Monday, June 18, 2012
Networks and New Ideas in Moscow
It´s been quite a coincidence that I was able to travel to Eastern Europe again just a few weeks after my trip to Minsk in Belarus . Again, I would like to share some of my experiences and impressions from a region not well known in the museum world. Thank you, Linda, that I may do this again on your blog!
This time, I accepted an invitation from ICOM Russia to join the big event “Intermuseum 2012” in Moscow early June 2012. Each year since 1999, the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation funds and organizes, jointly with some other institutions, this huge event where museums of all kinds and types throughout this huge country and the former CIS countries are invited to join in; plus archives, libraries, companies in relevant fields, educational institutions, regional ministries of culture, universities and professional museum organizations. About 1.500 participants take part, not counting all the visitors – that is students and professionals at museums and from many adjacent fields.
In all discussions, conversations and inquiries during the conference, one question came up again and again: whom do collections and more generally museums and their ground belong, and thus who can make decisions concerning exhibitions or new offers, let alone building or welcome centers? As in Belarus, there are lot of people actively engaged, eager to learn, to share ideas and willing to make a difference. Also, they seem to be much more open to cooperations with organisations, institutions and companies outside the museum world (as, for instance, in Germany). But there is still a lot of control by the government too, but this appears to be somewhat easier to handle than in Belarus with a little more leeway here and there.
During the conference, I was particularly pleased to meet staff from museums in Belarus who were participants of my seminar on museum marketing in Minsk just a few weeks before. I was happy to hear how things were going and that their initial ideas they developed after the seminar were already put into practice.
So, see you all in Rio de Janeiro on the occasion of the ICOM General Conference in 2013 - or the following year, when ICOM Russia, jointly with ICOM Germany and ICOM USA, will host an international conference on the topic of “Museums and Politics," which perfectly fits to one of the primary topics of concern for Russian museums.
The board of ICOM Russia and the international guests of the Intermuseum 2012 celebrating the international museum community. Foto by Jose Gameiro