but their roles are currently in flux. Swedish museums of culture and history have begun the journey of adjusting to a new era that is affected by globalization, migration and requests for recognition of cultural difference. These processes began in the 1970s, and have been related to policy developments in the fields of culture, integration and minorities. In certain respects, the museums are moving in the direction of becoming what Eilean Hooper-Greenhill describes as post-museums, for example, museums have begun to include stories that have previously been ignored and are opening up to collaboration with stakeholders. However, the very exhibitions and collaborations could be improved. For example, museums could more effectively employ new global and transnational perspectives on migration, and increase the awareness of that the ‘contact zones’ they create are not equal spaces for collaboration.
Afterwards, Dr. Christina Johansson discussed the importance of minority perspectives for the commemorative cultures of European migrant societies and how dominant patterns of historiography can be modified with Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński (Vienna Academy of Fine Arts) and Natalie Bayer (Münchner Stadtmuseum). The discussion was moderated by Dr. Jonas Tinius (Centre for Anthropological Research on Museums and Heritage, CARMAH).
Dr. Christina Johansson
Dr. Christina Johansson is a senior lecturer in International Migration and Ethnic Relations in the Department of Global Political Studies at Malmö University, Sweden. For several years she was affiliated with the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for European History and Public Spheres in Vienna. She has conducted a research project on collaborations between museums and schools that was funded by the Swedish Research Council. Currently, she is leading a research project on museums and integration and is affiliated with the Malmö Institute for Studies of Migration, Diversity and Welfare (MIM). In addition to her work on museums, she has published extensively on the relations between state, nation, migration policy, and the representation of migration.
Tuesday 26 September 2017, 7 pm
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