Conference on community identity forming aspect of museums

The priority project “Museum and library development for everyone” is implemented in the framework of Széchenyi 2020 programme with the consortium collaboration of Museum Education and Methodology Centre, Hungarian Open Air Museum and Szabó Ervin Metropolitan Library between 1 February 2017 and 31 January 2020, by HUF 2 billion.

It is the second international conference organised within the project the implementers of which are committed to increasing the role of equal opportunity, in addition to the inclusion of disadvantaged groups, and equal access to cultural goods.

The invited foreign presenters include Ewa Goodman from the House of European History inaugurated last year in Brussels; Eva Dittingerová from Brno Museum of Romani Culture, the only one of the kind in Europe; and Katy Ashton, director, People’s History Museum, Manchester. They all come from museums which strengthen, form or create a community’s identity by collecting, safeguarding and presenting the community’s historical and cultural heritage.

Dr. Ibolya Bereczki deputy director general, Hungarian Open Air Museum, the professional leader of “Our museum” project welcomed the participants of the conference. In her opening speech she outlined the topic, presenters and the programme of the conference, and she took a particular account of the identity forming role of country house museums and that of literary memorial houses.  Her speech was followed by Magdolna Nagy project manager, acting director, Museum Education and Methodology Centre. Her presentation gave an insight into disadvantaged groups and their local communities’ projects and programme.

The renowned foreign presenters also gave talks as part of the plenary section. Their talks focused on how European identity – though just being formed, but at the same time going through a crisis – can be shaped and presented by innovative museum opportunities e.g. by mentoring the Roma youths regarding their identity, or how the industrial heritage – essential pillar of the identity of a former English industrial town can be safeguarded and be kept alive within a museum’s possibilities.

The conference taking place with the participation of museum educators, museologists, curators, PR and communication experts, as well as university lecturers and students continues in the afternoon by the talk of Dr. Miklós Cseri, director general, Hungarian Open Air Museum followed by workshops with the participation of the foreign museum professionals. The topics to be discussed include making new permanent exhibitions, museum education tools to be used in the mission-like work of museums in creating communities’ identity, and presenting Roma culture.

More information:

Andrea Kontrohr

head of communication