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INTERCOM: International Committee on Management

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INTERCOM 2011 - Museums and Politics

13 - 16 September 2011, Copenhagen

There is an old theory that museums should stay out of ‘politics’, that museums should, somehow, be neutral, and avoid anything contentious. The truth is that if museums are to be relevant to the majority of people, then they need to be part of the political world. Museums are often funded by politicians, they are subjected to political pressures, and many museums deal in ‘political’ issues, directly or indirectly. No museum discipline is exempt from this.

This INTERCOM conference examines the rights and wrongs of museums and politics – including political influence and interference, subject matter that causes museums to get involved in political issues, the perils and benefits of museums being ‘political’.

The conference programme is available to view here.

Conference papers/presentations

Wednesday 14 September

Which role do museums play in society – and should it be different?

The Safe-Enough Museum
Tom Hennes, Founder and Creative Director Thinc Design, Inc. New York

Whose tune does the fiddle play to? : managing museums and politics in time of cricis and transition
Rooksana Omar, Chief Executive Officer, Iziko Museum of Cape Town, President: Commonwealth Association of Museums & President of ICOM, South Africa

Money doesn´t smell. Museums between politics and market economy (word doc)
Ulla Tofte, Executive Director of Golden Days Festival

The national museums – do they have a special obligation?

National History in its International Context: the Concept of the German Historical Museums in Berlin (word doc)
Hans-Martin Hinz, Member of Management of German Historical Museum in Berlin

Museums and Politics: Reflections from a Swedish Perspective
Lars Amréus, Director General, of National Historical Museums, Sweden

The National Museum of Denmark: Strategies and Practice
Lene Floris, Director of Resarch and exhibitions / Member of the Board of Directors of the National Museum

Dealing with difficult subjects

A revision of belief: re-birthing the heritage of a nation
Ramzie Abrahams, Heritage Manager of Freedom Park, Pretoria, South Africa

The fault-lines in cultural democracy
Jette Sandahl, Director of the Museum of Copenhagen

Contemporary collecting in urban museums

Documenting a day in the life of a drug addict today
Ann Hoffmann, Museum of Luxenburg

Thursday 15 September

The world in conflict

Reinventing the City
Rosario Ramos, Director Museo Arocena, Torreon,Caohuila, Mexico

Conflict in Africa region in the past 50 years: Museums as interpretation centres (word doc)
Beatrice Uzoamaka Bassey, Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution, Abuja. Nigeria

Culture in Practice: Naming Logic of Museums in Taiwan (PowerPoint)
Ying-Ying Lai, Associate Professor Graduate School of Art management & Cultural policy

Engagement and Empathy: “Post-conflict” Interpretation of the troubles in Northern Ireland
William Blair, Head of Human history National Museums of Northern Ireland

Human rights and cultural diversity

Human rights and Cultural diversity in Tanzania
Lucina Shayo, Senior Education Officer, Museum and House of Culture, Dar as Salaam, Tanzania

Conservation of Identity and Cultural Expression (word doc)
Juliana Abara Chinwe, Head of Lagos Zonal office, National Council for Arts and Culture, Nigeria

Museums and the Political World: Civil Rights and Reform – Movements at the national Museums of American History (word doc) Dr. Kylie Message, Associate Dean, Collage of Arts and Social Science, Australia

Hot spots and critical reflexion

Is the governments’ involvement in their management a barrier for museums to exert their influences into the society? (PowerPoint)
Nguyen Hai Ninh, Officer, National Department of Cultural heritage, Hanio, Vietnam

The case of the Livingstone Museum (word doc), download PowerPoint
Funase Chitsulo, Assistant Education officer, Livingstone Museum, Livingstone Zambia

Cultures are good and regimes are bad
Per B. Rekdal, Senior Advicer, Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo

Express Yourself! An Exhibition about the freedom of Expression (word doc), download PowerPoint
Samuel Thelin, Education Officer / Hot Spot project manager, Malmø Museums Sweden

Migration and globalization

A Case study on Albania and Migration (word doc)
Etleva Demollari, Museolog specialist, Guide, Tirana, Albania

Self help Group – a policy for revival of culture: A study in Assam India (word doc)
Sangeta Dutta, Senior Research Fellow, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi, India

Migration of Pacific people
Tarisi Vunidilo, Secretary-General, Pacific Islands Museums Association, Auckland, New Zealand

Friday 16 September

Stephen E. Weill Memorial Lecture
Merete Ipsen, Director of The Women’s Museum and
ICOM board member