Museums often claim to be open to everyone. Having to admit that not “everyone” responds to the invitation, they try to invest in “audience development”, they develop “outreach” programmes and organise “special” activities for “special” people. As Foucault said, they work with the logic of including exclusion, where clearly the other is included as “the other” – and will hopefully not be too intrusive, too visible, too disruptive.
Should museums honestly wish to move beyond controlled narratives generously offered to “minorities”, some questions need to be asked:
- Who is “everyone”?
- What does it take to really open the door and welcome people to an inclusive museum?
- What can the role of “everyone” be in the museum – as a member of the public and as a member of the team?
- How can museums work around multiple, even opposing, narratives?
Join us on 13 January at 6.30pm WET (Lisbon) | 7.30pm CET (Madrid) | 1.30pm EST (Toronto) for a debate with Armando Perla (Chief Curator for the City of Toronto, Canada) and María Acaso (Head of Education at the Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain).
Armando Perla is the Chief Curator for the City of Toronto in Canada. Perla was part of the founding team of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights; an assistant professor in the Master of Museum Studies at the University of Toronto; an international advisor on museums, human rights and social inclusion for the City of Medellin in Colombia and Project Leader at the Swedish Museum of Migration and Democracy in Sweden. He is a Director in the executive boards of both the Canadian Museums Association and ICOM’s International Committee on Ethical Dilemmas (IC-Ethics). He is currently curating an exhibition on historical memory for the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP) in El Salvador. Trained as a lawyer –prior to joining the museum sector– Perla worked in the human rights field in North America, Latin America, and Europe.
María Acaso is a cultural producer whose projects seek to challenge the divisions between art and education, academic and popular, theory and practice; to develop contemporary education and transform the formats of knowledge transmission. She is a founding partner of the collective Pedagogías Invisibles, and she is currently Head of the Education Area at the Museo Reina Sofía.