“Wir, die Museen, stehen nicht außerhalb der Politik, aber darüber”

Foto: http://topdialog.ru/2013/12/05/yuliya-kantor-za-god-kultury-k-etoj-sfere-budet-privlecheno-bolshe-vnimaniya/

Foto: http://topdialog.ru/2013/12/05/yuliya-kantor-za-god-kultury-k-etoj-sfere-budet-privlecheno-bolshe-vnimaniya/

Prof. Dr. Julja Kantor, Historikerin, Journalistin und Beraterin von Michail Piotroskij, Direktor der Staatlichen Ermitage in St. Petersburg, hielt auf der Konferenz in der Sektion 3 „Museums and ‚Hard History‘“ einen Vortrag zum Thema “The paradigm  ‚The historical truth – historical memory – historical policy‘ in Russia. Museum aspect“. Zwei Tage nach der Konferenz habe ich mit ihr über die gesamte Konferenz gesprochen.

Welches waren Ihre stärksten Eindrücke?

Als stärkster Eindruck bleibt zunächst mal die Tatsache, dass die Konferenz überhaupt stattgefunden hat und dass die Vertreter der drei ICOM-Komitees zusammen gekommen sind. Weiterhin hat mich die professionelle und konstruktive Atmosphäre beeindruckt, was ja vor dem Hintergrund der aktuell schwierigen internationalen Situation nicht selbstverständlich ist. Dabei gab es weder das Bestreben,  die schwierigen Themen  unter den Teppich zu kehren, noch bewusste Provokationen oder auch übertriebene politische Korrektheit. Das freut mich sowohl als Historikerin als auch als Museumsmitarbeiterin. Die  ICOM-Vertreter und Mitglieder haben eine gemeinsame Sprache gefunden. Continue reading

Museums – objects and subjects of territorial development

Section 2 of the Yekaterinburg part of the conference looked at museums on a broader scale, discussing the professional development of whole museum regions through professional exchange and the interplay of museums, cultural tourism and marketing of a region or city.

Wolfgang Stäbler and Olga Cherkaeva shared their experiences from many years of cooperation between German and Russian museums and museum professionals, from which both sides benefit a great deal, although working together is not always easy for several reasons, especially so now. But both expressed again their strong wish to continue the longstanding dialogue and exchange on cultural grounds.

On the Role of Museums

Volunteers building the New Belgica

Many of the Saint Petersburg conference participants traveled to Yekaterinburg for the second part of the meeting – a three hours flight to the Ural -, and many more Russian colleagues joined us there. But before any papers were presented, an agreement was signed in the presence of the international participants and many members of the press: the agreement of intent to establish a Hermitage-Ural cultural and learning center. Yekaterinburg has long been a closed city, but today it is bursting with construction and development projects, and the cultural center is an important component to make an appearance on an international scale. Continue reading

Tsarskoye Selo

P1030902The last day of the conference in Saint Petersburg took us to the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum for both tours and the roundup of the conference (see the Reflections post).  Such a magnificent place–what problems could they possibly have?  Amidst all this glamour, its director, Olga Taratynova, openly talked to us about the struggles to manage the site:  managing finances and coping with development pressures around this historic site; the same issues faced in many other countries and locations. Continue reading

Museums and “Hard History”

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What’s “hard history?”  It’s not difficult to find hard to talk about subjects in any of the three countries who sponsored the conference and this session on Thursday, September 11 included talks from three nations, plus more, in a session at the Museum of Religion.  But the three primary foci were on the legacies of World War II; of the Soviet times; and of colonialism.

A post about all the speakers in detail would be far too long, so I’ll attempt to explore just a few points that interested and intrigued me within these themes.  Dr. Franziske Nentwig of the Berlin City Museum talked about the relationships of the post-war museums in that city.  The German-Russian Museum in Berlin was initially founded as a museum of German-Russian relations solely for the Russian military–originally local people did not have any access so now the challenge is to make it appealing for both locals and visitors.   Its founding principles still mean that the war is presented from a Soviet military perspective, making it in the only place in history to have a Russian history of that war; while the Allierton Museum, the Allied Museum) tells the story of post-war Berlin from the perspective of the three Western allies.  Having such a richness of museums means that the Berlin City Museum can be, as Neuwig said, “a key to the door of the city history.”

Continue reading

Международное сотрудничество в контексте национальной и региональной культурной политики: опыт и перспективы (Россия и Германия)

o-COMMUNICATION-SKILLS-facebookAnother abstract, this time in Russian, from German and Russian colleagues about bi-national collaborations.

В контексте сотрудничества в области культуры России и Германии, взаимного интереса органов управления культурой Федеральной земли Бавария, Рязанской области и Республики Хакасия, музейные профессионалы Земельной службы негосударственных музеев Баварии и Сектора музейной энциклопедии Российского института культурологии (далее РИК) инициировали ряд музейных проектов. Такой опыт сотрудничества координирующих центров в области музейного дела на фоне культурной политики конкретных регионов, позволяет выстраивать многоканальную коммуникацию на разных уровнях, выявлять актуальные проблемы музейного дела региона и находить формы взаимодействия (выставки, конференции, семинары), отвечающие специфике разных сегментов профессионального музейного сообщества в целях развития региональных музеев. Continue reading

Мягкая сила музыкальной культуры России – The Soft power of Russian culture of music

Foto: http://www.glinka.museum/about/

Foto: http://www.glinka.museum/about/

Michail Bryzgalov, director of the State Glinka Museum in Moscow, will present a session at the conference exploring what museums of musician culture and politics have in common. Since politicians are using increasingly „soft power“ – culture, political ideology and foreign affairs – as means for reaching political aims, museums also can benefit from this concept as the author will demonstrate by presenting projects and concrete examples out of the Russian museum association for music culture.

Термин «мягкая сила» введенный американским политологом Джозефов Найем в 80-е годы прошлого столетия сравнительно недавно стал применяться в качестве главенствующих теорий во внешней политике и дипломатии Российской Федерации, потеснив методы военных и экономических мощностей, а именно «жесткой силы»: “Продолжаем активную целенаправленную работу по совершенствованию и модернизации инструментария внешней политики для более эффективного использования современных средств реализации внешнеполитических приоритетов, включая экономическую дипломатию, задействование возможностей «мягкой силы», информационное сопровождение международной деятельности” – из выступления Министра иностранных дел России С.В.Лаврова в рамках «правительственного часа» в Совете Федерации Федерального Собрания Российской Федерации, Москва, 18 декабря 2013 года.

Как мы видим, все чаще российская политика и дипломатия использует «мягкую силу» для достижения желаемых результатов. По теории Дж. Ная данный термин характеризуется тремя основными компонентами: культурой, политической идеологией и внешней политикой. И недаром такое понятие как «культура» стоит на первом месте. Continue reading

Museums as ambassadors and political players? Impulses for German-Russian relations

This blog has already provided many important and interesting suggestions for my conference talk. Thanks to all colleagues for their comments to my contribution on German Russian museum relations. However, also many other contributions and comments have inspired me. Today I will share my theses and again I am looking forward to further impulses.

UnsereRussen

Exhibition “Our Russians – our Germans”, 2007 Berlin

German-Russian relations are not at their best. Recently, the crisis in Ukraine, tightened controls of the political foundations, and continuous discussions about the development of the civil society and the human rights situation in Russia have been straining the [mutual] relationship. Even the otherwise always prospering business community complains about decreasing turnovers and in the cultural sector rifts are clearly visible despite claims to the opposite by the German state-minister for cultural affairs.

History shows that such periods of estrangement have repeatedly occurred in the past in spite of a generally good relationship. The low point of course was the catastrophe of German policy of extermination in East Europe during the Second World War. This tragic period is documented by the German-Russian museum in Berlin-Karlshorst. It is, besides the Allied Museum, a unique institution of international museum cooperation in Germany. The importance attributed to the German-Russian relationship by the German Federal Government is shown by the fact that it is one of the very few museums fully financed by the Federal Government. Continue reading

Museums of Ekaterinburg Factories

View over the Iset river in Yekaterinburg, Russia by andrijbulba

View over the Iset river in Yekaterinburg, Russia by andrijbulba

Ekaterinburg is the fourth-largest city in Russia in the middle of the Eurasian continent, and the main industrial and cultural center of the broader region. At the conference, Denis Vladimirovich Ilichev from the Ural Federal University is looking at the high number of industrial museums, being more active than others in their community work but at the same time facing a number of challenges. Here is what he will present:

The main aim of the lecture is the survey of museums of industrial plants in Ekaterinburg, estimation of their effectiveness as thematic units and their benefit for the plants. Generally, a group of corporate plant museums as the units of private enterprises, which are stock companies, is the most active group contacting with museum community. An enterprise interested in the creation of favorable image and widening marketing contacts, a priori has to develop its own museums as part of PR-company. A short history of evolution of plant museums, their today’s image and concerns, is considered based on the example of several plant museums. They are facing the following possibilities: influences on changing social-economic situation in a city district (UralChemMach factory); successful incorporation of the museum into PR strategy and  management of the plant (museum of Plant named after Kalinin, museum of UralMach plant). Continue reading

Museum model transformation: monocentric to polycentric – Трансформация модели музея: от моноцентрической к полицентрической

We should deal with the museum as a „polycentric institution“, not only with special fields of museum work. This is the main thesis of Anatolij A. Budko, director of the Russian Museum of Military Medicine in St. Petersburg, our conference city. He will be a conference speaker, today he shares his thoughts about a more global approach to museums with us. How can we analyze the museum with its social functions in changing societies as a whole?   How can we identify specific Russian characteristics that might have universal application?

KMM

Russian Museum of Military Medicine in St. Petersburg

Concept approaches towards museum activity in use till nowadays have interpreted not a museum but only separate elements or the reasons of its existence, which are used by different not even related to each other fields of science and cultural practice. While analyzing a museum as a cultural phenomenon attention has been focused on one or several aspects of admitted importance.

This approach in its essence is an overweighted one and forms a monocentric museum model that does not allow viewing a phenomenon of a modern museum with all its changing social functions. As a result the crisis of museums as a social institution is being talked about. In the cultural sphere museums tend to be reserve and self-sufficient that prevents them from the necessary adaptation to the changing conditions of the “one time” world. Continue reading

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