Training session – MMSU
X-OP / Training session
MMSU – Muzej moderne i suvremene umjetnosti
11.5.2020, 14:00, zoom
Participants: Iva Brižan, Ivana Lučić
Central to this workshop is discussion around keywords/concepts and thinking about educational strategies that would either be dedicated to minorities or problematize issues of migration. The participants of the workshop were engaged in articulating possible educational directions that Museum of Modern and Contemporary art in Rijeka could undertake.
The workshop started with theoretical part consisting of text by Merve Bedir and going into two case studies of educational programs involving minorities. In Vocabulary of Hospitality Merve Bedir brings in Derrida’s words:„…the foreigner is first of all foreign to the legal language in which the duty of hospitality is formulated, the right to asylum, its limits, norms, policing, etc. He has to ask for hospitality in a language which, by definition is not his own, the one imposed on him by the master of the house, the host, the king, the lord, the authorities, the nation, the State, the father, … This personage imposes on him translation into their own language, and that’s the first act of violence.” The workshop used the text as a tool to address the matters of language that more often function as an obstacle rather than opportunity. Discussion on the vocabulary was used as a starting point when thinking about learning program dedicated to minorities. In particular it was important to think the relation guest- host and think what can a museum do as a host, or what kind of host museum wishes to be and what would be the particular politics of hospitality. By looking into case studies of Silent University initiated by Ahmet Ögüt and Talking Hands the participants developed their ideas on possible learning approaches of the museum.
The practical part of the workshop consisted of the following questions:
How would you imagine educational program dedicated to minorities or problematizing issues of migration? What would be the key issues to build upon?
In which way could you realize a critical potential, but at the same time empowering the participants?
How to include professionals of color and/or with immigration histories from the areas of education and (art) mediation to contribute to the program?
Based on experience of working in your institution, what would be the possible obstacles?
The participants were expected to bring answers to the questions by selecting some of the words that were used as a point of further discussion:
EMPATHY, LANGUAGE, UNIVERSITY/ACADEMY/SCHOOL, GUEST, HOST, HOSPITALITY, ARTIVISM, AUDIENCE, HUMAN RIGHTS, EMPOWERING, POLITICAL ENGAGEMENT, INTERVENTION IN SOCIAL/POLITICAL REALITY, COLLABORATION WITH NGO’S DEDICATED TO THE RIGHTS OF MINORITY, ETHICS, CARE, INTEGRATION, MEETING PLACE, DISCRIMINATION, RACISM, TIME CURRENCY, TRANSFORMATION OF INSTITUTION, TEMPORARINESS OF ART FORMS, FRAGMENTED ART PROJECT, COMMUNITY ART PROJECT, ACCESS TO KNOWLEDGE, PEDAGOGY, TRANSLATION.
As a museum they have more experience with exhibitions, seminars and other programs that were problematizing issues of migration, but so far, they haven’t created a special educational program dedicated to minorities. Being an open institution, they found this direction to be logical at some point of the future. However, based on their experience, it is very problematic to work with a certain group only during the life of the project, as it often happens that when the project ends, the communication with particular group ends despite that everyone was pleased with a program. Another issue that can be problematic is the selection of the right/appropriate mentor who can have enough sensibility and knowledge to work with underrepresented group of people. The social sensitivity is very important as despite the art would be in the main focus, the relations with people as well as their real-life problems could became a part of the conversation, too.
When thinking about possible program they would like to develop, the participants mentioned that it is important to collaborate with different organizations who have more experience in the work with minorities, they would also focus on the development of new engaged audience and to do so the transformation of the institution would also be an important part. In that sense they would be interested to develop relation between host and the guest. Additionally, they would not think only of content that would be academic, but also practical and perhaps because of it could be easier to establish a common ground with participants of minority background (if the language is a barrier). For the museum it would be important to involve artists in the whole process and to create a program in which both sides can actively engage.