Press Release, Thu 31 May 2018
This Thursday, 31 May in the foyer of the Jewish Museum Berlin, Program Director Léontine Meijer-van Mensch presents the museum’s first Rapid Response display.
“Museums are discursive spaces. In future, we must be able to react faster to current events in the focus of public attention. Rapid Response is a way of inviting our visitors to enter into a dialogue,” says Léontine Meijer-van Mensch.
Old Building, ground level, in the foyer
Lindenstraße 9–14, 10969 Berlin
The present Rapid Response display was prompted by an antisemitic incident in the Prenzlauer Berg district of Berlin and the subsequent protest, on 25 April 2018, convened by Berlin’s Jewish Community. The motto of the rally was “Berlin Wears a Kippah.” Around 2,500 people gathered in front of the Jewish Community Center in Charlottenburg, many of them wearing a kippah as a sign of their solidarity. Starting from the “Kippah Catalyst,” the display presents objects and photographs connected with this show of solidarity.
How can I combat intolerance?
The Rapid Response display will be a site of interaction where visitors are invited to enter into reflection and dialogue on socially relevant issues. Starting on Thursday, they can leave their responses on the theme of intolerance, writing in notebooks at the exit of the museum building. The museum will accompany the reactions on social media.
“This is a new opportunity for museums to encourage visitors to take action. We want to be open to that potential,” says Léontine Meijer-van Mensch.
In 2014, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London announced a new collection strategy, “Rapid Response Collecting.” The Rapid Response methodology enables museums to react quickly to historic moments by collecting and exhibiting objects associated with them. The Jewish Museum Berlin will make special use of this method in its new collection domain of contemporary history.
The Contemporary History Collection
The Contemporary History Collection was established in 2015 to document Jewish life in Germany from 1945 to the present. Thematically it covers the history of displaced persons in occupied Germany, the rebuilding of Jewish communities and institutions in East and West Germany, the immigration of Russian Jews to reunified Germany, and Berlin's appeal for young Israelis today. Further emphases include the complex history of German–Jewish relations after the Shoah and the portrayal of Jews and the State of Israel in various media.
Rapid Response on display
|Location||Foyer at the Old Building exit|
|Opening hours||10 am to 8 pm daily|