Spreading the Conversation

Screen Shot 2014-07-04 at 8.55.28 AMAs the conference in St. Petersburg draws closer, and issues of museums, power and politics continue to grow in importance (just check out any of our weekly news roundups for confirmation of that),  we wanted to take a minute to share the ways in which you, dear reader, can contribute to the conversation, whether you’ll be heading to Russia or not.

We’ve just created an open LinkedIn Group, Museum, Politics and Power. Got a question, want to start a conversation, or looking for like-minded colleagues?  Find us there and share your point of view.  And of course, don’t forget our Facebook page.   If you’re on Twitter,  we have a hashtag, #museumspolitics and you could follow either Katrin Hieke (@MuseumThings) or Linda Norris (@lindabnorris) for regular updates.

But what about here on the blog, you might ask?   Voices from all over the world help make this a compelling read–so consider contributing yours.  If you’re presenting at the conference, you could use this space to work out ideas, ask for information, and get feedback.  But if you just have an interest and want to speak out on a Museum, Politics, and Power topic, we welcome any and all civil discourse.  More about writing a post here.

The generous sharing of information and ideas should–and usually does–characterize the museum field worldwide.  So spread away!

Photo by Drew Harty

FAQs for Presenters and Attendees


We’ve had questions from several presenters about the details of the conference, so we asked conference organizer Afanasy Gnedovsky of ICOM-Russia to help us develop this FAQ.  If you have more questions, please ask in the comments below and we’ll find out the answers as we can.  Of course, don’t forget to check out the conference website as more information is added on a regular basis.   Thanks Afanasy!

How long should my presentation be?

  • All speakers in the section parts of the conference will each have 25 minutes. You could choose whatever format works best for you– 15 min + 10 min for discussion or 20 min + 5 min for discussion.  But people will have questions so please leave some time for discussion.

If I want to use Powerpoint, Prezi or other media in my presentation, can I?  How and where should it be submitted in advance?  How far in advance?  Can you use materials in Mac formats?

  • Yes of course, you can use ppt. We ask all speakers to send their presentation in advance; the deadline is 25th of August. Please send your material (I use this word, because that could be not only ppt, but also a film or audio file, or pdf or something else). You could send us in any mac format, we will change it into ppt. You could send your presentation to: icom.russia@gmail.com and icom@icom-deutschland.de.   If your presentation is to large to email, please use a file sharing system such as Dropbox.

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Weekly News Roundup: June 23, 2014

whc2014_qhapaq_nan_bolivia06UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee inscribes new cultural and natural sites to the World Heritage List including the six-nation nomination in South America, the Qhapac Ñan, Andean Road System; Bolgar Historical and Archaeological Complex, (Russia);  Decorated Cave of Pont d’Arc, known as Grotte Chauvet-Pont d’Arc, Ardeche (France); Pergamon and its Multi-Layered Cultural Landscape (Turkey); and Myanmar’s first entry to the list, Pyu Ancient Cities. Sites on the list now number over 100.

Are science museums skittish about climate change?  Does it depend on where their financial support comes from?

What does 3D printing mean for the future of contested artifacts?

Italy does away with the free entrance for EU citizens over 65 and introduces more flexible opening times. Moreover, the government wants more private companies to take care of Italy’s art and promises tax breaks for patrons.

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Weekly News Roundup: June 16, 2014

Mini plastic men and a woman standing on piles of money

With an ongoing imbalance at museum director level and discrepancies in pay, gender issues deserve more mind space.  

Protestors invade British Museum, with Viking boat, to protest BP’s sponsorship of Viking exhibit.

Cabinet of Curiosities (How Disability Was Kept in a Box) a new exhibit by artist Matt Fraser draws UK archives and museums to take a look at a long-ignored topic.

Izolyatsia, a cultural center in Donetsk, Ukraine, was directly targeted and taken over at gunpoint by the “Donetsk People’s Republic,”  endangering contemporary art installations, buildings, staff and free expression.

United States government considers LGBT historic sites for designation.

On June 13-14, the UnStraight Museum Conference in the UK was held.  Videos from presentations are here.

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Weekly News Roundup: June 9, 2014

IMG_2415The Hermitage’s director talks museums and politics.

A fascinating look at Soviet-era museums.  Are they now museums of museums?

Nazi-Art in a museum in Kleve? Is it allowed to display art from National Socialist artists?

Nina Simon interviews Eric Siegel of the New York Hall of Science on the museum’s e-book project False Conviction: Innocence, Guilt, and Science.

“At Home in Holland,”  a new student digital history project in Amsterdam, responds to the way that hostile reactions to immigrants have undermined the traditional idea of Dutch tolerance and hospitality in recent years.

What role do museums have in our philanthropic thoughts?  R.J. Stein takes a thoughtful look at the good museums can do in the world (and reminds us that not all museums are good at doing good.)

Orhan Pamuk, keynote speaker at the Museums and Politics conference,  about his “museum of innocence.”

A useful list of resources for museums and controversy, via Australia’s Lynda Kelley.

Imitating a famous painting, a Luxembourg artist exposes her genitals at the Musée D’Orsay in Paris; won’t face charges but removed from gallery.

Sweden returns ancient textiles to Peru.

Image:  A nautical diorama at the Museum of the Arctic and Antarctic in St Petersburg by Konstantin Budarin

1914-2014 – Der Weltkrieg im Museum

Eröffnung der Ausstellung im Deutschen Historischen Museum

Eröffnung der Ausstellung im Deutschen Historischen Museum

In der letzten Woche hat das Deutsche Historische Museum eine große Ausstellung zur Geschichte des Ersten Weltkrieges eröffnet. Zwar thematisiert die Ausstellung selbst die Ereignisse zwischen 1914 und 1918, doch hat die internationale Zusammenarbeit bei den Vorbereitungen der Ausstellung mit Leihgaben vieler Länder, darunter Großbritannien, Frankreich, Polen und Russland, auch die Frage einer gemeinsamen europäischen Erinnerung aufs Neue gestellt. Vor dem Hintergrund der anhaltenden Diskussion über eine kollektive europäische Identität ist dies ein durchaus politisches Thema für viele Museen. Continue reading

Weekly News Roundup: May 27, 2014

Image-2-Emley_loosepageA fascinating new website takes a look at photographs, colonial legacies and museums in contemporary European culture.

The V & A Museum begins a program–and gallery exhibit- of rapid response collecting.  Among the first objects:  Primark jeans made in the Bangladesh factory consumed by fire last year.

Probably an act of terror: murder in the Jewish museum in Belgium.

An exhibition at the Arp Museum in Rolandseck shows the presentation of violence in the history of art.

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Weekly News Roundup: May 12, 2014

P1020561Museums around the world celebrate International Museum Day on May 18, with Museum Nights, special programs, and much, much more.  Consider the issues of power and politics as you visit!

Debate about the planned, private Body World Museum of Gunther von Hagens in the centre of Berlin: Churches, politicians and Berlin’s tourism industry find such a museum tasteless, lurid, and impious.

One million visitors a year come to the Acropolis in Athens, but a bomb threat last week showed that well-visited museums could also be targets for terrorism.

Porchia Moore’s thoughtful reflection “ Performing Blackness: Museums, Mammies and Me,”  makes a thought-provoking read, no matter where you’re from.

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