THEN, NOW AND ALWAYS – An in-person and online conference call
June 28-30, 2023
Abstracts due 25 Nov, 2022
Then, Now and Always is a research project proposal developed by the Czech Technical University. It explores the dynamic processes and changing roles of small museums for societies, communities and local interest groups. Recently, museums and places of memory have increasingly become centers of interaction and communication. Through documenting them, this project seeks to map current models of holistic placemaking and better understand local processes of preserving, telling, and sharing local history and cultural stories.
In this project, museums are understood as places where a common identity is created and local customs are given value, purpose, inspiration, and historical dimensions. It uses the notion of communities of practice and defines them as groups of people who “share an interest, fear or a passion for something. They learn from each other, communicate regularly, share experiences, exchange information, skills and create common goals” (Lave and Wenger, 1991). These community activities are key to creating long-term heritage revitalization processes.
Museums and Communities:
By looking at local museums this project explores the role of material heritage or architecture in preserving cultural identity via the holistic formation of lived places. The general mission of small museums is to primarily serve visitors from their own communities. We ask how the messages left by each particular era, architectural project or preserved artifact shape current and future community stories? In asking this we draw on Joseph Beuys and his notion of “social sculpture” – a dialogical practices that he described as “thinking, speaking and listening with others”.
Social sculpture can thus be seen as one of the processes that restore, preserve and develop museums as centers of social change through a dialogue with the community or interest group whose identity is associated with them. Beuys sought to change the ways curators communicate with the general public and, in doing so, set a trend for socially engaged artists, various institutions and active publics, that this project continues in its own particular way.
This call forms part of the overall conference:
Prague – Heritages: Past and Present - Built and Social https://amps-research.com/conference/heritages-prague/
Publisher: Intellect Books.
Host Institution: Czech Technical University, Prague
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