20 Episode results for "museum archipelago"
84. On Richmonds Transformed Monument Avenue, A Group of Historians Erect Rogue Historical Markers
"Welcome to museum archipelago I'm Ian. Elsner. Museum archipelago guides you through the rocky landscape of museums. Each episode, he's never longer than fifteen minutes. So. Let's get started on the past few weeks near the pedestals of confederate figures they used to stand on monument, avenue in Richmond Virginia, a new type of historical marker started appearing the markers have Moose of the trappings of a state erected historical marker, ash leathers, and an iconic shape. But there's no official logo, just a bright sun icon at the top text in the middle describing past event, and at the bottom, simply the words history is illuminating. You start looking at historic markers that were installed in the sixties, seventies, eighties across the south, not just in Virginia, but it's all across the south. They're so basically worded and the subject matter is so biasedly chosen history is illuminating is a group of anonymous historians from the Richmond area who as the confederate statues were being removed decided to use the format of those historical markers as a medium to talk about the black history taking place while those statues were erected as monuments to white supremacy. The anonymous historians started calling themselves. Rogue historians. We have had a lot of discussions around this and we consider ourselves broke because while all of our bosses appreciate what we're doing a lot of the issues that come across in history are issues where the laws narrative was talked for. So long in schools that talking about aspects that go against the loss caused narrative can often be devices in our society especially in the south and I know personally the organization I work for I regularly receive phone calls or voicemails from people angry that we're talking about black history or saying things along the lines. Lines of it's better not to talk about it. We've actually had a couple of Our signs defaced and we felt like it was safer for us as well as significant because the facts are what are important. Not Historians that are coming forward. The loss caused narrative permeates museums, historical monuments, and textbooks in the United States. The narrative casts the cause of the confederacy as a just and noble won the ideology has been used to perpetuate racism and racist power structure. Since the end of the civil war, the lock narrative was actually invented here in Richmond Virginia, there was a popularity of glorifying. The battles and glorifying the nobility of what happened in the civil war rather than acknowledging the loss or acknowledging the essential part of slavery that was played out within the civil war. The popularity of that concept just grew ridiculously and the united daughters of the confederacy joined in on this and popularized it across the south, putting it as the main screen form of education within textbooks as well as making it monuments risen. Risen across the south, the dodgers confederacy actually not only rose monuments to the confederacy, but they also actually rose a few monuments to the clan and one of the single densest and largest collections of confederate symbols was in Monument Avenue, a grassy purpose built, grand, avenue. In. Richmond. The first monument erected was a statue of confederate. General Robert E Lee, which as of this recording is the only confederate monument still standing on. On the avenue when it was rejected in eighteen ninety, there were no buildings around it. At the time it was constructed. You can actually see photographs to Google that have pictures of the Robert Lee Monument surrounded by people working in cotton fields. The whole thing about monument avenue. That's so interesting is that monument avenue has been a street of walking tours. It has been a street of people coming and walking down and. And remembering a glorified past that was taught to them in their textbooks and childhood and many people from outside of the south comes, Monument Avenue, and are taken aback and gas at how dramatic it is. It's these large out like larger than life monuments set up on huge pedestals with marbles. Stop Shire's around them that seem like something from ancient Rome with Jefferson Davis giving his I quit the federal, government? Speech. And all of these symbolism around, and they also have closed on that monument. I forget the exact wording, but it goes into detail talking about how he deserves the illegal rights to pass on the legacies that he knew to his children, and just it's fascinating the way that the sentence structure. So often just fall short of a full sentence. The the ideas just fall short of a full idea. The idea that you're fighting for space rights, not the state right to own slaves. It's these half ideas that are not fully constructed that caused really short winded debates because there's not many talking points beyond the short. Short ones people were taught in school. It's just been really upsetting to everyone in our group after years of pressure on July. Second Twenty, twenty Richmond Mayor Lavar Stony announced the official removal of most of the confederate statues on Monument Avenue. That's when history is eliminating started the way this initially came down was me and a friend who is the other lead organizer were talking on the phone one night after Lavar announced that the monuments for coming down. We said this happened and we initially had planned to write them ourselves and them in with the yard signs, we were just going to keep replacing yard signs. Signs on Monument Avenue and my partner and sign started talking to a few friends and they were really interested in the nine new. A couple of historians that we thought might be interested to, and we just kind of kept talking to people in everyone's was like this is what I've been wanting to be doing a group of rogue historians continued to grow. They communicate by attacks channel, bouncing ideas off of each other, the partnered with studio two, three, a local collective feminist printmaking studio to print zine, featuring the markers and a map of how the find them. There's about ten members in the group they're all. All. Different races, genders, sexualities, ages all of those different representations and there are people who in the group who wanted to participate in the Senate and have no interest because they are way too busy to participate in social media or anything like that I. Think it's important to just keep going back to everybody and saying he wants to participate in this or have an opinion, and let us know if you think this is a good idea or not. The name history is eliminating is meant to indicate that it is the act of setting history itself that can illuminate the present I choose to read it. History can be eliminating to the extent that the statues that used to stand on monument avenue teach history. When combined with tour guides, they teach the battle history and the aesthetics of quitting the federal government. That history has a lot of facts in it. But what might be more illuminating could be a discussion about the reasons for the war or the backlash against reconstruction when I came to them and told them, I wanted the name centuries eliminating. They were kind of taken aback. They were like I, I don't know how people are GonNa feel about hearing history. The word history seems like a bad word. So often, and it's so true that so often history has been manipulated and utilized to hold people down which so true in the loss caused narrated the people in our group realize that working in history and listening to the people getting frustrated and angry that if we take. Take these monuments without taking a moment to educate people about the larger picture of wide. These monuments are offensive to so many people and not simply the things that people are saying in their head, the one liners from history classes, children. Once you start realizing these larger pictures, you start to realize that it isn't justifiable. There's still here in our communities and it it or even if it is justifiable. Telling the whole story, the markers are created using a CNC machine, which the text and creates a convincing looking historical marker members of history is eliminating are quick to point out that the markers are not intended to be confused for an official marker, but they clearly evoke the medium in episode forty, two of Museum archipelago author and historian Freddie, Williams Evans, an activist, Luther Gray describe their efforts to go through more official channels to wreck historical markers in. New. Orleans. Louisiana. Lake. which meant there was plenty of commemoration going on in new. Orleans. But like Richmond, there was almost nothing acknowledged the city's slave trading passed or the powerful backlash against reconstruction. History illuminating approach demonstrates some of the advantages, a bypassing the official channels. They can act quickly to comment on the changing situation on monument. Avenue did the signs in Chronological Order Luminance. Themselves are not in front logic order. It's a little weird but. It works out, we wanted to talk about black history and what was occurring to black people in the city of Richmond concurrently with what was happening as these monuments were raised surrounding the white history. The first fine is dusk of Black Power Donald Jim Crow, and it discusses black men who served in the Virginia General Assembly between eighteen, sixty, nine, and eighteen, ninety and. And Eighteen Ninety was the date? This monument went up and the first act of the eighteen, eighty, nine elected Virginia Senate was to accept the Lee. Monument. Another marker erected by histories eliminating describes John Mitchell junior a business person and editor of the Richmond Planet, which was Richmond's black newspaper at the time and quotes what he wrote on the occasion of the unveiling. Unveiling, the Robert e Lee Statue in Eighteen Ninety, John Mitchell junior wrote on the unveiling of the South reverence for former leader slowed progress in forged heavier change with which to be bound, and he also stated that black men were here to see this monument raised and we'll be here to see it torn down. It's also illuminating to realize that even within the history. History and museum fields going rogue and staying anonymous can be the easiest ways to get something like this done. Trying to move forward in a way that everyone gets a little bit more education and understand the fully picture. It's something that a lot of museum organizations because they are held accountable by donors or grants or things like that often have to tiptoe around. Around, and are not able to come out and say, flatly, and the idea of bringing some other discussions within the community is unsettling too many people even within the historic field. There's also a technological story here. It used to be that only civic institutions could raise the funds to make something like monument, avenue what's so interesting in the city of Richmond is actually just Just like how all of these monuments risen historically, the way that the commission's work is will say, Oh, we need a monument for this person and someone is the monuments commission or someone involved in the city says, yes, that's a great idea. Let's create a commission to that and they'll come together and it's a Lotta. It's not like they don't know what they're. They're doing, but they'll all sit down in a circle and kind of say, yes, just him academic and I work in museums or I work in public history or you gotta they think they know what is right for everybody and then they'll go to Richmond City Council or whoever's Communities City Council and say we need X. amount of dollars for this piece of. Of Public Art in front of this building, and they'll say, yes, just that sounds great, and then they'll go interview a bunch of artists and choose the piece of art. But no point other actually not elected officials at no point. Does the community actually got to stay in the construction of the monument, which is exactly what happened all along. I've today historians, Kengo. Because, the tools of producing directing historical markers are relatively inexpensive. The technology to three D print. A convincing life statue of anyone or anything is right around the corner today. Are Expensive and require huge funding structures to start. But they won't be forever the tools of museum building at every level are poised to become cheaper, and when that happens, it won't just be historians going rogue. If anyone is interested, they can download our Zine completely free on studio to threes. They can if they want to. But it's really not a big deal. We're encouraging people that if you can't afford to donate or just like don't have it in new right now, that's totally fine. We'd much rather instead of donating, you have that really hard conversation with relatives or friends that you've been putting off and about how you think that language, they said that one time made you feel uncomfortable. This episode of Museum archipelago is brought to you. By S- recess an innovative. It APPS development company with smart products like pigeon, a real time intelligence platform then covers the power of way finding for your museum enabling your visitors to maximize their day at your venue. Vizier is can navigate the maze of a museum with ease conduct automated and personalized tours based on interest RSVP for events and get more information about the exhibits in front of them. Bijan is a flexible platform that can be customized to work for your museum, and because the platform takes advantage of low-cost beacon technology, the APP works offline as well. Visit Pigeon Dot Free Dot com slash museum to see how pigeon can help your museum. You can find a full transcript of this episode and links to other episodes at museum archipelago. Dot. Com Museum archipelago is supported by listeners like you who have joined club archipelago on Patriot. If, you can't get enough about how museums shape our lives join. Now for two dollars a month. If this is your first episode, subscribe to the show for free using your favorite podcast player, and if it isn't leave us a rating or review. and. Next time. Bring a friend.
78. How Museums Present Public Health with Raven Forest Fruscalzo
"Welcome to museum archipelago. I'm in Elsner. Museum archipelago guides you through the rocky landscape of museums each episode. He's never longer than fifteen minutes. So let's get started a few months ago before reports of a new form of crony virus now known as Cova Nineteen started appearing in the news. I visited an exhibit called outbreak epidemics in a connected world at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington. Dc The exhibit laid out the coordinated. Detective work that public health workers and many other professionals do as identify and respond to infectious diseases. Such as HIV AIDS Ebola virus and influenza. There was even the touch screen game. That invited me the work cooperatively with other visitors to contain an outbreak before it spreads further. So the funny thing about public health and a lot of the scientists that contribute to the to the knowledge that public health workers use. Is that if you're doing everything right. Nobody realizes that you're doing it right. It's kind of the opposite of a glamorous job this is raven forced who scelzo a professional science communicator and writer who works as a content developer and production assistant at the Field Museum in Chicago and hosts the excellent science podcast tiny vampires. Hello my name is Raven Forestry Scelzo I am the host of tiny vampires podcast and my day job is at the field museum here in Chicago so public health is a little bit of a complicated thing because there are a lot of people who do public health that maybe people don't consider them to be public. Health workers forced through scelzo lays out three broad groups of people working in Public Health. Scientists public health workers and clinicians the scientists generate new knowledge. The public health workers apply that knowledge by creating plans to prevent disease and increase access to treatment and clinicians carry out those plans by directly treating people as a science communicator. I think one of the issues between scientists or health workers and the public. Is this thing that we say. Insights communication called the information deficit hypothesis. Which is basically. We're assuming that people don't know things and if only we could just give them the information then they would know and understand using that model which is basically how most science has been communicated in the past. It causes a lack of trust because it's kind of this assumption that on the scientists standpoint that other people are ignorant and we decide what information they need that that has created this massive rift this massive trust issue because the public doesn't trust the scientists because the scientists are assuming that they're ignorant and the scientists are not trusting the public to understand with healthcare in particular. There's there's a lot of emotions. People are afraid of getting sick and they also have a lot of their own personal experiences that they're trying to incorporate into what public health officials are telling them and this is where museums come in so museums. Which I think is something that you've talked to a lot on your show about is that they have a lot of trust. Their credibility is really high. There's a lot of information there about disease and different public health aspects. That are kind of all over the place for example burning burning tick with a match. So when you when you have an exhibit about why it's important to remove take with forceps tweezers instead of burning it with a match if public health worker tells them that they might be skeptical about it. This is the way that my family has been doing it for years and years whereas with a museum they have that credibility and they have that ability to show in more detail in in in a lot of different ways. Why that's important. People will take that information and internalize it more than with with an organization that they might not trust as much. One of the advantages of presenting. Public Health within the museum is simply the context. A lot of museums are starting to do exhibits that not only incorporate what we know but also how we learned what we know and that really increases people's trust in that information because if. I just tell you a fact you might be skeptical. You should be skeptical and at WANNA look into that deeper but if I tell you fact and then explain to you how we got that information your your ability to trust that information vastly increases. I think a lot of exhibitions and a lot of museums have started to put a priority on that and I think that's really important because you know museums in the past have done and said some really terrible things and we're constantly trying to acknowledge and move past that or at least at least the field museum is And I think one of the ways of accounting for that is telling people is starting to tell people how they know what they know because if that was the philosophy of museums back when they were presenting a lot of racist information they would not have been able to support it with scientific information or scientific research. Because it's not there. You know the new way of doing things is you can't just say things you have to back it up and and I think that is a really really important way of accounting for the past. There are a number of museums that present public health topics either as outreach or by focusing entirely on the subject of public health there are actually a few museums. That that's all they do There's a public health museum in Massachusetts. And then the CDC actually has a museum of their own museums. Really have the ability to make a large impact when they do public health sorts of exhibits or incorporate public health into their existing exhibits so a good example of that is at the field museum. Part of our ancient America's exhibit is about the smallpox transfer from Europe to the Americas and how that impacted the native people of South and Central America. So that's not what the exhibit was about but it is incorporated into it so another great example is the northwest African American Museum in Washington. They did a really cool exhibit. That was about five diseases and conditions that disproportionately affect the African American community and there are a lot of art museums around the country. Who HAVE ART therapy programs? That aid people who are being treated for Mental Illness. So there there are a lot of different museums that are starting to think about what their role is when it comes to the health of their community. The outbreak exhibit at the National Museum of Natural History Opens with of planes taking off and landing at various airports around the world underscoring one of its main points that the world is connected as I was walking through the exhibit and I can't stress enough how abstract the threat of viruses seemed to me at the time I was suddenly aware of walking through the gallery with a crowd of people reading about infectious diseases on the graphic panels. I was less eager than usual to use the touchscreen exhibits with my bare hands. It it really is a testament to the to the power of the exhibit when you when you kind of your pulled out of the exhibit and then realize that what it's about is something that you're currently Participating in right. I think that's where that's where museums really fit in. Because they have so much experience in helping people to understand complex ideas and using lots of different types of media to make that happen. We're broadcasting during this pandemic the end of March twenty twenty almost all of the themes presented in the outbreak exhibit. Seem relevant today. The diseases aren't quote exotic in other words. They don't all arrive from distant places that the connected world has advantages even during a pandemic but as forced scelzo points out the fact that the National Museum of Natural History is physically closed because of Cova nineteen and so is the field museum. And every other museum we've ever featured on the show is telling in itself so museums closing. I think is a really important statement that they're making that they trusted the scientific information that is being put out there There's a lot of scientists who work at museums but that does create a gap museums are where people get a lot of their scientific information and like US especially adults and once once you're out of school they're there really isn't as much access to scientific information a lot of it's behind pay walls so museums are institutions that the public is relying on cove nineteen as really changed. My View on how important digital media is to how the community how how the museum is interacting with the public on her podcast. Tiny vampires forced through scelzo avoids the assumptions of the Info deficit hypothesis as she communicates science to her listeners. Each episode is instead guided by questions sent in by listeners about insects that transmit disease and the scientists who are fighting them and like a good museum exhibit. The question is answered with background information and the story of how scientists were able to shine light on that particular mystery. People are far more intelligent and far more understanding than the scientist public. Health workers of the past gave them credit for this whole concept of Talk to people like their fifth graders. I is exceedingly condescending. Like we're we're we're all in this together regardless of our educational background or anything. So yeah it's it's definitely a were all figuring this out and just being good stewards of the information and having really good communication this episode of Museum archipelago is brought to you by pigeon a real time intelligence platform that uncovers the power of way finding for your museum enabling your visitors to maximize their day at your venue using pigeon. Yes like the navigating bird. The museum's management can gather real time data for managing space effectively in relation to visitors while improving their Roi through marketing. Automation and using pigeon visitors can navigate the maze of a museum with ease conduct automated and personalized tours based on their interest. Rsvp for events and get more information about the exhibits right in front of pitching is a flexible platform and can be customized to work for your museum no matter the size and because the platform takes advantage of low-cost beacon technology the APP works offline as well this means less data transmission cost for you and bigger savings for visitors when using the APP outside their home territory to find out. How pigeon can help your museum visit. Pigeon DOTS RECESS DOT COM slash museums. That's G. E. O. N. Dot S. IRS WHY ASS DOT com slash museums. Thanks so much to pigeon for Supporting Museum archipelago you can find a full transcript of this episode and links to other episodes at Museum Archipelago Dot. Com Museum archipelago is supported by listeners. Like you who've joined club archipelago on patriotic. If you can't get enough about how museums shape our lives. Join now for two dollars a month if this is your first episode. Subscribe to the show for free using your favorite podcast player and if it isn't leave us a rating or review and exile bring a friend.
80. British Museum Curator Sushma Jansari Shares Stories and Experiments of Decolonising Museums
"Welcome to museum archipelago. I'm Ian Elsner. Museum archipelago guides you through the rocky landscape of museums each episode. He's never longer than fifteen minutes. So let's get started. There's a way to look at history that focuses on the events themselves. And then there's a way to look a history that focuses on the fallout in the Fourth Century. Bc. E So Lucas. Who's one of Alexander the great successors and Chandra Gupta who is the first Moyen Emperor in northern India met for the first time by the banks of the River Indus and there they had some kind of military encounter? What kind of military encounter? Well we don't really know what we do know is that following the encounter. Greek ambassador megacity was sent to the Indian Interior for the first time and he wrote an ethnographic cool the indicate and it described India for Greek Odeon based on personal observation. But also that you need this. Lots of strange storytelling as well. And this particular tax reform the foundation of Western knowledge of India for generations. And you can just imagine that. Soldiers and British soldiers in the nineteenth century took translations of this particular taxed with them to north west of India when they were exploring. So it's a very long life and it's particularly that that continues to resonate. This is Dr Shushma John. Sorry Tabor Foundation Curator of South Asia at the British Museum. I'm talk to central Michigan. Sorry on the Table Foundation Creator South Asia at the British Museum. And when I'm not at work I welcome my podcast which is very much a passion project and this is called the Wander House will get to the wonder house in a minute because it's an excellent podcast but I a doctorate at University College London. Jane sorry studied this ancient encounter of which only Greek descriptions survive. That moment of meeting in connection has been completely transformed it was transformed cleaner period by British and Indian scholars have precious scholars saying. Oh you know so. Give Woman's warned. He defeated this Indian general whereas the Indian scholars right the the complete opposite that take gender. Gupta defeated this incoming European and he became a great leader and ruler. So actually I think because of this uncertainty. I think it tells us a lot about the time we live in right now. And how may have been transformed in the past so that Doesn't it doesn't bother me in the sense that we will never have this Tonic truth because you know we're never going to get that what we can study is the fallout. How people interpret these historic events and how that reflects on the moment. They're living in now and of course what better way to see in the form of a building how people interpret historic events than a museum itself. This is why the whole idea of decolonizing museums and collections is so important. Because I think up. Till now we've all been complicit in telling partial stories under the guise of trying to be neutral and as we know that neutrality is quite problematic and it tells very very partial truth or partial version of a story. Museums are great way to see what historic events meant to the museum. Builders and I can think of no clearer example than the British Museum. We have reading credible exhibitions on. Say you know when you're thinking of ancient South Asia? They're often on Buddhism or Hinduism organism. So they have a very close religious fakers but will they don't tend to address very rarely that I've ever seen anyway is today's collections. Arrive here. What was the clinical interest in that material? How has it been interrupted? How's it been presented at also? Why why Nice particular ways? How how has that changed over the last century or so it? It's too easy to present a cycle neutral view the ancient Pau of ancient religions. But I I don't think that's particularly ethical. I think if you're going to be doing that you need to be telling that full story in episode thirty nine of this show. We examined Hand Sloan and the origins of the British Museum. Funded in large part by his marriage into the enslaving plan Takeuchi of Jamaica and aided by Britain's rising colonial power global reach. Sloan assembled an encyclopedic collection of specimens and objects from all around the world that became the basis for the world's first public museum the British Museum. A place where anyone could freely enter to see the glory of the British Empire the empire and fuses pretty much every aspect of life life in the UK. Whether we're all aware of it will not in a weather. It's the names of the streets. We walked down the the museums that were founded the collections. They hold the structures. We still all inhabit when you look around at the museum's mice museums I'd say UK. They hold the contents of empire objects collected around the world by client officials by soldiers by Salas people. Working Abroad Uber. Count disentangle the two. When you are telling a story you need to be honest. And tell the whole story or at least as much of it as you can possibly share. Because otherwise you're telling a very very partial one. That often overlooks the violence of an object's collection and the situation and circumstances it was created taken purchased and brought him to the UK to be held in a museum today. Sorry is the first curator of Indian descent of the South Asia collection at the British Museum. In the past Tracy Tell Dighton. Do you think about it very much. I think he's signing when I look at my couture practice and how I approach my role. The collections who. I want to work with and how I realized that actually there is a difference between what I do. And what's other people in a whole range of institutions? Bring Two zero and at first. I was really uncomfortable about that. I thought my goodness unit is it. Just because of who I am and what I am. What about you know? My academic side Olifants might use skills knowledge but actually. I think it's my ability to do my job. Is it somehow rich? I bring a slight different perspectives. We'll say in how I do it. The South Asia collection at the British Museum is so enormous that it can capture the sweep of history of South Asia from the Paleolithic period. To the present day. The gallery opened in two thousand seventeen before that it was last refurbished in nineteen ninety. Two it just happens to be the largest gathering the museum so hey no pressure looking say. Try Not to fail on your first go. It was it was really tricky. We started by thinking about who actually comes to the museum and seventy percent of our audience comes from outside the U. K. And if those people a huge proportion than not very well versed in the history cultures religions of South Asia. So how'd you present your collections in a way that shares this really incredible to the world with people who'd About it and so. We decided to have a chronic thematic kind of approach. We started with the Paleolithic. She's about one and a half million years ago and ended at the present day and the encyclopedic collections at the museum permits us to be able to do something like that. As part of that isolated wet on the ancient to medieval sections. Which is the collections? I cover along with the bulk of the anthropological collections. And also the textiles it. It's got a mammoth collection. The Dakota but as Powell fat I was very keen to introduce moments were slightly unexpected stories and people what presented so for example in the main oil. You walk down. One of the first sculptures you encounter is the modern line capital which takes about the first century day and it was actually excavated and request to the museum by South Asian Collector Pokharel Energy on. I put a portrait of him on that label as well as little bit attacks expanding it because I wanted people to be confronted by South Asians in South Asia Gallery. It's not enough to display their culture of their collections in their history. I think it has to be a shared enterprise and an in another section for example in the Janus in western India the Medieval section I included fate graphs of the Jane Temple from less. Which is where I'm from in the UK who wanted to show you know the sculptures on display. They are just as much positive. British culture as it was back then in the medieval period. It's not just a alien religion in Asian culture. It's our shed culture now. I think it's really important to connect the dots so you do. Share this broad sweep of history and culture but then you want to intersperse it with these other reading important moments linking in a WHO and what you might see around you as you get your everyday life in the UK linking it with with the pastas. Well I asked John. Sorry if she's noticed changes in who visits the gallery and how much time they spend there since the update very interesting. Hughes how they engaged with different displays how it can sort of tweak them to make more engaging annoy definitely notice that there are more South Asians in the gallery space the South Asia section. Anyway this is a really tricky one because I hope that a museum is for everybody. The reality is that as you say. A lot of people don't feel that the museum is for them and it's it's terrible because obviously the museum is for everybody but once again when you have very neutral displays and people aren't addressed people aren't consulted people you want working with members of the community. I think understand why they might feel somehow excluded from these spaces and we've all had moments have been chatting to people may assume that museum is not for them it somehow seen as a very different other ring space. A when you see the workforce inside the museum also predominantly white and. There are very few members of your black and minority ethnic stuff in the museum's once again. What sort of message are you trying to share with everybody else? You're saying hey come come to a museum but you can't work How how'd you change that? And I think it's not just one not tweets. I think it's a fundamental reimagining of what exactly a museum is exactly. This museum is full. I'm not sure that we have these answers. But what I think is really really important. Is that we start having these conversations. Are We start experimenting? And this is one of the reasons why John. Sorry started the wonder House podcast. The podcast which is completely independent of the British Museum is away again. Sorry to share the most innovative contemporary approaches to decolonization and so I got in touch with some people whose work I really respect and I asked them if they were willing to talk about their work what they learn what they what they thought didn't work quite so well and share their stories and experiments with decolonizing where they love about. The wonder house is being able to listen in on these conversations. That might not be happening in museums themselves but are happening at coffee houses and pubs nearby and the show explores the scale to you here. John Sorry who works at one of the largest institutions in the world in conversations with people who might be their museums only curators. I worry that the decolonizing museums incredible energy that it has right now. It's quite easy for that. To evaporate every single a movement has its moment and unless we embed this kind of knowledge and approaches it's it's going to evaporate and that that's one of the things that worries me. Most I not just the collections but also you know the the simple fact that many of us who work in museums you often one of the one or two Black Amano. She ethic people in an entire institution. That's not easy. Sorry studies the ancient world. But now she is at the forefront of modern museum interpretation printing not just the event but also how the event ripped through history remember the story about Salukis and Chandra Gupta from the beginning of the episode. The Indian interpretation of that moment has worn out. And actually if you read historical novels modern comics if you watch Indian films and in TV series. That's exactly the vision of John. Goto that we have now and you know what it's evolving over time you know days of being shaped and reshaped day by day at the moment and I think that's really exciting. This episode of Museum archipelago is brought to you by pigeon by S- recess a real time intelligence platform that uncovers the power of way. Finding for your museum enabling your visitors to maximize their day at your venue using pigeon. Yes like the navigating bird. The museum's management can gather real time data for managing space effectively in relation to visitors while improving their Roi through marketing. Automation and using pigeon visitors can navigate the maze of museum with ease conduct automated and personalized tours based on their interest. Rsvp for events and get more information about the exhibits right in front of to find out how pigeon can help your museum visit pigeon that's racist dot com slash museums. That's P G. E O N dot S. I. R. S. Y. S. dot com slash museums things so much to pigeon for Supporting Museum archipelago. You can find a full transcript of this episode and links to other episodes at Museum Archipelago Dot. Com Museum archipelago is supported by listeners. Like you who have joined club archipelago on patriotic. If you can't get enough about how museums shape our lives join now for two dollars a month if this is your first episode. Subscribe to the show for free using a favorite podcasts player. And if it isn't leave us a rating revealed next time. Bring a friend. I remember one time I saw someday just Looking really they. It looks really focusing close on a particular textile. I thought Oh my God. What is it what what's going on so I wanted over and that? She had a compact house applying her lipstick. So it's always good to have you create this amazing display but you know what other people may not necessarily take it that way.
86. Nashid Madyun Fights the Compression of Black History at the Meek-Eaton Black Archives
"Welcome to Museum archipelago I'm in Elsner. Museum archipelago guides you through the rocky landscape, of museums. Each episode is never longer than fifteen minutes. So, let's get started history professor doctor James Eaton taught his students with the Mantra African American history is the history of America as chair of the history department at Fam- you historically Black University in Tallahassee Florida. He was used to teaching students how to use Inter Library loan systems, and have access rare book collections for their research. But in the early nineteen seventies as students research questions got more. In depth and do deeper into black history, he realized that there simply weren't enough documents. Vet Helped him to realize that the understanding of Abraham. Lincoln the K. K. K. The rise of the black middle class Jim. Crow. All of the stores will forever go untapped properly if there is no repository and he found that s people died ahead material in the addicts but in this region south Georgia. South. Alabama northern Florida there was no place to present these wears. So he started to try to enhance his class from these artifacts. He took advantage of an available bus and win around the region asking people for material and happy to share in donate, and there was no formal museum practice or are Cav at the time. It was a professor of history trying to find a way to help. The students see that there are two sides to store that collection grew to become the meek eaten South East Regional Black Archives Research Center, and museum on Families Campus One of the largest repositories of African American history and culture in the southeast. This is not she'd imagine director of the museum. Hello, my name is she'd met you in I'm director of the Southeastern Regional Black Archives Research Center and museum. At family as Florida University. So this institution was founded in nineteen seventy one, it opened its doors officially to the public in nineteen seventy, six, professor James e Thanh was able to collect artifacts to enhance the classes. He was teaching in history in African American history and he was able to utilize this building in the mid seventies too present the Verma. Billion in artifacts to be found to interpret. African American history as he saw him present public programs the collection and museum our house in the Carnegie Library on Families Campus Dr James Eaton died in two thousand four during the construction of a four story expansion building that was erected right behind the library to keep up with the growing size of the collections because the archive we started from artifacts and documents gathered by bus there was some geographic. Focus on the floor of the region but today, the museum interprets black history in general with objects from all across the country. The research we pull together takes us to the entire Florida panhandle and South Alabama south, Georgia. So now we have amongst these four floors thirteen galleries the highlight the number one highlight will be our Jim Crow and the KKK collection. Now, the antique uniform, the Constitution from. Nineteen twenties, the memorabilia that highlight the derogatory advertisement and propaganda of the Jim Crow era. We also have an antique style church highlighting the plantation churches of the Tri. County area is early as eighteen thirties and replicas of those churches. Sixty four churches were utilized for this exhibit. We also have a changing gallery upstairs that we polite items or issues that addressed some point or some aspects of popular, culture. Public coach now will be black lives matter and that movement has been going on for the past couple of years. So what we have now is an exhibit objectively presenting the subject of newsprint from seventeen hundred to the present, how the violence and black codes and legislation perspectives have been portrayed in print media, and so people been very interested in that exhibit. So that's very compelling. The galleries also include African Americans in the military, which features artifacts from the civil war and the Spanish American war and African American pioneers in Medicine and Science, which highlights US role as a research institution. With the way the gallery is setup madeline fights against the compression of African American history when I was studying history in. Tallahassee. Florida as a high school student moved quickly from the emancipation to the civil rights movement of the nineteen sixties skipping the time between like to integrate new possibilities in ways to tell stories that are hidden are not properly told recall this particular exhibit, Jim, Crow, kkk Asaf from slavery to freedom. The exhibit previously had all of these wars together and one wanted separate those two so that we can see that there was a split in Tom there was bondage and then there was emancipation and freedom and There was a gap from the eighteen eighties to the nineteen thirties when cotton was king tobacco with strong, you had the rise of the black middle class and they rise the black middle class. The mobility of the black middle class specifically coincides with the three ways of the Kankakee. We present derogatory material in the face of the public and say, this was this wire. was you had people who feared this rise and so you can interpret it how you want to. But we present based on defamation we how wicked talk about the rise of historically black colleges and universities the introduction of dentists and lawyers the Holla Renaissance Chicago Renaissance all of these movements just so happened to coincide with the exact timeframes of these waves of the gay. And that's what's going on and so I don't believe that any point of history he will the slave chains or breeding bates or KKK role she'll be hidden the depth and breadth of the collection enables the museum to tell a much broader story than just A. House or museum that is tied to a single event history who museums that interpret black history that's still somewhat rare. But Matt sees it as the beginning of a trend Avenue resumes for twenty years and when I came into museums, all the museums majority were mainstreamed. They're only few African American museums if there was an African American museums, African American historic house right and so the idea that a major story can be told by small museum in our new virtual world is possible. It was not possible ten years ago definitely possible twenty years ago. So we have opportunity unfortunately, we still need to catch up to the desertion as needed so. That we can compete major museums some city museums you know especially, art museums received city funding even if they're attached to universities and now we're starting to see that happened with black museums and my role is to take advantage of these resources in bridge. The Gap Madman says that part of the gap is technological that museums are always trying to catch up to where their visitors are. An example that he cites is seeing his student visitors not being able to read cursive handwriting. We hadn't exhibited a last year that we thought was wonderful in open it up in a student coming in looking at actual bills or sales from slaves. Former slaves, buying their sisters and brothers and wives. You know Brian the freedom and so we're waiting for that JAL dropping expression in there looking at it like it's are like, oh, they don't know how to recur. So frightening here's a letter from Zora neale. hurston talking about her ex and going through that divorce. You know she's from Florida. Understanding that the cost of a slave was eight hundred dollars and pulling these details that you would not get. There's a generation gap I'm in my forties and beyond the new generation that are not learning to write long form or manuscripts are cursor writings. Now, wait to go back and look at some of these exhibits in handsome and Lon improperly, and it turns out that the museum has time to go back and enhance some of the exhibits. Of the pandemic because of the time we live in with the pandemic, the idea of digitisation has really been propelled into a stage that is front and center people were at home. During the summer one what they could do, they wish to go visit the museum. You've had three or four years to get to the museum in your hometown. Now, we want really want to get out and get to the museum. We've begun to walk through the museums and pull out artifacts and how virtual tours. This has been a very good, very productive summer part because we've had no guests. So we've been able to focus on all of these very practical. Logistical projects and we're GONNA come out a nice polished shiny domin able to look at K. through twenty. So the students on campus and the counties that surround does the you know the exhibit will be aligned to support curriculum. Students and teachers will be able to go to our website and and pulled out scavenger hunt sand coloring pages or discussing questions in. Artifacts that help bloom nate that the Meek Yvonne Southeastern Regional Black Archives, Research Center and museum is part of the floor of the African. American heritage network which we discussed on episode eighty five of this show for madeline the increased focus on black museums in the state and the slow progress towards more historic markers on black history are stepping stones. It's a systemic stone these are the first step and to establishing in. Stores and hopefully, stores are our objective. But at least you able to identify the initial point of interest and organizations nonprofits, grassroots committees can come together and expound on that whether they erect a structure, a-walking park and activity. But across the South specifically not from Arkansas across the south, it's been wonderful to see places that have you know monuments or historic house or parks demonstrations were there was once just a marker both. This episode of Museum Archipelago is proudly sponsored by Super Helpful, an audience research and development firm dedicated to helping museum leaders create more equitable and innovative organizations to Problem Space Research Kyle Bowen, the founder of Super Helpful has brought together a team of designers and researchers to build a new community for museum folks who want to support one another as they imagined, what museums will look like in the future I'm looking forward to. Being a part of the museums as progress community, and if you'd like to join to, you can sign up at super helpful dot com slash A. R. C.. If you apply to become a founding member of the community using that special link just for Museum archipelago listeners, super helpful dot com slash air sea. You'll be able to bypass the current waiting list to join the community. My thanks to super helpful for Supporting Museum archipelago. This has been museum work. For full transcript of this episode as as show notes and links visit Museum Archipelago Dot Com. Museum. Archipelago is supported by listeners like Hugh who have joined Club Archipelago Club archipelago members get access to a bonus podcast. We've been doing indepth reviews of how museums are portrayed in movies, TV shows and even video games. If you can't get enough of how museums shape our lives join club archipelago today by visiting joined the museum, Dot Club, thanks for listening and next time. Bring a friend.
58. Joe Galliano Fills In The UKs Family Tree At The Queer Britain Museum
"Welcome to museum archipelago. I'm there. Museum archipelago guides you through the rocky landscape of museums. Each episode is never longer than fifteen minutes. So let's get started sons out the in order to launch museum. It's a long way too expensive process. Who knew this is Joe Galliano, one of the co founders of the queer Britain museum. Heller, Joe Kelley on on the co founder and CEO of quit Britain, the national LGBT key, plus museum of the UK Galliani came up with the idea for a national LGBTQ, plus museum in two thousand seventeen during the fiftieth anniversary of the partial decriminalization of homosexual acts in the UK an anniversary commemorated by cultural heritage institutions across the country. I felt slightly conflicted is none of us, ry was thrones man. None of us route was focused around criminality victim host some sort of Fe familiar, tropes, that we got rolled out. And we start talking about when we saw. Okay. Man lost via missile site itself. Harry tradition where we will we live in a world thankfully, whether it's a rich a wildly diverse says sexualities and gender identities on the left me slightly sad, and also the fact that it was very much hug him on a verse rate of annoyed didn't want did white another fifty years before it was FANG major happening again mobile spatial, we built something momentum of being gathered around that anniversary and that it didn't just fizzled away lost value. The emphasis on the anniversary of legislation could have come from the context of a long history of formal legal repression of male homosexuality in the UK going all the way back to the buggery act of fifteen thirty three. So we had the buggery act, which was introduced on the ice. On behalf of the ice, which was very much around male sexuality, mile same sex attraction police, invest and this'll kind of tight on the books in various fools until onto sixty seven Radi wedding was partially that was that was partially from allies Asian partially from allies, Asian the age of consent was set twenty one where was sixteen for everybody else that points as well prosecutions, absolutely rocketed. So as soon as that in some allowance for people who behave naturally, it was it becomes a big estate, be people with two legislation only focused on male homosexuality, which is, of course, telling it's interesting that those laws were always about men, women would same sex, desire or less rendered invisible in public life of the law. I think there's also if we're talking about muscle of legislation, I think there has been a. Prejudice, which is actually a lot of bounce patriarchy about mayo views of sexuality, and service to who has an active sexuality who has a passive sexuality, and thanks through a lot of portion of history women's sexuality was seen as inservice to male sexuality. And so what would you legislate against them, though? So some stories that when some of the late bills roles to quit Victoria, that they were too embarrassed to actually talk about as being as or anything like that how much truth there is, of course, the focus of queer Britain won't be legislation. But as Galliano's says the laws previously on the books and the increasing number of violent, homophobic, transphobic, attacks in the today have distorted, the country's understanding of itself, and tie directly into the mission of the museum. We've talked about a central. Hubs of be visible globally and within the mainstream will give a message that here is a here's a catalytic space. The will collect stories of his, his, his way of helping grasp on the standing of itself by giving quiz stories that route full place. So got means rice in place books within the culture and also a rightful place place can be there. The word queer has a complicated history. It was synonymous with strange or weird, and was a common slur from that LGBT people activists in the nineteen eighties. We the word and used it as an umbrella term for wide range of sexual orientations and gender identities today, queers and increasingly popular way to identify within the community, but as historical traumas persist, and as the word can still be found in hostile environments. It's important to note that not everyone's in agreement Gagliano, and the queer Britain museum, use the term. I'm as proud self identifier. And as an intentional move away from using the word gay and male homosexuality in general as standing for all identities. The plan is for queer Britain to have a physical space in London opening sometime in the next few years. Although the U K is full of museums. Some of which have queer artifacts and queer stories Gagliano is conscious of how backsliding can happen in legislation and culture, the laws and norms of today, can't guarantee that the future will look the same institutions like museums are part of maintaining today's momentum and can give people who have had their stories told by others a chance to narrate their own history. It was fun. It was fun movements within the museum communities mouth to quit. Spice has made sure of they all kind of announcement stories and say, how can we them three the main, the main of collections Ave, the yet note some places have got further than others? Some obdurate anything. But, but that's really, really good. What are some of the web site, volunteer life, down vote have via night Hughes convincing really good. Museums, LGBT, museums who is as a great, volunteer activists. I think possible fair is the multiple movement forward. Who's being the relies on activists curator's really excited volunteers in it. It doesn't take too many people to leave sites. Elza move somewhere else in the now that's loss. The other thing I think's really Paul is the, the such of Richard. Wildly diverse Sattar stories to tell that those museums never going to be able to tell those stories whereas what we have the ability to do is to create a catalytic, but what we call stories in. We can keep telling different stories which and change the exhibitions will and that'll DT he people convenient control of stories, as well. Whereas actor history, so often, it's been all the people who've told us stories and Galliano is acutely aware that stories are being lost every day about end as well. We also have a digital filled aural history project, which recalling, especially announced about making sure that we, we've got the story of people who with us now he can add into the archives become Paul that. That. H important really that we gather the story is now. Well, well, people can actually talk to us. So that's a really strong focus of the moment. Now in south of understanding where we're going to be headed with the archives. Always is this. We are designing a national survey of museums around the country today. This is the national archives. What we readings through this kind of a proper sentences. What is the nation's HOGAN material that we would think over's LGBT focused so that will mean then the it'll stairs? Where important gaps had we fill gaps. And that's gonna concave is a census wet. See what foes collecting activity when the museum is still an idea what the word museum means is still flexible, in addition to educational exhibits about queer history and culture. The proposed museum is also a place for people to upload their own stories and the whole project serves as an antidote to the psychological damage of transphobic and homophobic, attacks and depression. But museum interesting words net because it comes also. Pitch. And actually, we're talking about something very much broader than just a museum in official sense. They and currently show what a culture values and every good way of being able to understand where we all now on the somehow we go there, and then take them standard and use them to imagine a best of all possible futures new barrels questions who always haven't we get tweeted? We want to be retired should be different every time you come to new van when, when the physical space itself opened water will be looking at a series of Skype characters an awe rolling series of gastritis so that each each Tommy, bring somebody in like you know, what is the story that you need to tell what is the story that hasn't been told material that fit unexplored in other museums archives where able to shine a light phone. Sometimes it'll be about the abstract condition won't that position is going to be bringing line around the block. We can conditions of turning community stories that have been told, for example. So it could be everything from an I'm talking off the top of my head. Right. That's my, but that could be everything from what is Ellen Jones stage, costumes through to what is the quick Bangladeshi experience of bumming in the nineteen fifties, creating a new museum is no small task. But Galliano is ready for the challenge as he goes through the processes collecting and fundraising. He's also focused on building partnerships, his route to creating a robust institution begins with acknowledging that is a bigger project than just one person or one identity many challenges. If you want to look, they're all fascinating and exciting to step up to how do you carry the responsibility to make sure that something that there's such a, an needful? I'm such a desire. Sunny within the LGBT plus communities. How do you carry the weight of the responsibility of having said that you're going to do this, and making sure that you've delivered for those people, you know, or want to create an organization? But if I sat away from it, and the, we've got the right you know, the, there's another person that will be able to take over them, mantle. And so the, the organization isn't about one person but we've created a robust organization that will be able to deliver fabulously. It's my exciting thing I've ever worked till because it's the thing on most. I've never I've never worked for something. I feel so passionately is is important. I've never picked off a project which is. Brilliantly challenging, is this in it scale in the Skype in the scope of all the different stakeholders, the, we need to make sure sort of role close and doing the right things, and, and that we also keep a laser focus on the strategy to make sure that. This episode of museum archipelago is brought to you by the museum studies graduate program at the Corcoran, school of the arts and design at the George Washington University with a graduate degree in museum studies. You'll be quipped to respond to the evolving museum profession by engaging in hands on training in the heart of the nation's museum capital established in nineteen seventy six the program combines academic excellence with access to some of the most celebrated institutions in the world. Thanks to an exceptional faculty of practicing professionals this pioneering program is ranked among the top museum studies programs in the country. The programs affiliations with more than sixty museums and cultural organizations. Enable students to immerse themselves in world class venues as they learn from some of the nation's leading museum professionals students can concentrate in three areas. Collections management, audiences and interpretation or museum management to learn more. Visit go dot GW dot EDU Ford slash museum studies. This has been museum archipelago. You can find show notes and a full transcript of this episode at museum, archipelago dot com. If you liked this episode you can support the show and get some fun benefits like logo stickers and bonus podcast feed by joining club archipelago on patriarch special, thanks to club, archipelagos, newest member and host of the excellent museums in strange places podcast Hannah. Hetman thanks for listening and next time. Bring a friend.
74. Houston, We Have A Restoration with Sandra Tetley
"Welcome to museum archipelago. I'm in Elsner. Museum archipelago guides you through the rocky landscape of museums each episode. So he's never longer than fifteen minutes so let's get started every time on. Apollo astronaut said the word. Houston they were referring not not just to a city but the specific room inside that city mission control in that room NASA engineers average age twenty six answered third radio calls from the darkness of space sitting in front of rows of green consoles cigarettes and cigars in hand they guided humans to the moon and back channeling the efforts of thousands and thousands of people who worked on that program through one room. I realize the value of this room to American history world history. It's one of the most significant places on earth but up until a few years ago. That room was kind of a mess. It was opened anyone who could get into the building. You can actually go into that room. You can sit at the chairs you could all the phones press the button. They have the CO ops. Come in their first day and they could would have coffee and breakfast at the Console Department of Defense used to have their retirement celebration through there so it was looking pretty ragged when we first started restoring this. This is Sandra Tetley historic preservation officer at the Johnson Space Center. Hi My name is Sandra. Sadly I am the historic preservation officer annual property officer at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston Texas Tetley and her team at the Johnson Space Center or JC just completed the restoration of the Apollo Mission Mission Control Center also known as mo two or because space programs are built on acronyms simply macher. So putting aside the room being used for retirement parties and breakfasts the real challenge of the restoration with simply the fact that history keeps going. Mo served as is mission control before and after the Apollo missions to the moon so it started out with Gemini it's flu all the manned Apollo mission than it did the Apollo so you test project guy lab and began in just shuttle and we actually lost shuttle Challenger out of the same room so if the goal is to restore the room. How do you know what is the most significant mission? How do you know which era to restore it to well in this case? It's clearly apollo. Sometimes history is messy and it's layers overlap but here it's pretty clear and this is a widely held view in one thousand nine hundred five. The room became a national historic landmark landmark or an H. L. specifically because of its role in Apollo sort of sub building is a national historic landmark based on the man in space survey which was a survey done all the national center when the building was designated that they have a period of performance which was from Apollo eleven and Apollo Seventeen. which is your when men landed on the moon? You know of course except for thirteen but that was the period of significance of the room. meaning that in this designation nations of an NHL. This is what the big focus would have been about by nineteen ninety-two. The room was no longer being used for any missions and this gave way to the era of of retirement parties and breakfasts that's where the Texas Commission stepped in and they really fought to keep that room from being completely gutted and and modernized. You know we were. We were in the throes of shuttle and Space Station until we did not have the budget or you know really the interest to do an actual actual restoration of that room and because it was a national historic landmark. What happened is the Texas state. Historic Commission made an agreement with NASA. JSC SC to leave that room alone to basically preserve it or restore for posterity because that is where we landed on the renovation really got underway around two thousand fourteen when Tetley started applying for grants with the National Park Service. The interest was there but it wasn't obvious what the next steps were again. I can't to try to get buy in and support to do the restoration and there's a lot of consternation because that room is so visible and it is so so important. Various organizations on site wanted to control it and they want us to control the restoration so there was a big battle on. Who would do that in how it would work out though. Kelly pushed for a restoration rather than a simple renovation. Gene Kranz who served as chief flight director of at the Apollo missions decided to leverage the upcoming fiftieth anniversary of Apollo. Eleven to get it done right only after mister. Cran wrote what I call all his nuclear letter and got the article in the newspaper Houston Chronicle and he wrote the park service. The Advisory Council folks are senator. Did NASA administrator straighter. I mean everyone got a letter saying it is time to restore this room. You're running out of time and it needs to be ready for the fiftieth anniversary. and that finally got ought everybody kind of on offset center to get going. That's when the restoration really started to take shape during the missions through room featured a visitor's gallery behind it. The idea was that media and family could watch what was going on without disturbing the engineers on the floor since they were making life and death left decisions. The engineers couldn't be interrupted today. That same visitors gallery serves the same purpose to keep visitors off the floor. And that was one of our biggest battles that we had was to begin to lock it down and prevent people who go into the console and going into the room and that is continues to be. Our biggest battle is to keep a limited number of people after for. This is not a unique problem to human heritage on arth and once we create a museum at the Apollo Eleven landing site on the moon. It won't be a unique problem to human heritage off of the earth either. There's only so many people who can visit visit the cave before the cave. Paintings are ruined. Now that it's restored. The best vantage point is from the viewing room because all the consoles are lit up and there's furnishings Washington documents and so forth all over the console. That's the best because no no one goes into the console area all except a retired controllers restored room. Looks exactly like it did in nineteen sixty nine as visitors. Entered the gallery above the room comes alive in the fourteen minute experience that portrays he's five different parts of the Apollo Eleven mission with historical accuracy the dissenting landing the first step the reading of the plaque on the lunar module President Nixon calling calling the astronauts and finally the recovery after splashdown the lights on the consoles the projected graphs and maps the buttons and even the clocks change to display Blais. How they would have been at those exact moments Houston. He's our business experience. One more of Disney esque type experience. Dance or you heard the the chatter about the main landing but that you saw at computer generated imagery on the screen of the limb landing on the moon. And what what. What are the restoration. Is that you try to make it. Be historically accurate. And that wasn't historic accurate. They never had any film or any imagery of them landing on the Moon Eh till they return so the only thing that was showing on the screen was data. Whatever was showing from a console that would project up there. They show the map APP where they were expected to land. At the lunar mapping and information like that because they were making these decisions so we had to go through all the films that was ever filmed in mission control. We had to go through all that and then we had to recreate every single thing that was on all five of the summer display screen and all the clock on the up. He actual audio when they like about. This approach is it. Lets the drama of the historical events. Play out it because there was a lot of drama in the room itself. Having the real time information come through maps and numbers and the astronauts own voices particularly as a decisionmaker is an incredibly intense experience on. Its Own. No fancy animation required. We wanted people to to really. I understand what the flight controllers were doing and what decisions they were happened to. Make your bathroom loose. If people saying we've got another twelve one along go keep going keep going. You're hearing decisions. You can feel the stress and the that what they're having to do and then even when they land you continue here. Okay we gotta stay in Nose Day. You know and then they begin to make that so. It's very tense. And that is what we want to protect you but we want them to understand that. These men Dan whose average age was twenty six years old. We're having to make these these real time decisions based on numbers numbers and if you look at the screens on the concert crazy. I don't know how anyone can make heads or tails about those them and they're having to make these decisions for these men's lives and you know what will happen. And what do I do and how do I do this. And and a you know they did it. And that's what we really want people to to get in there just go. Oh my gosh so cool. I can't out you know this is great and I think it really comes across very well when you visit independence hall in Philadelphia with the. US Constitution was signed. Mind you see the desks in the assembly room are staged with quill pens and spare parchment as if the signers just had to step out for a moment in the middle little heated debate. There were stores did the same thing here. But instead of quill pens they studied the binders cigarettes ashtrays and bottles of coke. The engineer eighteen years had on hand from old film and Video Archives. When you go into view the Fokker everything's there is place for reasons based on film and still photography and and we place own there during the mission for the flight controllers and it is a little little bit of a blend of flight controllers For example you know one may drink coffee and we'd have this copy that we may have the RC. Cola can't there as well L. so we didn't try to isolate it to one particular. There were different shifts during that time. And there's also a lot of people in the room there wasn't was it just the ones that I can turn or five people around each white controller so there was stuff everywhere yeah briefcase. We have sports coats. That were their jackets and sack lunch. That they brought in and actually we. We realized that it was just didn't quite get it without cigarettes in the Astros are Astros or our pool of cigarettes. And and and if anything about the ashtrays we have say half. Those dig amber ashtrays because they're cigar ashtray and the reason why they got a big cigar ashtrays because they smoke so much that they would still let the smaller ashtrays too fast. The restoration opened on July twentieth. Twenty nineteen exactly fifty years after the room guided humans to the lunar surface for the first time in attendance were gene Kranz and other flight controllers and engineers. This time though they didn't have any life or death decisions to make. They could simply enjoy the room on the fiftieth anniversary. The the flight controller solar. Said we really have that with ourselves. We don't want to crowd likes to take our wives. As there is very rarely able to dissect family family and their wives on the floor during that never happened during this one of the flight controller said is that when they landed man on the moon we did not set to celebrate because if we we were worried. RENITA 'cause determined. Are they going to say are they. Say you know everything working correctly in and they had to make those decisions so they never got to celebrate. So the fiftieth anniversary came around say really celebrated and we had them all come in and we showed them all of this experience because lot of net was the first time they've seen it and then we brought them on the floor and all of them could just Go and get all the consoles and you know. They told us they told us. So much though. It didn't look like this. You know this look like this and Oh my gosh. How did you find my Coffee Cup. That's just while was doing a lot of camaraderie. And then we took their pictures so we took each flight teen pictures at their console. So we have these really great photographs. Were very emotional. And sort of we're able to to really relive it and realize what they've done at this point and so that was very special that kind of the top it all off this has been museum archipelago archipelago the best reason to join club. Archipelago is to support the research and work. We do here on Museum archipelago. Hell ago but club archipelago members. Also get access to a bonus podcast feed including a museum movie. podcast called archipelago out the movies. This this week we dissect season seven episode sixteen of the Simpsons an episode called Lisa the ICONOCLAST. Even though the episode came out Elton. One thousand nine hundred six. It feels surprisingly relevant to today's museum landscape as Lisa discovers that the local historical society is propping up. Her town's founding founding myth for the benefit of those in power get instant access to this and other great perks by Joining Club archipelago on Patriots. On A and you'll find a full transcript of this episode as well as shown it's an links at museum archipelago dot com. If this is your first show. Subscribed subscribe for free in your favorite podcast player. And if this isn't leave us a rating or review wherever you get your podcasts. Thanks for listening and next time bring a friend.
85. The John G. Riley House is All That Remains of Smokey Hollow. Althemese Barnes Turned It Into a Museum on Tallahassees Black History
"Welcome to Museum archipelago I'm in Elsner. Museum, Archipelago Guides you through the rocky landscape of museums. Each episode is never longer than fifteen minutes. So. Let's get started. John, Gilmore Riley was born enslaved on the Tallahassee Florida plantation in eighteen fifty seven John Gilmore ride into slavery about three blocks from here after slavery ended each owns education for career and became the first black principle of the nick of high school that was built to provide an education for newly freed slaves and their descendants here where we're sitting in right now is the John G Reilly House and museum in what is now basically downtown Tallahassee and this is Alpha means barnes the founding director of the museum. The My name is Al to these farms and the founding director of the John Gilmore Rally. Research Center and Museum. The Executive Director and I've been that for twenty four years the John G Reilly House a handsome two story Wood House sits in the same neighborhood as the older well-kept plantation homes Tallahassee. Eighteen fifty seven was the center of Florida's plantation economy assistant built almost entirely on enslaved labor enslaved people outnumbered white people three to one of the two, hundred and seventy nine white families living here in eighteen sixty, nearly two thirds owned at least. One person wants the slavery system down was eliminated in the area. A lot of the properties remained a part of that establishment and a lot of the blacks worked on the plantation remained in the area over time of the blast mood Dan. So ultimately, it became this African American enclave call it, and it's swear over eighty families settled around the eighteen seventies. The families had stores, they had churches, they have school that operated out of. John Ame Church, they had a with yard. It was a pretty much self sustaining community. They had pretty much everything that was needed, which was important because it was during the days of Segregation Vedra segregation. So they were limited in terms of of they could go to shop ready to could go for entertainment what have you and during the period of crow and black codes this neighborhood, this enclave became known as smokey hollow why the name smoke our younger. we have among the fact, but smoke Allah grew out of the fact that okay. It's an all black community. So a lot of the more out say undesirable elements ended up in smoke hall. So you had the electric station, the first electric building, the incinerator were all decisions trash was burned was smokey hollow many of the women did domestic work white fan is brought in their clothes and back then the women did the watch out sat over a black. So they had to make these fires and so he would always see smoke coming up from the buyer pots and then the train ran right through smoke out. So what the city Mitt smoke so that's all that is a smoke part. Then be say to the children will wear are we are we on? He'll Novia a hollow so that's the smoker. John Gilmore Riley was a critical part of this self sustaining neighborhood as the principal of the Black Lincoln Academy which later became Lincoln High School. He was known as Professor Riley, he also served as a guardian a kind of. Record, keeper a births and deaths for black people in the smoky neighborhood. The majority of houses and smokey hollow could be described architecturally as shotgun homes. Riley was able to buy some and rent them to tenants in smoky. In eighteen ninety s Riley built this grander house for his family on the northern end of smokey hollow this house when it was spilled was a very up sale. beat deal. For. Tallahassee for Abe laggers. Because if you think of the fact that, okay, you have a person was born a slave. and. He is a slave to he was about eight nine years old then along came another time in history. People like. Mr. Still were not allowed to learn to read and write so he had to. Get votes yet knockin Ryota So she teaching how to re and then he grows up more and then other people counted on him and then you had jumped rogue. Code Swear Black People. especially the men were endangered couldn't do things that of India there were mentioned close by because the Jay says smokey hollow and they. Pass, that day I grew up in Tallahassee in fact I grew up went to school listened to miles from smokey hollow but I had never even heard of it not even once. So why have I never heard of it? That was the question I went to the Riley House to ask it turns out that there are a lot of reasons but it all. Stems from event that Barnes simply refers to as eminent domain fourteen years after Riley died the city of Tallahassee decided that it needed the land that the smoky. Hollow. Neighborhood sat on and proceeded take it as public property through a process called eminent domain in nineteen sixty community with him. Domain had made the about eight families that were eight or to negotiate as. Long enough to get money for their properties, the residents were told the city needed the land to build a new capital complex. Tallahassee, is the capital of Florida but not much actually came of the project save for the construction of a new road over the neighborhood, and this was the Tallahassee I was familiar with the entire community raced out of the urban landscape and out of the minds of people like me but not for the former residents who forever resented eminent domain. Of smokey hollow already cleared out in the nineteen seventies the city had it sights on the Riley House itself the idea was to demolish the house and turn it into an electric substation here the former residents have smokey hollow many of whom were taught by Riley rallied to prevent the home from being destroyed. The house was fully restored in Nineteen eighty-one. Barn. Says that it was the Preservation of school that the house would serve as a center to interpret local African American history and that's where Barnes. Comes in in one, thousand, nine, hundred, six, she stepped forward to turn the dream into a reality starting with oral histories were the first people to come over to our cleaned up after the restoration to prepare opening as research and museum. There are many ways to interpret history. Aspects of his house. One of the first things idea McCain Bahasa, we don't just be a museum of pictures on the wall I want to document history that has been ignored neglected. So Motto Cam Cameron, try it almost interviews all the people this if people want to know anything about the black. The real authentic black. You have to talk with people lived somewhere else I. Tell you something. Your primary source. Is Much. Today, the dream is realized the museum doesn't just have pictures on the wall this even talking audio animatronic likeness of Riley, which was in a very Florida twist donated by the Disney Corporation. Don't go your roots people can kill you any being an. You. Truthfulness Barn says that the museum uses the years of Riley's life as an interpretive method to provide context for the legal forces of segregation acting on smokey hollow and black people across the nation. Brain be even that the birth death day Mr Reineck was born in eighteen fifty seven. So we said Okay what famous Cohen decision happened in eighteen, fifty, seven and interesting news mobsters keep thinking he thinks Oh dre Scott. dre At Scott decision tell me about dress Scott. From in more was ruled against. Okay Mr Obama died in nineteen. What happened in nineteen? Oh. Yes. Brown. Versus the board. Of Education, the location or views of the John G? Reilly. House. And Museum Mostly Express gratitude to learn what reviewers didn't learn in school. There aren't tuning museums in Tallahassee that interpret these kinds of histories. Barnes knows all too well work. Often bureaucratic work is necessary to keep the memory of smokey hollow in the city of Tallahassee. A more recent example of this comes in the city's development of a new twenty four Acre Park called Cascades Park on mostly land that used to be smoky hollow. Now here we are with these twenty four waivers we will do this car and the whole thing was that the people do they developed. City county level was making no mention of the footprint, the original So being from Tallahassee, I'm bone all race Benny on life. I started going to the meetings. And we also have the noise. When it was time for QA, raise my hand and some got to the point where people knew what I was going to say you know I think you need to represent. The history of what was here before you make this into casquets Pau ban no reference to smoke cow that Manila Info about two years finally after a shift in project management, Barnes was invited to create a group that would commemorate smokey hollow at Cascades Park. So we met for about. Two and a half three years identified from smoke. Draw me in. Or Histories we had workgroups they gave we got a big map they will come and put a sticker. Okay. This fan. is they marked where everybody up where? This was located everything we needed. To document smokeout. The results of Barnes's efforts are now right across the street from John G Reilly House park goers past the smokey hollow commemoration, which includes historical plaques and cleverly designed three. The outlines of the with smoky hollow shotgun houses we really wanted to reassert knows. That was the save to secure defacto neck. And so decided that, what should we call these and round? So be said spirit houses because those smoke holly is not here the spirit of slow gallery of. So when she stepped forward to work on the museum in Nineteen, ninety-six Barnes was unfamiliar with the Museum World She had worked in state government up to that point. She had never written a grant, but she became familiar with the museum world in. Florida. She helped found the floor of the African American heritage. Network, which features landmarks and museums all across the state. She wrote grants she helped others write grants in order to fund projects overlooked by the mostly white historical establishment. That, she needed to sit on committees that decided which grants should be awarded, and then she sat on those committees but to this day there steel. Since, you go to somebody organizations that supposed to be representing the state. Associations go to some of that means. And it's really unfortunate because there's rich history here now I would say during the past safe five to seven years I've noticed more moist younger people come the come to know what you know. But it's it's a rich people have missed all these years. The resources. But they didn't have the people with the right mindset and this is all part of this social justice that people talk about and then the has itself bill eighteen ninety. How many years ago was that? In a person's life, they aren't supposed to steal saying. This House is. Because some people cared about. This has been museum archipelago. A. This episode of Museum Archipelago is proudly sponsored by me. You might know me as a podcast host, but I also make interactive museum exhibits and now I'm available to help your institution with any museum technology project and as I hope Museum archipelago has convinced you, I. Do Know My way around museum please visit emails New Dot Com if you're interested in learning more or email higher at new dot com to see if I'm a good fit once again, thanks to me for Sponsoring Museum archipelago. You can find a full transcript of this episode and links to other episodes at Museum Archipelago Dot Com. Museum archipelago is supported by listeners like you who have joined club archipelago on Patriot if you can't get enough about how museums shape our lives join now for two dollars a month if this is your first episode, subscribe to the show for free using your favorite podcast player, and if it isn't leave us a rating review. And next time. Bring a friend.
75. Museduino: Using Open Source Hardware to Power Museum Exhibits
"Welcome to museum archipelago. I'm in Elsner. Museum archipelago guides you through the rocky landscape of museums. Each episode is never longer than fifteen minutes. So let's get started on museum archipelago. We focus on power in museums on how cultural institutions have a tremendous amount of unchecked power. The power takes many forms and one of these forms is control over the technology that delivers museum content to visitors from a button. That plays a bird call when you touch it to a projection screen. That plays a story about the battle of Gettysburg when you get close to it. Every museum. Interactive requires a technological solution. Oftentimes museums will purchase proprietary solutions. Oftentimes they're very expensive especially to maintain them and if they break you are sort of forced to rehire the same company or rebuy new equipment. An can be fairly costly really quickly. This is Ryan Trujillo. Lead developer of the Cultural Technology Development Lab at New Mexico Highlands University. My name is Ryan Trujillo. I'm the lead. Developer of the Cultural Technology Development Love at New Mexico Highlands University and also a instructor of a software design. The cultural technology development lab is an RND program were university faculty and Students. Museum professionals and other partners work together on technology and design solutions for cultural institutions through working with these institutions across New Mexico and the US Trujillo realized that one way museums can avoid expensive. Proprietary solutions to their technology needs is by choosing open source alternatives so using open source hardware. We can basically solve that issue of cost by using fairly inexpensive off the shelf components from various electronic suppliers. And that's how mused we know came to be used. We know is an open source hardware controller designed specifically to be used in museums using this hardware controller which is about the size of an alkaloids ten and a little bit of Technical Knowledge. Museums can create and control their own interactive's instead of always hiring an outside company rebuilt. Delano to solve our own needs when building exhibits. It's all open source and so if we want to put it out there we can show anyone else how to build that and they can implemented in their museum. This is Jonathan Jonathan Liam professor of software systems design at New Mexico Highlands University. Either they can by buying same parts or um just downloading our code if it's off the shelf components and then inserting their continente booth. Leigh Anne Trujillo see a huge potential to applying the open source model to museum hardware. The phrase open source comes from the Software World Open source. Software IS A DEVELOPMENT MODEL. Where the source code of a piece of software is freely available to anyone who wants it? We all use open source software everyday whether we realize it or not most. Atm's Web Servers and cash registers rely on open source software simply because it's the cheapest and most secure the source code is freely available so bugs identified and fixed quickly open source hardware projects like mused we know borrow from the software world by making the instructions of how to build and program them freely available. Yes you still need to pay for someone to manufacture the physical components but they are commodities. There's multiple vendors that can make you the exact same thing. We have used an open source program to create the printed circuit board design. And so if you wanted to anyone could download that circuit board design and they could actually have however many needed printed all of this together. Mix for a radical approach to exhibit hardware one where the technological solutions. The museum comes up with aren't confined to just one museum. One of the originators of the project said they like the links model of put it out there. Let other people make it better fix it? Build something for the platform that we make and then set it free in fact. That's exactly what happened with me. It was built upon another piece of open source hardware. A single board controller called our Duino. So let me is do we know is essentially a Dino Shield that extends the footprint of the yard we know via four RJ forty five or standard cat five cable cabling in different directions and we tested it with up to two hundred feet away. So if you're building a very large scale museum exhibit and you need a sensor in one location and output. Maybe ten feet away. You can control all of that with the one. We know using our system exhibit components tend to live far away from one another even in small museums because the gallery is designed for the visitor. Moving through the space. The specific problem is that unlike wireless devices that make up the Internet of things or Iot light bulbs or Buttons Museum Hardware needs to work one hundred percent of the time and right now the best way to do that is with wires like the standard cat five cable also from New Mexico where we work with a lot of cultural institutions. Where the Waller Adobe and there's always Not Great Internet connection in the space or also remote sites where there might not be Internet connection so we try to stay away from Iot boards and we use our system to have solid hardwired connections because those other systems could be a point of failure for the exhibit from the outside or even from the inside. If you're focusing on the museum from a purely experience perspective exactly what tools museums use to create. Interactive's might not seem like that. Big a deal but it is a big deal for the museum itself to own. It's means of production and we've primarily work with a lot of institutions who don't have a lot of funding to be able to purchase these proprietary systems so open source hardware allows us to build relatively inexpensive exhibits. Where WE'VE HEARD. Instances where maybe they purchase a piece of software from a company in like a month later. They didn't exist anymore. So that can happen to people especially if you're putting thousands of dollars into it hardware lock in Mirrors Software Lockin for example many museums use a video player. Product called a bright sign. These are closed source little purple boxes that Allow Museum staff to play and schedule videos. They're designed to solve a problem to help museums not have to worry about playing videos for their visitors but they also removed the ability of museum staff to fix the system. If something goes wrong. Duino is already installed at many museums and cultural institutions around the US like Acadia. National Parks Nature Center the Carlsbad Museum and the Bradbury Science Museum at Los Alamos National Labs from the beginning Trujillo and other members of the Muse Dino team have been sharing their knowledge with the wider museum. World we go to conferences and chairs missed. We know and also General Dino tutorials workshops at these museum related conferences to get people interested in open source hardware in hopes that they can start like thinking of ways to incorporate it into their museum exhibits. Dino represents a radical approach to exhibit technology design by allowing ziems big and small more control the installation and maintenance of the technology in their galleries the Muse doing team shows how the principles of the open source movement fit within the wider museum landscape. Since we have presented at different conferences. People got to take home us. We know so. We know that it's in institutions in several places the Santa Cruz Museum of art and history in California. They just recently did a product with it where they actually made a pneumatic tube system with amused no For donations so they said their donations went up like ten times the amount that they normally had before. And now when you donate a dollar you see this whole theatric thing happened where you to watch your money. Go UP IN TWOS. And some lights flicker and so they can be used in lots of different ways. You can find more information about Ms Duino as well as purchase links anti-tory all's at mused we know dot org and also keep your eyes open for us doing a workshop near you this has been museum archipelago the best reason to join club. Acapella goal is to support the research and work we do here on Museum archipelago but club archipelago members. Also get access to a bonus podcast feed including a museum movie podcast called. Archipelago out the movies this week. We dissect season seven episode sixteen of the Simpsons an episode called Lisa the iconic. Even though the episode came out in Nineteen ninety-six. It feels surprisingly relevant to today's museum landscape as Lisa discovers that the local historical society is propping up. Her town's founding myth for the benefit of those power. Get instant access to this and other great perks by joining club. Archipelago on patriotic. You'll find a full transcript of this episode as well as shown it's in links at Museum archipelago dot com. If this is your first show subscribe for free in your favorite podcasts player. And if this isn't leave US rating or review wherever you get your podcasts. Thanks for listening and next time bring a friend.
83. Chris Newell Forges The Snowshoe Path as the First Wabanaki Leader of the Abbe Museum
"Welcome to museum archipelago. I'm Ian Elsner. Museum archipelago guides you through the rocky landscape of museums. Each episode is never longer than fifteen minutes. So let's get started. Chris Newell Remembers Visiting the Abbey Museum in Bar Harbor. Maine as a kid, his father was hired to put on educational performances to perform songs about their past Mikati language, history and culture at the need of market and the native American Festival hosted by the museum. So every summer, the family would drive the two and a half hours from their home in MMG, Look Newell, look forward to it year after year with an almost giddy level of excitement, but even as a young person, Newell could clearly see the difference between the surrounding events like the native market and the festival, which will run by members of the WAB, Inaki nations and the museum. which was not back then the Abbey Museum was more traditional ethnographic collection, a lot of weddings and things like that, so when it came to the museum itself, and did feel very much like inclined museum was Barbara Institution not necessarily allow mackey institution, so I definitely felt a lot more connection to things like the vessel, native American festival in those, because those were neater run and be supporting them, although I knew what. I knew the special collection I knew the shredder, and they have as far as the history of mind. People's by able as well as I keep. People's in general, always been attracted to wise available in the Abbey. mcdonagh's as a child I felt it was different spaces today, Chris Crystal, a possible quality citizen is the first member of the watanake nations to lead the Abbey. Museum high money. My name is Chris Lual and I am the director of Education for the. Educational Initiative also CO founder and I'm also the executive director and senior partner. Donations for the Abbey Museum in Bar Harbor. Chris! Co founded the ADAMO. Educational Initiative in two thousand, eighteen with Donna Spears DNA ob joy, chickasaw Choctaw and Dr Jason Man Cheney Agamal is a pass quality word for the snowshoe path at the beginning of winter. The snowshoe path is hard to find, but the more people pass along and carve out this path through the snow during the season. The easier it becomes for everyone to walk together on episode sixty eight of this show we interviewed spears about how the initiative was born out of their experiences seen colonial museum practices across present New England. So, what do we mean when we say colonial museum outside the context of Colonial Williamsburg of course, this kind goes off of my colleague Don from. Who was on the museum archipelago before museums are colonial artifacts. The idea of a museum comes with colonization and tribal museums, even in their own right are using that colonial artifacts. As a way to present her native histories, only doing different in tribal museum in a non tribal museum, largely consists of the American conservation movement which started in the nineteenth century, and when came to museums, and especially the way museum content was created colonial museums would oftentimes focus on tribes that they felt at the time were less impacted, which would have been Western plains tribes in South Western tribes so if you go into a non-tribal museum that. That has native content Colonia Museum. Then what you typically see is a presentation of native cultures through the Lens of anthropology and archaeology and a lot of those voices, ninety nine percent of those voices, especially in the past were non native voices that were framing that lends and hot of you are cultures, and so it's not uncommon to see things that out place, so to go to northeastern museum that has a collection and to see only planes. Or only question. Pari and no Wolpe Martino. Ashland basket is really kind of an old fashioned way of presenting things that goes back to a motive, thinking really originated in the idea that native people were going to vanish at one point and that we needed our history saves by an outside force, and that's literally well. The Columbia Museum represents is that mindset and the Abbey Museum is rooted in that. Mindset opened in nineteen, twenty eight. It housed the collection of native American. Objects gathered by radiologists Robert Abbey in a purpose built building. Newell was hired to lead the Abbey Museum in February twenty twenty. Four lockdowns due to cove nineteen began, but the decolonization process had been going on at the museum for the past five years. The Abbey Museum has gone through the fast five years under the previous executive director. The President CEO at the time cinnamon. Caitlyn the good I the colonization, process and car that. Not just in the content of the museum, which centers need voices now, but also in the structure of the way the museum is run in the has overtime restructured as board to become a majority Ebina Keyboard so Columbia Museum that Presents Lab Aki history. We are probably the only museum that has a structure where the voice of the people that we are representing is now centered, and is also governing the institution itself when the change of directorship happened, the museum changed the title from President and CEO to executive, director and senior partner to the watanake nations as part of this decolonisation process and the shift of power the. Tribes today are five times asking. Scott. Avenue tribes in the history. There was over twenty drives at one point, but currently there are five tribes. Nike is an over arching for the cosmetology of the peoples. Tribes in the beliefs and stories. Of Being Liska created on people from Yash reason gave us the name weapon. Aki, which is the anglicized version of impassioned twelve naccache wish would translate to the people of the dawn collectively. That's how we see ourselves. We we understand that we are the easternmost tribes on the consummate, and we are all connected in that way so when it comes to that portion of my job, I take very very seriously. No Book, right? There's no example to follow I think. The museum world and the lack of representation by native people in the museum. World is a history of the reason why that is by what I always tell people is that it does not do us any good as Nina. People to be absent from these spaces, no matter why these spaces are interpreting our cultures in our histories and everything else. Therefore, we need to be present there. Eighty five percent of native people were in in the museum field as an entry level services are security and very few of us. into the intellectual leadership positions in what I want to do. In the long run I would love to see the Abbey. Museum have a full AKI staff I mean that would be the easiest all I could actually have how do that I. Need Department the Communities into the museum world that way the always feels like a welcoming space to any of the community. Community members from eleven communities in Maine and beyond newell acknowledges that encouraging members of the watanake nations to work at the Abbey Museum can be an uphill battle because of the racist history of museums like it. The way museums in the past have done things like hold onto native. American remains. That has you know on the older generation would not go into those. Those physical spaces because of that the Abbey Museum is one of the places where we have repatriated. All of those remains were making into a welcome space and some big change for the museum world, but even outside of holding onto human remains. There are many examples of how museums default. Colonial mindset can in addition to everything else lead to a worse visitor experience. Experience as somebody that used to work in a tribal museum, it was not uncommon for me in that space or anonymous visitor whether child or adult to ask whether the tribe that we were presenting the history of still existed. There's a lot of people in this world that still saying that Nina. People are all dead in Gombe oftentimes reinforced by their childhood. And their adult experiences going into a colonial museum, seeing artifacts that are only from the past or seeing are only from the past, and so for museums to update or colonize the way they present themselves. They really got to get out of that mode of trying to save a vanishing Culture Barroux either host, the art in the history of the living cultures exist. You're now one of the easiest ways to tell if you're visiting A. A colonial museum is if it doesn't ask you as the visitor to normalize some aspect of the culture presented so an Abbey Museum experience that only features maps with modern day. Political borders or is entirely in English is not doing a good job of presenting the culture that members of the wozniacki nations share two-dimensional Master, or so you're in duration or creation people, the world in a different way, and we use songs Wong songs in. Our territory, but if you go into the while, we did was we did create a tune dimensional map all our Nike territory, but we took out the roads in the cities and all the colonial borders, and then when you see the landscape, that way represented in that fashion, you see how it all makes sense. Howard tribes existent the river ways that saturated our territories in all of those things, and you can see how people travel. Ray distances how they will imported. Imported from one river to another, so it also is going to enrich the spree in four the non Lebanon visitor, because they're really gonna be able to see our perspective and our worldview in our language, and the way we view land, all of those things, not an interpretation, but rather a first person perspective, which is really really a powerful and impactful way. Bar Harbor Maine is International Tourist Destination Cruise ships dock there today. The museum's exhibits and science are mostly in. In English, but Newell hopes that under his tenure much more native language gets incorporated to the point where a non watanake visitor will have learned some native words before they leave. The museum gets rid of the implicit bias that colonial museums have been feeding for so long. When the early English would arrive on the seventeenth century, they will used the word improvement as a reason for taking over in doing land building things like arms, permanent housing, but nowadays in in America. America we used a word development to do the exact same thing, but when we used that word development, what we mean is were about to dig up a big clock of that life giving life cycle, and we're going to do something build something, but really the process involved destruction first viewing the landscape through the different languages, really easy a window into the different mindsets. The use of language I think is probably the best bridge that I can draw for making all. When an English speaker learn some of our language, and learned some of our world view through it, they have experienced something, and so for the Non Native Museum Visitor, the international visitor up income through and learn our world through our language into how normalized to have the bathroom signs to say skied up in in instead of men's and women's. International signs, but they would learn some of our wording and profound experience as nul says there's no book and there's no guide for the process of transforming the Abbey Museum. From colonial traditional ethnographic collection into a fully decolonized museum, run by members of the watanake nations, but because of work like this, the snowshoe path becomes a little easier for other museums to follow. We want to be informative to anybody that walk in through the door, but we also want to be informative. Key person, and then by also doing that, the people who already know. Come into a space that uses their worldview then it doesn't become bar harbour institution to keep visitor anymore. It starts to become a home away from home. We are in the land of the dog, no matter what and so. Visitor should feel that sense of welcoming one walking into that space. This is really passion of mine, a passion that was born out of my childhood watching my father. You know, make a difference in this world, and that's what I would hope to do. Leave a lofty goal. Of my future in that I would hold that by the time I have done with with this world that I have changed for the better, not just really good web, Inaki people but for everybody. This episode of Museum Archipelago is proudly sponsored by a beautifully foolish endeavor, a brand new book by Hank Green Ivan, following green for over a decade I on his excellent WLAC, brothers, Youtube Channel, and now on his podcast, attracted by his humanistic approach to the world and to science education, a beautifully foolish endeavor is a sequel and conclusion to his first fiction book, an absolutely remarkable thing, which is the story of a young woman thrown into fame during the global crisis of. Of contagious streams and mysterious Robots Library Journal's review said through this adventurist, witty and compelling novel Green Delivers Sharp Social Commentary on the power of social media and both benefits and horrendous consequences that follow when we give too much of ourselves to technology. The book is out July. Seventh Twenty Twenty in physical audio in the book form wherever books are sold, or you can just go to hankering dot com, thanks so much hankering, and a beautifully foolish endeavor for Sponsoring Museum archipelago. You can find a full transcript of this episode and links to other episodes at Museum archipelago dot Com Museum archipelago is supported by listeners like you who have joined club archipelago on Patriot. If you can't get enough about how museums shape, our lives join now for two dollars a month. If this is your first episode, subscribe to the show for free using your favorite podcast player, and if it isn't leave us a rating review. And next time. Bring a friend.
73. Sanchita Balachandran Shifts the Framework for Conservation with Untold Stories
"Welcome to museum archipelago. I'm in Elsner. Pews Eum archipelago guides you through the rocky landscape of museums each episode so is never longer than fifteen minutes so let's get started. The field of conservation was created to fight change to prevent objects from becoming dusty broken or rusted but fighting to keep cultural objects preserved creates a certain mindset the mindset of protector a mindset. It's too easy to imagine objects and cultures. In the state of stasis. This is how it always was and will be forever. Often I mean just given the colonial oneal had an imperial histories of museums. It was because people were going to be gone forever. That culture was gone. And so this is the last trace but in fact. That's not how cultural heritage works it. It's transformed it's changed. It continues on in different forms and a lot of the way the Conservatives think about cultural heritage is is about out mitigating that change. which makes it a little bit fossilized but to me that changes where things are really vibrant exciting and people are so closely connected to cultural cultural heritage that it really feels alive? This is since Cheetah Bala Chandran Associate Director of the John Hopkins Archaeological Museum. Hello my name is Cinci Bala Alexander. I'm conservative and I'm trained in the conservation of archaeological materials in particular and my day job is the associate director of the Archaeological Theological Museum at Johns Hopkins University. Bala Chandran founded untold stories a project that pursues conservation profession that represents and preserves a full spectrum of human cultural heritage for the past few years. The project has been hosting public events at the annual meetings of the American Institute for Conservation Conservation Untold Stories emerged of bollocks hundreds frustration with how narrowly the field of conservation has been defined at felt that there were literally early too many untold stories in the field of conservation. I wanted to find ways to actually start to think about what else cultural heritage could mean other than say the things we typically think of as belonging in a museum or many of us cultural heritage means going to this important looking building that has paintings and sculpture and has labels labels next to it and I think we kind of decided in some ways at that's cultural heritage and preservation means taking care of those things and really I've become more and more aware error and curious about the fact that cultural heritage is much more complicated and diverse set of practices. It's often not necessarily about a single object or a thing but rather how that thing might function within a community or communities as as part of a series of practices and exchanges and storytelling and I just wanted to have a way to kind of work with people who are really doing that work outside the museum and doing it in ways that I think preserved Europe but also change cultural practices since untold stories takes place at the annual meetings of the American Institute for Conservation. A lot of professionals in the field Are already gathered there. The meetings attract over one thousand conservators blake many professional conferences. The meetings are often held in a nondescript hotel how setting but untold stories makes it a practice to conceptualize where attendees are sitting and the history that preceded them an example of this is the twentieth nineteen eighteen untold stories event titled Indigenous Futures and Collaborative Conservation. How many times have you been to a conference and you could be anywhere right? I mean you're in this big room and you never leave the hotel or the conference center and part of what I was interested in was trying to actually place a somewhere so twenty one thousand nine since we were actually meeting at the Mohegan Sun which is a Mohegan owned casino. We were on native land. It seemed like a really important opportunity. -tunities to talk about native sovereignty kind of history of genocide in our own country. The fact that anyone who's non-indigenous in this country is a settler settler colonialist but to really think about what this means in terms of how we take care of collections that have come to us as a result of historical happenstance stance but also a very violent past and to acknowledge the fact that museums which for most of us who work in museums are very safe. Welcoming and joyful places uses are evidence of this history of of pain and removal so the opportunity to work with the commod educational initiative was really exciting. Because because it's a partly native co-founded and they do a lot of educational work around questions of how even think about the history of this country story and to me. That was really important to be able to say in native space as opposed to you know in a place somewhere else. Part of of Bala. Hundreds point is that there isn't such a thing as a textualist cultural material. The intentionally nondescript conference ballroom has a lot in common with deliberately sterile museum environment episode. Sixty eight of this show features an interview with Ed Wanda's spears director of programming and outreach at the adamant educational initiative and one of the convenors of the twenty nineteen untold stories event in the episode. She discusses her presentation about how native native narratives are violently presented through White Lens in museums. It was in Donna spheres of Who suggested the title she had worked in museums? She's very familiar with these questions. And she's the one who suggested indigenous futures which forces you to recognize that this is not something of the past. We really wanted to do something. The thing that felt like we were going to push. This had to be uncomfortable but it also had to be aspirational. Where do we go now? And how can as conservatives servers we actually be part of this very kind of collaborative supportive mission to ensure futures. We can't make it happen by ourselves. It's it's not like we're saving anybody and that's another big concern of mine. There's a real sort of savior mentality that I think conservation has ask we save objects and I certainly came out of graduate school thinking that I was going to save everything and to me. That's a very problematic way to think about it because frankly if the objects still survives it didn't need me it made it thousands of years without me somehow. We've decided that we're the ones that making the that make these things live live forever which is pure arrogance so part of this event was really to think about how as conservatives can come up with action items and by action items. It was practices but more than anything of kind of Shipton in a mental framework for working much more equitably and more humbly to really have a sense of respect for this notion that there has already been a history before you and so when you enter into this hopefully collaborative relationship you need to acknowledge alleged. Things have survived for a long time without your intervention. And they don't need you but you could actually provide some sort of service some sort of benefit that could actually really help the untold stories team. True to their mission is careful not to present the workshop as a single solution or even a set of solutions. The team wants wants to counter the assumption within the profession. That all you need to do is go to one workshop and then you're all done you know. Unfortunately this doesn't change the working working practices it doesn't change the mindset. It doesn't change the way an organization functions and what happens is then marginalized people are called upon again and again to kind of keep performing this vulnerability and this discomfort for themselves in order to educate people who are unwilling to do the work that consistent like every single day for the rest of their lives work that will be required to make transformative change possible part of what in the twenty nineteen in conversation we. We felt very strongly we had to say is if if you really believe in equality if you really want to do something that is truly collaborative that does not assume some sort of hierarchy. It means being really uncomfortable the entire time and maybe at the end of it things will change but you you still have to kind of follow through on it when it gets really uncomfortable. And the fact is most marginalized communities. People have done this entire lives so it it just feels like it's time for you. Know I think in general the museum community to say we're willing to engage in these kinds of difficult ongoing perpetual natural conversations. It's really interesting to approach these issues from the framework of such a technical profession. What is different? What has changed interest in the field of conservation since you were in school? I I was in Grad school two decades ago. So it's you know. I guess I would break it down into technical practices desist which I think most conservatives would would think of themselves as doing sort of things with their hands changing a surface in some way and then more social practices this or how do you how do you be in this world. In terms of technical practices. I mean some of the things that we do on a regular basis or certainly did to me raise a lot of questions about how do even come up with this. So you know one of the things that I was trained on and I think a lot of conservatives still do is something like spit cleaning leaning for a long time it was known that something like human saliva has really amazing cleaning properties. And you know it's the reason why your mom might have like littered Dom uh-huh and rubbed off your face but but it works really well and it's you know there have been attempts to make this much more scientific Tillich. What are the enzymes designs for example in saliva that work? But you know now thinking about it. My Gosh you to spit on someone else's things it's really really strange concept and yet it was something that was really suggested as a very efficacious way of doing a treatments for me. This is meant that I really have to be extremely aware of the choices. I'm making an at least be aware of the discomfort that they raise in me when I started thinking about what I'm actually doing. And then there's how how does one work with anybody else certainly in academia and I would say also in in museums are very hierarchical spaces where you know in the museum. The end the sort of curator often has had the privilege of storytelling and often when people are not within. The museum are consulted their consulted assaulted. Either after most of the work has been done or that that information is extracted from them and presented as part of this larger narrative rather than allowing doing people to simply say what they they believe. These objects are how you know. The story needs to be presented for those in an established field like museum professionals or conservators. It's easy to go with the language and practice that exists before you arrive. Projects Untold Stories challenge those assumptions and help help create a new model for me. It's really about kind of activating cultural heritage. In in very kind of living ways underlying all of this work with untold stories was to really think about what is possible in terms of preserving cultural heritage if you think of cultural heritage as being something that's preserved by people in in conservation labs only to that's really limiting and it also is untrue because we have millennia of people caring in for their things and their stories and passing this knowledge on through oral traditions and other kinds of traditions so to somehow claim that we are the only ones capable of doing this kind of preservation. Work is fundamentally untrue and so to me kind of bringing up this resilience but also just this joy of doing miss incredible connected. Human work was something that I wanted to be around the next untold. Stories event will be held. During the American Institute of Conservation's turns annual conference in Salt Lake City from May nineteenth to May twenty third twenty twenty the title of the event will be preserving cultural landscapes. And if you can't physically attend the event will be live streamed you can learn more about the untold stories project and watch recordings of past events at untold told stories dot live this episode of Museum archipelago is brought to you by a new museum. podcast cast called stories here. The latest episode is an excellent two part series about the eastern state penitentiary in Philadelphia. It includes the story three of a family secret being hidden from daughter revealed after talking at the site with former incarcerated person. The Ad Copy did not ask me to say this but I feel like anyone interested in museum archipelago will really enjoy stories here in addition to the episodes about the eastern state penitentiary. I think my audience would. I really enjoy the episode about the international coalition of sites of conscience to listen to the stories here dot com or type stories. Here into your favorite podcast player. My thanks to stories here for Supporting Museum Archipelago Just Justin time for your holiday. Travel are archipelago at the movie series continues with two thousand and four is national treasure decoration. The most most dramatic moments take place at museums across Washington. DC Philadelphia and. New York's wounded by guards video. Ma But the movie and Protagonist Nicholas Cage page go far deeper on issues of public ownership provenance and museum tour groups than the action packed. Plot suggests go. I'm joined by friend of the show and IRA FRIEND REBECCA REAPS TEEN to discuss this wild ride of the archipelago at at the movies. Deep dives into national treasure and night at the museum are now available. Exclusively to club archipelago members. Now the member yet join now at Patriotair Dot Com Slash Museum archipelago. This has been museum. Archipelago you'll find a full transcript of this episode served as well as shown it's and links at Museum Archipelago Dot Com if this is your first. Show subscribe for free in your favorite podcast player. And if this isn't sent leave us a rating or review. Wherever you get your podcasts? Thanks for listening and next time bring a friend.
87. The Vitosha Bear Museum Lives in a Tiny Mountain Hut
"Welcome to museum archipelago. I'm ian elsner. Museum archipelago guides you through the rocky landscape of museums. Each episode is never longer than fifteen minutes. So let's get started. Towering over the bulgarian capital of sufia is visha mountain connected to the city by several public buses residents like me love hiking the numerous mountain trails to get away from the hustle and bustle and it was on one of these solitary hikes for they. I came across the visha bear museum at first. I didn't quite know what i was looking at. A cute little hut halfway up the mountain with a locked door and boarded up windows but the sign said bear museum in bulgarian and also that the museum was closed because it was hibernating for the winter. So i sent some emails. And that's how a few days later. I met dr nikola daikin at the museum. Dr daikin is a fauna expert at the visha nature park directorate the organization that runs the museum and he also the key to the museum door which he wasn't sure would work because it had been a month since he last used it thin. Is you see museum. Museum is a very simple. The museum is a small on the inside as it looks on the outside. There's new electric connection at the museum. The led lights illuminate. The gallery are powered by a car battery. That waken switched on when we entered. The rustic appearance is a carryover from the buildings. I purpose a mountain shelter for vidisha mountain rangers. The they are staying during the night after that abounded totally end one guy the idea to make these Place where we can show the bears and where they can live in the whole idea of the various you know in the forest. The abandoned shelter was turned into the vida bear. Museum in two zero two for dorgan. This is the perfect setting for the museum. Because what's outside is just as important as what's inside easy for us. This is kind of museum was city. But we could the line if you're in the city but not in the fourth because after that we can go out in the forest in show something to children in most we have a little bit of a different education with the uterus that we start from kiro the three goal out in the field and they can't few everything to especially children the new generation to put them in a rio Feelings to smell the forest to fuel the wind the whole idea of the equivocation forestry e education to take out the children from the cd's show them. We own nature day can walk around the headphone in the not only in the cities the forests and mountains of replacement part of the national ethos and so do the brown bears that live there as the number of bears in the country declined so too has the cultural pervasiveness of bears. Fearsome carnivorous predators. Today there's an increased focus on conservation and even the sense of pride about bulgaria is remaining bears weekend. Say something about ten to fifteen birthday. Dr left in chamartin but mostly on the south part of the of the mountain. According to deacon dna testing has indicated that there's enough genetic diversity in this population of bears to reproduce an ensure their continued survival on vidisha mountain. That is if humans stay away and protect their habitat to win and his team. Teaching children about the bears is the best way forward as a local news. Article about the museum. Put it quote useful tips on how to meet a bear are given at the vidisha bear museum and to do not to meet the for her. And if we make it finance called what to do in the corner of. The room is a tree taken from the forest which has markings from a bear due to monday territory. Be different to arche and also wants to be remarked From here with the deep and with gloss while we can shelter the jewish people due to the tree in the sparse. Interior makes it easy to connect visitors to what's going on outside the four walls of the we show them all the best marketer territory. Look around to see some of the three months and we. We presented that same information can liquidate gave fight it to take care of most not to kill them. We make some programs in. Speak to tune on interpretive panels. Visitors will also find information about the evolution and geographic distribution of different types of bears. These covering not just the brown bear the only type of europe in bulgaria but also black bears in the americas and asia and polar bears a glass case displays skulls from all of these bears. There's even a bit of in the basement where visitors can go inside a fake bear cave and see statues of brown bear and her cub remains to be done. Because you know we had no real but only dose and that gave the is among the fake cave is the perfect example of the museum working with what it has in this case a dark low ceiling. Basement that doesn't require electricity. And choosing the interpretive materials carefully in this case a simple sat shoe is quite effective in many ways. The museum stands apart from the museo children's museum in sofia which we featured in episode six and forty six of this show that museum the first children's museum in the balkans features a large number of computerized interactive's centered around the concept of playful learning which was not encouraged to say the least when bulgaria was a communist country but the vita should bear. Museum also breaks the mold of rote memorization and statistics. Overload that used to define bulgaria's education system and is still present at many of bulgaria's largest museums instead of computerized interactive's. The museum finds playful learning in the feeling of a sparse rangers. Hot and next season the museum will add electricity with a solar panel system. Next year over year we got on the company make a solar system we saw an activity and then we will have more to do with electricity installed deakin and his team hoped to increase the number and interactivity of the exhibits of not bet to have this kind of nature of of of really to touch the payroll to smell leaves and also you can have some interactive games. You may some three d. and mentioned to see how the peril looking around but dorgan who spend all his time in the mountains if he could still considers the biggest museum to be on the outside the museum in the biggest most. And it's good to have both. This has been museum archipelago per full. Transcript of this episode as well as show notes and links visit museum archipelago dot com museum. Archipelago is supported by listeners. Like you who have joined club archipelago club archipelago members. Get access to a bonus. Podcast feed where we've been doing. Indepth reviews of how museums are portrayed in movies tv shows and even video games. If you can't get enough of how museums shape our lives. Join club archipelago. Today by visiting joined the museum dot club. Thanks for listening and next time bring a friend.
56. Lana Pajdas Trains Her Fun Museums Lens to Croatian Heritage Sites, From The Battle of Vukovar to Over-Tourism in Dubrovnik
"Welcome to museum archipelago. I'm in Elsner. Museum archipelago guides you through the rocky landscape of museums. Each episode is never longer than fifteen minutes. So let's get started Wallner pie dish is from Croatia. We are a small country, and we have your inhabitants than some US heat is, you know, we don't we don't have as many fields. So fiendish three or sarong economy or whatever Theresa May be the most important field. We have. But in recent years, the Croatian city of Dubrovnik due in part to being a prominent filming location of the TV series game of thrones has experienced dramatic overcrowding. They're less time. And it's supposed to break too much therapy to see the people were waiting in lines to anther inside the old town inside the walls. And there were so many agencies Sally game of thrones stores and taking people to some specific areas where where it's kind of difficult to have so many people in the same place, even for for safety reasons. Punishes, the founder of fun museums a heritage and culture travel blog. Okay. Okay. My name is Lana pie. Dash my blog, it's called fun museums because I simply liked to say this museums are fine about all these thing museums. He's a fun experience. People shouldn't seem that to museum. Sars something called elegant smart in intellectual. Just two people can have that experiencing their leisure time. Pie dish is also a museum marketer and consultant who overall fem- is that museums are fun. It's a radical idea and it influences everything from her philosophy on museum marketing to away to approach overcrowding in museums and heritage sites. Exactly that he has the my guiding principle the way I write my hours decals is still say, the most coal funky stuff about each museums. Visit sometimes as young professionals like the all that's why some people from use Iem squatters, for instance, Sora marketing museum, marketing professional sort of education professionals. They sent me messages, you know. You could you stop saying things that way because it's in contrast with our professional values. But then they said, okay, that's what's this was people like no, that's what people like to hear. If you're seeing that it should be more intellectual you need to understand that most of the people can't really read it that way, can truly understand the way you want to press present it to them. But there is a real tension because the access isn't just between what is fun. What is intellectual in episode seventeen of museum archipelago, I cover the spectacular failure of Disney theme park concept called Disney's America in one thousand nine hundred four the park which would have opened in Virginia. Not far from Washington DC with showcased, quote, the sweep of American history within the fun theme park environment. It is particularly notable to witness the confidence and enthusiasm Disney executives had for a tightrope between entertainment and American history and example, is the. Town on the on the east of Cratia each name is code. The town was heavily destroyed in the most recent war in this part of Europe, in nineteen ninety one when it was occupied one almost all the buildings were destroyed almost all the people had to go away from there, and it was one of the most terrible stories that happened in Europe, after the, the end of the second World War, and the now that city is has been quite well restored. Some people went back to leave there and the, the museum was completely renovated and obviously the visit to that museum is a nice enjoyable experience. But in recent history, you really need to, to deal with some awful stuff that happened just less than I years ago, it's difficult to a person from a from western Europe to, and sometimes it's difficult to understand what really happened in them in. The lens of ex-yugoslavia, it's even sometimes complicate even for people from these areas because it's not. It's not that simple as some historians like to present some books like the present or some journalists or, and there are even many different opinions. So I think that museums really sometimes need to take thirteen side. Even though others will disagree museum that deals with those stories and needs to first of all to show, what are those emotions and to collaborate with people who suffered those emotions, of course, some emotional intelligence is very important to for those museum professionals who would create that storytelling that would turn Smit emotions of certain people to people will be just winters or who may have nothing to do with, with those areas are stories. No matter what kind of museum you're about to walk into, you have a sense of what you might find inside and since census partially informed by museums marketing pie dish has made a habit of noting how people react to museums before they go. In most cases, it happens that people procrastinate their decisions to go to, to a museum that happens more often than not most of the time, they will say, like, but maybe some other time I go some next time I would like to is that museum. But today I feel tired, I'm hungry. I want to go to eat to drink I prefer to stay at home watch movie, but I would really love to visit the museum, but maybe one day to when the Mike friends to Peres, for instance, they say, I want to is louver, but there, there are other museums, but may be other time because louver is already enough for, for me for these three days or something like that, right. This tendency to choose the most. Popular museum to the exclusion of less frequently visited once is part of Pisces interest in sustainable. Tourism, partly interested in sustainable travel king along with the museum Inc. And visitors a tour areas that I actually mentioned as my primary areas of focus and interest so museum since sustainable travel, and the sustainability has so many faces, I'm quite interested in seeing about an energy efficiency, and waste management bats over reason being one of the one of my focus areas, even though I don't really pretend to know what, what could be a solution for that some traction such as they are Humber Casto in Spain introduced online booking. And you can't really just commune buy tickets and enter, but you need to walk your sports in advance online. And sometimes you can't get a ticket. If you've just remember Lee before he wants to go and. That these are these are some of the solutions, I do wonder how much of this heavily concentrated overcrowding has to do with the nature of social media itself. There's a network effect of geo tagged photo, not just out of particular heritage site, but at a particular spot within that heritage site. That presents the best angle for a photo or looks exactly the way it did on game of thrones. Of course, there are many other factors that lead to overcrowding the cheap flights the increasing ability of people to travel that they namic travel as a product. And if the Acropolis in Athens is already at capacity every single day, whether this is gonna look like ten or twenty years from now and to go back to Disney, theme parks tourism as a product already has an answer, just raise the prices, but heritage for the rich isn't heritage anymore. Heretic should be acceptable, obviously, for many people around the world, it's not really affordable to even go to someplace is what they want. Be avoided is that it becomes too expensive. So. Wealthy people can afford visiting those attractions. That's what I would like to be avoided and other seeing I would really like to encourage more more people foolery like to travel to visit some secondary attractions. Look, go necessarily to the most famous places, but we at some places around that usually also need visitors and can devote more local people could make money for leaving they get visitors on that particular place. Because more people could be employed in those places are some businesses could flourish shore. That's the basic thing. And this is what ties all aspects of pie dishes work together to use the social media network affect to share the secondary attractions of the city balancing the pressure on the most popular heritage site to read pie dishes blog and to learn about her consulting work visit fund museums dot EDU. Her Twitter handle is. L. A. P. A. J. D. A. S. This episode of museum archipelago is sponsored by the museums heritage and public history program at the university of Missouri at Saint Louis. The museums heritage and public history program is currently accepting applications for the fall twenty nineteen semester. They offer an EMMY degree as well as a graduate certificate their programs address, pressing needs of museums and heritage. Institutions in the twenty first century and prepare students for professional careers in museums historic sites in societies, cultural agencies and related organizations financial support is available for a limited number of students and applications are due by February first. For more information, please call three one four five one six four eight oh five or visit their website at UM S, L dot EDU Ford slash Tilda museums. Thanks to the museums heritage and public history program at the. -versity of Missouri at Saint Louis for their support of museum archipelago. You'll find the transcript of this episode along with shown at museum, archipelago dot com. Club archipelago members get access to a bonus podcast feed that sort of like the director's commentary to the main show. Subscribe at patriotair dot com slash museum archipelago. If this is your first show, don't forget to subscribe for free in your favorite podcast player. Thanks for listening and next time bring a friend.
79. The Future of Hands-On Museum Exhibits with Paul Orselli
"Welcome to museum archipelago. I'm in Elsner. Pews Eum archipelago guides you through the rocky landscape of museums. Each episode is never longer than fifteen minutes. So let's get started. The Modern Museum invites you to touch a rather it would if it wasn't closed due to the cove nineteen outbreak the screens inside the fossil hall at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC. Say Touch to begin to an empty room. The normally cacophonous hands on exhibits at the exploratorium in San Francisco. Sit eerily silent and the please touch museum in Philadelphia which is inviting you right. There in its name has presumably stopped running commercials. No need to keep your hands by your side here. Exhibits are rich in detail encouraging children to touch feel and see the way everyday things in our lives. Were to learn more and plan your visit. Go to please touch museum dot. Org Interactivity in museums in the form of hands on exhibits has been the trend since nineteen sixty two when Michael Spock director of the Boston Children's museum removed do not touch signs. From the display cases since then hands on exhibits have served as a way for museums to indicate their free of their paternalistic. Pasts knowledge doesn't come from on high but instead it comes from the visitors own curiosity investigation and play additionally in science centers. There were all these science content that lent themselves to visit goal and interactive demonstrations. And in a children's museum. They were very much concerned about sensory approaches engaging different types of learning styles. You know full body and kinesthetic when the bulk of your audience's preschoolers they can't read so you need to engage them in some other way. I think that's traditionally where interactive said lived in science centers. Children's museums this is Paul or Sally of Policy Workshop who knows a lot about science centers and children's museums. Hello my name's Paul or Selley. I'm the chief instigator at how polar satellite workshop. That's my company that specializes in museum exhibit development in consulting before I started running my own business and I worked inside museums. I sort of oscillated back and forth between the Science Center world and the Children's museum world but hands on exhibits spread further than science centers and children's museums. Art Museums History museums and natural history museums. To I think the reason the interactive approach expanded was that those other types of museums realized that this interactive immersive approach helped them reach a broader audience as lorrimore museums become more and more concerned with reaching a broader audience. One of the opportunities for them to explore or one of the tools in their toolbox are interactive exhibits and experiences. So the question is will visitor. Still want to use hands on exhibits. Once museums opened again is the trend that started in nineteen sixty two over as a museum designer and as a visitor the last thing I think I want to do immediately after museums open up again is to rush into a super crowded museum. Were sort of training people in the era of cove in nineteen and maybe future pandemics to socially distance and be careful about touching surfaces and objects and so on and so forth. Part of me wants to say especially as it relates to children's museums even before covert nineteen. It wasn't like they were the most rigorously cleaned places in the world. So the thing is it's kind of hard for my friends in the Museum. World with a straight face to say well. We're just GONNA be more rigorous with our cleaning schedules in our cleaning Richmond. I mean are you really going to trail after hundreds of visitors in a decent sized museum and sort of wipe down everything? They've touched after they touch that. One thing that we can see happening is that hands on exhibits will need to work a little harder to justify themselves during exhibit planning stages. He sees the end of so-called empty interaction. There are lots of good examples sir but but maybe there are also some examples of things that I would consider primarily empty interaction and a good example of that is a flipped label. You know here's one piece of text and information on a little flap or a door and to encounter the rest of the information or to get an answer to a question. You have to open up the flap. I mean that's interactive's in the sense that you had to do something to complete the informational circuit but that may be about the lowest level of interaction possible. When I teach graduate students the one thing I often say is the flip. Label is the last vestige jump on exhibit Scoundrel. You know it's like somebody who's now really. Somebody's not really putting in the the work you know they just sort of mailed it in no we can put a bunch of flipped labels here we can put a flip label here and then. That's something for kids to do. It's sort of a challenge you because now that I mentioned that about flip labels it's sort of like well could you actually design a flipped label experienced that is moral ended or engaging in terms of an intellectual sense and not just sort of this base level tattle or mechanical sense and. I'm sure you can. It's that when it's sort of misused or thoughtlessly used leeann results are bad. We can't just so glibly and unthinkingly employees something like a push button as we did before and I am honestly. I don't know that that's a bad thing. Because then it sort of forces us to think. Well how could we provide a satisfying experience in? What are the interfaces or other kinds of opportunities that we could provide them with you? Carry the content that will carry the emotional ideas that we want to carry across in episode. Twenty seven of this show. I get that. There's a certain type of content. That digital media is best suited to system simulation understanding concepts like climate change requires thinking about how complex systems interact with one. Another and computer simulations allow that type of inquiry. It's almost like a video game. Visitors tried to find the edge of the rules of the world except in an exhibit about climate change. Those rules are the rules of atmospheric and Oceanic physics. Right now the best understood and most common interface to digital media is a touchscreen. There is a certain segment of people who love their touchscreens. They're museum with touchscreens. They would do it. I'm agnostic touchscreens. In touch tables they're amazing tools but now we have to be realistic. So now you're gonNA bring somebody into a new museum and asked them to crowd around with several other people and poke at a touchscreen after what has just happened in the world. That's a that's a that's a toughie interfaces allow visitors to interact with digital media without a touchscreen and without requiring the vizier to touch anything with their hands. And if I think for example of a large floor projections system where you could even just tap with your foot to control some different parameters or different people may be on the different corners of this huge. You know large projection could be controlling in real time different parameters could imagine that actually being positive and a worthwhile experience that still takes into account a social aspect but also social distancing aspect as well as you know something that is sort of full body doesn't involve people touching their hands on that you don't have to sort of sanitized floor because people are tapping it with their feet and doing things in his most optimistic moments or sally hopes that the new approach to hands on exhibits can bring Universal Design Front and center flexibility or control with something like tapping of foot which could easily also be. Somebody wheeling their wheelchair over the active area too. I mean I think this brings the notion of universal design to a different place in a positive place. You know these these limitations in this triangulation between posts Cova nineteen perception and the notion of universal design. I'm going to be optimistic. Maybe that puts us in a better place in a more thoughtful place in more satisfying place alternately in terms of interactive experiences for visitors which. I suppose is really what the sort of all boils down to how supported our museums as institutions in various countries or parts of the world where they exist or how resilient are particular museums or museum structures that led them withstand the sort of events. But they're sally sees a silver lining an end to all those mini grocery store exhibits at children's museums. Finally be a good reason for all the children's museums in world to get rid of those horrible mini grocery store exhibit small room filled. With lots of tactile objects kids are just constantly pawing over and checking out and throwing into their many baskets and then they get put right back on the shelves already already. It's a gigantic entropy experiment. So if you're gonNA keep that experience after everyone has touched something. Hundreds of things. White and disinfect. Them all and then replace them for people to just do this. I think constraints are good thing for creativity and now we've just been thrown some public hell in perceptual constraints. We have to think about that because certainly our visitors are going to be thinking about that. If we don't show that at least we're sensitive to that our visitors could rightfully think that we are insensitive. Not only to those design constraints in those design considerations but insensitive to them as people who want to have fun and want to be safe if you haven't checked out club archipelago now is a great time. My favorite episode of Our Museum Movie Review Series Archipelago at the movies is now completely free. Join Rebecca we've seen and I as we break down two thousand four national treasure discussing the tropes of museum films now museum. Exhibit Design is reflected back through popular culture to listen for free and hopefully find a little distraction the Patriot dot com slash museum archipelago and look for the episode on national treasure. This episode of Museum archipelago is brought to you by pigeon by S- recess a real time intelligence platform that uncovers the power of way finding for your museum enabling your visitors to maximize their day at your venue using pigeon. Yes like the navigating bird. The museum's management can gather real time data for managing space effectively in relation to visitors while improving their Roi through marketing. Automation and using pigeon visitors can navigate the maze of museum with ease conduct automated and personalized tours based on their interest. Rsvp for events and get more information about the exhibits right in front of to find out how pigeon can help your museum visit. Pigeon that's recess dot com slash museums. That's G. E. O. N. Dot S. I. R. S. Y. S. Dot Com slash museums things? So much to pigeon for. Supporting Museum archipelago. You can find a full transcript of this episode and links to other episodes at Museum Archipelago Dot. Com Archipelago is supported by listeners. Like you who have joined club archipelago on patriotic. If you can't get enough about how museums shape our lives join now for two dollars a month if this is your first episode. Subscribe to the show for free using your favorite podcast player. And if it isn't leave us a rating review and next time bring a friend.
70. The Gabrovo Museum of Humor Bolsters Its Legacy of Political Satire Post-Communism
"Welcome to museum archipelago. I'm Ian Elsner Pews Eum archipelago guides you through the rocky landscape of museums each episode so he's never longer than fifteen minutes so let's get started in the middle of Bulgaria not far from the crumbling boozers monument why as the town of gap reveal situated in the Valley of the Balkan mountains the city prides itself on its unique brand of humor. Many local jokes are self deprecating about the gap ravine obsession with frugality and entrepreneurship and center around the comical links. The townspeople go to save money. The Mascot of the city is a black cat without a tail. It said the bruins prefer cats without tails because then they can shut the door faster when they let their cats out saving on their heating bills. This used to be the kind of humor that exist in data in the region around gobble not owning governable but then abrazos abuse were smart enough to brand it as there's best the entrepreneur does entrepreneurial course this is Margarita Sheriff's. Go hello my name. AMY'S MARGARITA DOT COM. I'm curator by profession and I'm director of the Museum of Humor and sat are based in Gobble Bulgaria. The museum was founded founded in one thousand nine hundred seventy two before the wall fell. This location was known as the Communist capital of humor extending its reach across eastern bloc countries and and also into certain circles in the West. I visited gap radio because I wanted to find out how this political humor and Satire Museum could have started here during Communist Times yes and how the museum is tackling. The global memed driven culture of the world today. There are a couple of precursors that we have to go through to understand how the Museum of two things one is the governor of jokes so someone announced a competition in the newspaper that the municipalities paying certain amount for each job that gets druid into a collection of the jokes so they collected a lot of a lot of these jokes made a book and this book was this absolute bestseller. It was immediately translating of course in the Russian those who in different languages like French English German and it started selling L. Inc very very well and the other thing that happened was car narrowed the Ghabra Carnival which was restarted in the sixties this and it is typical for being a carnival a with a lot of political humor and satire the people running the Carnival and later the museum were experts at walking up to the line without crossing it when we speak of political satire do not imagine that the general secretary of the of the part to being saturated it was very clear to what level of satire can reach so satire was an instrument in the hands of good communists to fight. Dole's who abused power but to certain level so talk to maybe your local exactly exactly 'cause very clear you're aware to set our can reach as to the governor will joke. They're not political they deal with the economy with them and tolliday of the of the local people combining the two or maybe more realistically using the Gabar Vo Jokes as a Trojan horse to present more political satire was what led some entrepreneurial Gab ravines to open the museum typical will style day didn't Butte a new building Aberdeen refurbished old leather factory so the building we are in name is a former ladder factory for secrets cheaper second it could go slightly notice because you don't need the same kind of permissions nations to build and to refurbish and if you wanted your out of the mainstream project to succeed in Communist Bulgaria asking for permission was not the way to go. The museum started to put on. BNL's festivals held every two years which featured invited Western guests. The first was in nineteen seventy three. They immediately started with the bi-annual. The first edition was dedicated to Kerr tools and small satirical sculpture. It was international and they brought in the jury amazing amazing names like amazing petunias international out so how could how could that exist well. If you ooh think of that time most Tunis in the Western World would be critical. They'll be leftist so they'll be very welcome in Bulgaria and that indeed the gathering place for people from East and West but there was a problem with that first biannial the jury selected for first prize a cartoonist from Turkey Berkey a country on the other side of the Iron Curtain Director. Oh well what we did and they started asking themselves between never asked for permission mission to make that make an international together. All these people are going to be a huge problem. What are we going to do and then he thought okay don't think I can do is go straight to the monster. So the museum's director went straight to the daughter of the general secretary very with Mela Sheesh Cova who would later become Bulgaria's minister of culture. She was she was good enough to listen. She was smart to pursue seve good ideas and support them. So it worked she came she opened the be annual. Antidote went to on well and they never gave award award having more to a cartoonist coming from a country. That's the initial. The museum and the bienial kept growing until communism collapsed in one thousand nine hundred nine nine thousand nine hundred nine. They had more than eighty four in guests artists jewelry coming in for a new and that was massive after eighty nine was the collapse indeed at that time there were more than one hundred people working king house of Humour Mark. Because if you think of all the different departments cinema literature folklore it was big enterprise. We need a lot of events tweets amazing executions when I look at photos from exhibitions from the seventies and eighties. I'm absolutely astonished by exhibition designed. You see it's it's amazing. It's so well done. I don't think anywhere in Belgrade Bulgaria exhibitions were so good. After the collapse the museum staff shrink to a skeleton crew as you can imagine until one thousand nine hundred ninety nine my colleagues would insist that humor is juniper very so that whole human being laugh and humor is omnipresent than Union for so and so on the first fight I short of had to have with the team when I came was to say I'm sorry but humor is not universal. Humor is so culture based. It's totally coacher base. Of course it's safe for into say humor is universal and not go into political humor. It's safer but you don't do your job. Our mission needs to be very very timely to very actual to show things that are happening today from their museum can do that. Who else would be able to do that while it has improved over the past decade in Bulgaria. Media Freedom is declining most of the press has been purchased by the guards and corruption and collusion between in media and politicians is widespread. You know there are issues with freedom of expression in Bulgaria Freedom Media media media ownership and so on so at least a museum should be some sort of outlet the museum addresses the Civic Space in Bulgaria with a new temporary Rachel exhibit called Garden Town. The charming subtitle is where mischief has a happy end motive of town where the different neighborhoods address different issues such as you know graffiti. You're invited to draw or voting over. Dare the place where you go by a yourself and it's accidentally a toilet but also voting rule then we have some guerrilla gardening making bumps of seeds leads and then finally is the park where kids because they usually come in groups. They are invited to sit down and have a discussion and reach a decision to give them some advice about how to have a discussion and also explain how they could reach decision like tossing a coin or consensus. ASSOC- or voting or you know different offices including anarchy. It's really something to see how far the museum has come from starting within the Communist system to reinventing itself to remain relevant in ways that are crucially important to a modern Bulgarian audience. The roofs good mitts that the next stage of reinventing interpreting interpreting humor on the Internet to an audience that lives mostly online hasn't happened just yet the first big challenge. I could think of when I I when I learnt that. The museum is looking for director aching to retire looked at it. I was really impressed and then I told okay. How can you change this place. What can you do about it. And how can you make it really fun when all the funny near is on your phone you know you can just scroll. Oh for hours and you wouldn't stop laughing. So what can museum do about that. Are we supposed to show the same things. No I mean you don't go to museums due to look at something that you see on your phone. Internet certainly has changed humor a lot and this is an exhibition that we've been planning for ages and we're trying to to find the right research team to prepare that means different. Thank fully games. It's really interesting to see how Internet has been changing humor and where are we at now. The way that jokes jokes developed in Gabarevo where people told slightly different versions to each other and in the process carefully distilled the most sharable essence of the joke mirrors. Here's the way that memes are forged in online communities constantly morphing to get more attention. Maybe the best chance we have of interpreting communities. He's on line and off comes from a humor museum. The Gabar Vo Museum of Humor and satire which has already morphed through twenty years of communism and thirty years of democracy accuracy is a good place to start. Just close the door quickly when you let the cat out this has been museum archipelago the you'll find full transcript of this episode along with shouts at Museum Archipelago Dot Com Club archipelago members get access to the bonus podcast feed that sort of like the director's commentary into the main show fund extras like stickers support the show and join club archipelago today today the two dollars Patriot dot com slash museum competitive. Thanks for listening and next time bring a friend.
72. Speechless: Different by Design Reframes Accessibility and Communication in a Museum Context
"Welcome to museum archipelago. I'm in Elsner. Museum archipelago guides you through the rocky landscape of museums each episode. So he's never longer than fifteen minutes so let's get started. Museums tend to be verbal spaces. There's usually a lot of words. Galleries opened with walls of taxed. Visitors are presented with rules of do's and don'ts and artists Guide headphone users from one place to the next it paragraph by paragraph but there's a new series of exhibits designed to be different designed to guide visitors as far away as possible from words. It's one of. These is a collaboration of the Dallas Art Museum and the High Museum of art in Atlanta. It's called speechless. And to underline the point it is subtitled titled Different by design. Beaches has been an exhibition that merges research and aesthetics and innovative new design to explore accessibility accessibility and modes of communication in the museum setting. This is Sarah schladming curator of speechless. Low My name is Sarah shortening and and I am the Margo Be Perot. Senior curator of decorative arts and design and the interim chief curator at the Dallas Museum of art and I love to focus focus on projects that really explore ideas of how design and art can transform our everyday life. The roots of speechless come from linings linings own rethinking of how communicate without language. The idea really germinated out of something very personal for me. which is that one of my children has motor planning disability a neurological issue that rendered him when he was younger fairly speechless? And and I had to sort of rethink how I communicated with him in how we as a family interacted with somebody where language wasn't the primary. Hi Mary Avenue so it started in that idea but I was also in my curatorial work has been really interested in issues of playscapes and interactivity. And how the exposure to aesthetics and design are really great gateways to get people to to really think about about how that impacts their everyday life and so. This project was a merger of these ideas even museums specialize in the visual arts. Have a tendency communicate verbally with their peers. I think that that was the thing that I realized even for myself ideal in visual culture but the way I communicate about it is through words and that I myself have hyper hyper verbal. All of a sudden I had this very close proximity to somebody buddy who wasn't interested in learning from me through language and what I started to realize really because we started using the picture exchange system could occasion Asian system which is a series of images that you use to communicate. So you'd say what do you want to eat and on the sheet would be a picture of a series of different foods and then they could point and and so it's very prescriptive and it would be apple and then when I started thinking was we at museums are sitting on this vast repository of images of you could use Magritte's apple there's so many different looks and feels and kind of different nuances to what an apple could be or these images and in an essence that communication is kind of a two way thing the project is made up of six art installations. Intended to foster participatory Tori environments within the museum context and in particular engage the senses. We had the opportunity about a year ago to invite six designed Zayn teams to come to Dallas and work on this project and then we invited six specialists from the Dallas community that were the scientists but kind of both your Titians and practitioners who specialized in fields like neuroscience and Autism Dementia Communication Disorders Orders Physical therapy related to sensory issues and really to think about the broader spectrum of what disability. Looks like. And how to broaden our own perceptions of how to design for that and think through those ideas but I think the biggest underpinning depending of the exhibition for me and for the institutions were that it was an experience that ultimately was positive in joyful. So that these Foley immersive interactive spaces that each design team was creating was really something that was positive and felt like it offered an opportunity to see the the greatness in the difference between US instead of Seeing a sort of a a negative one of the pieces the by Yuri Suzuki is called sound of the Earth Chapter two and future giant unmarked black globe without the context of the familiar outlines outlines of continents visitors instead here sounds recorded at the part of the Earth. Where would they place their ear against the surface of the globe? Another by me Shikan features features a garden of colorful sculptures that inflate and deflate throughout the day the task of bringing all these installations together fell on designer and educator. Laurie Laurie Haycock Makhala. Makhala was responsible for the overall graphic identity and the corresponding exhibit publication. Tie My name. Is Laurie Haycock Makhala Accola. I'm a graphic designer educator and I'm working on the hook and some of the kind of related exhibition graphic identity issues or for speechless. You know as a book designer ideal with words also so there's a certain irony in working on this project but it made me really attentive to you. Know How do we use image and or language to communicate best like Shining Makhala understands what it's like to communicate eight non verbally. I've been book designer and an educator and all that for years and years and then I I had to brain hemorrhage is in brain surgery which really made my Everything stopped you know. Sarah brought many of in here because of certain personal experiences that make it so we really elite understand in some pretty deep way experiential way what our options are when we are left with maybe for a while Al.. I couldn't I didn't speak or write or read or anything like that so I had to rethink all that so I really identified. With the concept of this project from the very beginning the six installations only female relate to one another and they're introduced by the ground rules. Be Curious be thoughtful. Be Gentle so one of the few instances of taxed in the gallery visitors can experience the installations in any order. They choose by going into rooms off the main area which shining explains by invoking sea creature the exhibition itself will be designed kind of like an octopus is the best way I can describe private. And when you go in the room if you think of the octopus sort of head it is actually going to be an empty room and that room will have some furniture. We'll have some things and they'll be these kind of videos that are really Spin Abi sort of short boomerang videos of each artist in their space kind of showing people what to expect what they would use their so that you could understand yes. They're six spaces. This is a little bit what I do. This might have sounded and I can touch this. This idea that these these spaces are fully interactive is really is really different and that they are gonNA have to sort of unpackaged them a little bit than the place like Lawry's doing Israeli. We wanted to make a space. That was what we called kind of de escalation down and you know those spaces. Typically Museum like sensory spaces and others which are becoming more commonplace in institutions like museum often are off of the sort of educational space or in other places in we wanted to put primary in the exhibition. It we wanted wanted to be fully accessible and not You know stigmatized is probably too hard but making it feel like it was accessible to everyone. Everyone that everybody may need the opportunity to just have a moment to take a rebound in refresh in that space there will be rockers and waited blankets. One of our specialists deals primarily with that so we vetted that project and what we wanted to use in there in that and then the book that lorries done which really shows the whole creative process of each of the different designers will be. We'd pasted on one of the walls and until we'll both be a place for reflection for people to look at these but also a kind of stabilizing line for people if they need to calm down or recenter even though the museum world has a term for visitors needing a break from galleries. It's called museum fatigue and you can listen to a brief overview of it on on episode two of this show the causes of museum fatigue and a best practice. Approach remain speculative researcher. Beverly sorelle found that visitors typically quickly spend less than twenty minutes in exhibits regardless of topic and size before becoming much more selective about what they explore who research supports the notion Russian that visitors have a limited timeframe after which their interest in the gallery diminishes. And this is the reason why you can usually find it least bench twenty minutes. It's into a linear exhibit. But it's clear that museums can do much more. The designers of speechless hope that their approach can contribute the other. The thing that I really wanted to make sure happened in the exhibition was that you never walked from one project to another. You always go into space in the new comeback into the central sort of emptier zone so that you always have a chance to. It's almost like a pallet cleanser. Right you always kind of go from one experience and then you're able to reflect decompress and then you can move into another. We don't know how it's going to go. I mean part of the idea of being being experimental and I applaud both institutions for encouraging. US to go Really go for it is that you don't know what's going to be successful. We're not and so we are investing in doing evaluations during the project. And it's our intention to then Sort of published those findings at the end because we want to understand what worked and what didn't so much of the planning for this. Exhibit comes from making visitors comfortable enough to have a non museum like interaction within an art museum but visitors are used to a museum context with clear taxed instructions so it would be interesting acting to see how soon into visit do visitors. Start playing and lose some level of inhibition. Lose some of the museum context. I stay up at night thinking about that. I think it's been really interesting because even with you know the designers themselves you know it's that balance between I mean they wanna make something that's really spectacular in. Its in in art museum and they wanted to really have you know be elevated at at that level and at the same time how would you interact with this as a child. And how would you change that to be more responsive to that or to think through these things and try and trying to work through you know the best you can but you never know. And and that's what makes it both exciting and anxiety. designee producing started biting my nails speechless with fits. Visually striking rooms is opening into a world. More comfortable than ever expressing itself non verbally audio and images and animations of images are just as easy to create modify and share as words episode fourteen of the show which was an entire discussion of museum. Southeast from Twenty fifteen feels hopelessly outdated in two thousand nineteen images and sell fees are just how many visitors talk about the galleries. They visit like any language. There's a continually evolving grammar in images in Southie isn't one strategy is for museums to give visitors the tools of that that grammar a dictionary in the Sorus in the form of strange shapes and colorful backgrounds exhibits like speechless. Give visitors the tools us to center nonverbal expression within a museum frame speechless. Different by design is now open at the Dallas Museum of art and we'll be until March twenty second twenty twenty after that the same exhibit will be on display at the High Museum of art in Atlanta. Grab your popcorn. 'cause Museum archipelago is going to the movies. Introducing our brand new bonus series archipelago at the movies each episode. We dive deep into a movie about museums and tried to understand what it says about the broader museum landscape landscape the first episode of archipelago at the movies where we watch and review two thousand sixes night at the museum is already available. Exclusively to club Club archipelago members not member yet. Join now and you'll also get full access to the club. Archipelago Bonus podcast plus fun extras like stickers and pins support the show and join today at Patriot dot com slash museum archipelago. This has been museum. Archipelago you'll find full. Transcript of this episode as well as shown it's and links at Museum Archipelago Dot Com. If this is your first show subscribe. Grab for free in your favorite podcast player. And if this isn't leave us a rating or review wherever you get your podcasts. Thanks for listening and next time bring a friend.
62. David Gough Reclaims Stewardship of Tiagarra for Aboriginal Tasmanians
"Welcome to museum. Archipelago. I'm Ian Elsner. Museum archipelago guides you through the rocky landscape of museums. Each episode is never longer than fifteen minutes. So let's get started museums on the Australian island of Tasmania are a microcosm of museums all around the world. They struggle with properly interpreting their colonial past the exclusion of first peoples from telling their own stories in major museums, and having a large privately owned art museum reshape a small town this month on museum archipelago, we're taking you to Tasmania over the course of three episodes were conducting a survey of museums on the island and exploring how each of them relates to the wider landscape of museums today, we visit the TR cultural center and museum in Devonport, Tasmania, Australia. The museum is situated on mercy bluff, a traditional aboriginal sacred site that now hosts a nature trail and a caravan park, the museum was built in nineteen seventy six to promote aboriginal culture and cultural tourism. But the displays were put together by nonindigenous citizen. Fans and scientists David Goff of the local Devonport Latrobe aboriginal community remembers visiting the museum when he was younger and seeing offensive words on the plaques and on the walls, younger looking at stuff. And so he came out. There's things here that words really inappropriate Woodstock about us in longer race of people able Levin, writing, my family and ask stories, and running know why that suited them arrival as savages in medic, and all these things that they write things that were like, we didn't have may file. So we're going to all these things that we were really limited people. But we live straight to Osei ges today Goff is the chairperson of the six rivers, aboriginal corporation, and the manager of TR. When of the first things he did his manager was put masking tape over those words, you know, as soon as I got the, the case and the dole back, I put masking type IVA woods sticky TAC. Yeah. Put type I really. Inappropriate words written on the Mike. Beautiful people rather than some of the words were under that slits and said, we're now we can put ourselves in here. I'm rather than this place. Told stories about it sort of left us as we Don exist anymore because we're not, we don't have out our stories in here, offensive, racial language, covered up and written, over by the very people at describes is the perfect metaphor for what t- Agora was in the past, and what it's going to be in the future. Hello, my name's Dave mangoni gov. Antiga Tig our coach who center museum, Devonport Tasmania, g guards and ritual nine pains to keep this sought is a significant sought with caravan park. His just there was where there was hots and a village aboriginal Tasmanians lived in Tasmania for at least sixty thousand years, often completely isolated from mainland Australia by rising sea levels, European colonization of the island and a violent. Guerilla war between British colonists and aboriginal Tasmanians from the mid eighteen twenty s to eighteen thirty two known as the Tasmanian war was devastating to aboriginal Tasmanians for much of the twentieth century, including when Kiara was constructed the Tasmanian aboriginal people were widely and their own the Asli thought of as being an extinct, cultural and ethnic group, those around about people at a massive the Jim saw that people impacts colonization displacement, as my able to focus on chopping wood to make money to survive and cultures changing shift that growing up in schools, some kids go original, what does that mean that I'm not that I really grow up nine a lot about whether it's his or what, what happened to, to the families because the United States it's pretty will specially here a families went through griped trauma. That still is affects us. I was saying young kids growing up in the Justice of traumatic patents that happen to a series of careful museum upgrades, teaching aboriginal culture to his wide and audience as possible, and activism, golf plans to change this. So it's important for, for our families to Putin for the other the other kids in the areas as well. This will go to the schools is United State help were without kids side. The other Keats in builds his mutual respect and understanding about who we all think understanding way, apple podcast will give them. I've flee y full it's golf took me through the museum as it is today, except for the masking tape, and some offer handprints, the museum looks almost exactly, as it did in nineteen seventy six, we enter through the front door, a fake cave that opens a description of the land bridges across the Bass Strait. Which today separates Tasmania from the rest of Australia. Since it's pretty pretty. We have got some money to do some changes and upgrades into this museum the section but with very mournful. But actually now this plice Tom captial and is actually becoming a museum of museums side of really coach about making changes to. I'm this, this panel here talks about twelve thousand years, par to us ideas, where we will connect to Astrada and have that allowed you know, what people would say migration and people in animals. We neither actually came close to here, and this is a great like people lived around this, like wasn't just people walking backwards and forwards, and we've got a lot of average heritage saw in rock shelters, a London eighth, what went over and kids for here and spend an hour within the talk about living sites, and we use caves as living thoughts, and we have several different kinds in our country, that some leaving kinds, and some ceremonial caves, and the ceremony kinds week. We try to keep quiet from my, so the public because I get van lost a have visited a lot of thoughts because I was on the beverage heritage count. For quite a few years, and obeyed very heavily involved in protecting heritage around the country. What happens is when someone comes across damage is something that was signed that realize what it was. So then it gets thrown back, and she sang will if I had a nine I wouldn't have done that is. That's why went on the council already or sunshine, djing that act about protecting it. Her teach Tyke out that the ignorance goals and to some ju diligence around prices, they're going to dig somewhere, the guy to do something in an area. They need to contact heritage and find out this through something they had that would damage the gallery continues through detailed dioramas golf says visitors specifically school groups of children that come through our fascinated by them. But he says that without proper interpretation without stories being told in the voice of aboriginal Tasmanians, the dioramas true, meaning is lost and the lasting impact is lessened in today. That they will meetings. The way of meeting think, mafia Latin nine for rob a sh- unite, and it's because that's what by soared as but people drive up full were drives and destroying them, and we constantly trying to make get protection trying to get would heritage listing of various because some of these about four times as high as building. So when you're standing there, and you're looking at ever line shells on, on that, and you save the hot United though, Fady in a eighty bets. How old these places is many thousands of years old. And they we have rock patriots RAF markings in those areas to which probably five times out of the Spinks. There's a lot of ceremony that happens around these, these living solids babies born in the elders Apostoli in buried, there reminded there, so for us these not rubbish tips that they're there. You know, hospital with church of everything their gripes, there, everything, family members of that, too, with before, drives, and reburied people. So exposing people's reminds really, really young said when you're out there trying to stop people that they're now saying it's their culture to fold drive on on these areas, golf sees the public education, as crucial not just to protect the sites, but also to protect the stories. So this place going through this with kids and getting to understand maybe change some concepts and understanding about what, what, what's around them and what a landscape actually made. So when you say something like this, you can sit around to someone else inside genome of the seats, then you become the educator, and then you can pass on the raisins about why you would look after it because once it's removed the story can go the museum is currently closed only open for prearranged tours consisting most. The of school kids and the occasional podcast or even the ownership of the museum has been contentious up until recently, the Devonport city council rescinded the lease from the six rivers, aboriginal corporation in two thousand fourteen and did not hand back the keys until twenty fifteen Sammy Howard, fellow board member of the six rivers, aboriginal corporation, explains that the museum has been hampered by red tape every step of the way to our which fees drawn those Nonni a the only museum caving, pice in stri, figurative stike funded on today's of what she added governments set us up to file. You don't give didn't give us the training and the things that way knighted on starting to sink it would become a collection of who jumps because every time we get through one hope there's another one put in front of us. The white governments have got to be silliness with phone. Welcome a money issue don't working when you're trying. To deal with these things people want what they told could talk about. Matings of may was return on investment. And it's a difficult spice when you when you talking about sharing culture and having applies to your community bay is plice means a lot to families in this area. But both Howard and golf are optimists about the future of tiara the corporation hopes to bring some, high tech exhibits like touchscreens into the museum and build the resources to maintain opening hours with staff and guides from the community all will centering their own story, a number of factors contribute to their optimism. The museum can now apply for specific funding sources from other Tasmanians there's an increased interest in understanding the land in its people, and the greater understanding of British colonization of the island, we sort of feeling that this is a year where we'll get the spice opened again over just bring school gross right now with this business plan, what we're doing is to get out to spend some, some of this money and upgrade some of the interpreted here and put ourselves and ask stories into this spice. This is really important. It could be an option of having a self God into with they walking around, and as they come to different sections, getting told the stores wanted to tell, but everything costs money, and it's not just upgrading the museum all over Australia and indeed all over the world, the practices of welcome to country and acknowledgement of country are slowly becoming more common as a way to open the vents school, assemblies, and conferences is a difference as an acknowledgment to country and I can be done by anyone is to acknowledge the land and the traditional papal land. And that can be anyone in it should be done by people to site where you do a speech form. Former function is firstly decided after knowledge, the traditional this land. If United nine of is to mention the nine of them into college the land, we made on his is they land in Besser, thinks a welcome to country be done by someone who's from that country. It's basically welcoming balloon to. Up land and for people to understand why affiliates repulsive and opaque guitar stand to beat about who we are what land, they're on. And, and Linda hitt about the traditional papal custodianship, rather than undershoot, Gough, describes visiting native American nations in the US state of Zona and realizing that the challenges that members of first nations face all around the world, including developing museums, that simultaneously served their own people and the wider public are similar, and so are some of the solutions, dude. Wave they're doing that war on, I consider my friends and Harrison. Mc knowledge minutes coming up around universities with I see it at seven, that's, that's a great feat when we're doing things here. I'm getting things in support from my friends will have been gone through similar things conversation on their loss weight, which was around knowledge moments that people not what? We do is always, I would comment on that. And then pay backwards and forwards. There is some support in. Which is really, really positive. Hi, it's in again since you've listened to all the way to the end. I'm going to go out on a limb and say you're a fan of museum archipelago join other fans by subscribing to club archipelago. It's not so secret club that gives you access to special bonus features like longer versions of some of my interviews. My take on the museum industry, an inside a tours of museums all around the world all with the same humor and quality you've come to expect from us. Eum archipelago. Join today for two dollars a month on patriot dot com slash museum archipelago and get museum archipelago logo stickers mailed straight to your door. That's patriot dot com slash museum archipelago to join club. Archipelago. This is. Compelling. You'll find a full transcript of this episode along with shown up that museum archipelago dot if this is your first show. Don't forget to subscribe for free in your favorite podcast player. Thanks for listening and next. Bring a friend.
69. Soviet Spacecraft in the American Heartland: The Story of the Kansas Cosmosphere
"Welcome to museum archipelago. I'm ian elsner pews. Eum archipelago guides you through the rocky landscape of museums each episode so he's never longer than fifteen minutes so let's get started. There are many sites on earth that play a role in human spaceflight the mission control building in houston texas where flight engineers communicated with the apollo astronauts on the moon or even the grassy field in south eastern russia where eureka garin landed to end his his mission as the first person in space but hutchinson kansas isn't one of these sites. No spacecraft engineering happened here like in huntsville alabama. Emma no rocket engine testing happened here like in pearling taken mississippi. There's not even a historic exploration related radio telescope here like in parks australia despite this hutchinson a town a forty thousand people is home to the cosmos fear a massive space museum. The cosmos here boasts enormous collection the spacecraft including the largest collection of soviet space hardware anywhere outside russia. How did all of these space are the facts and up in the middle of kansas to find out. I visited hutchinson to talk to causes here curator shannon wetzel. I think some of our brochure say why not us right. The story of the cosmos fear is more or less the right place at the right time. What's all says that the museum museum has had many decades to be in the right place at the right time. Hello my name is shannon wetzel and i am the curators here at the concentrate the cosmos fears. I was a star projector in folding chairs so up at the kansas state fairgrounds in nineteen sixty two by woman named patty carey she was inspired spire by the launch of sputnik and ultimately wanted to set up a space science center in the mid west the volunteers. We have who knew her personally. I did not know her. Personally have pretty not much call her very nice arm-twister. You didn't say no to patty kerry and that planetarium grew to what you say now by the late nineteen seventies his potty carey was making plans to transform the planetarium into the kansas causes fear and discovery center the collection as we know it started in in the late nineteen seventies nasa is looking to a hedge singers unload but looking to get some hardware out there for the public to see and the cosmos fear was beginning its first expansion so we had the space and the connections. That's how we wound up. Collecting eighteen space harbor the cosmos fear was in the right place a big building in the mid west and the right time the late nineteen seventy s the era was a strange time for space exploration. It was after the apollo program but before the space shuttle the smithsonian errands space museum opened in washington dc in nineteen seventy six and and i get the sense of the whole bunch of space artifacts that didn't make the cut for that museum ended up in hutchinson this massoni and nass. I mean they want to get ed stuff stuff artifacts priceless our tracks out for the public to see everywhere and maybe also that's a sign of their success status and they have gotten into the mid west and it's been a priority and we are so grateful to the smithsonian. I don't know if you noticed on our labels. How many of our items on display are from from them and we're just grateful to be. I believe we are the only smithsonian affiliated kansas looking carefully at the collection. You also see another pattern hardware from missions that didn't go exactly as planned. It is heavily damaged mercury boilerplate capsule from the mercury atlas one mission. There's liberty bell seven another mercury capsule. That was the u._s.'s second human spaceflight mission in nineteen sixty one the astronaut survived but the capsule sink into the ocean and wasn't recovered until nineteen ninety nine and then there's the apollo thirteen command module odyssey which was restored and added to the museum in nineteen ninety five live at the end of the apollo thirteen mission. The astronauts were home safe. It was fantastic and then it was viewed more as a failure than success. Apollo thirteen was displayed in france. It wasn't viewed as something that should be around here necessarily and and so yes it was on display in france for awhile and then our guys restored it. I can't imagine any museum turning away the apollo thirteen command module today but but it is the cosmos fears ethos to say yes to an unwanted unrestored artifact even if that artifact is sitting under the water or somewhere in france they see the investment in the recovery and the restoration as well worth the effort to add it to their collection but there's also a bigger point that the museum is making thing with the collection as a whole space exploration is as much about the failures as it is about the successes. I believe that apollo thirteen had come up with contingency plan before it wasn't on the fly and in a way it was testing their contingency plan and it went wonderful. They got home safely. We discuss a lot. I know about how it seems in our culture. There's a fear of failure. We are afraid to fail or if something doesn't work the first time that means that idea should be discarded and i think that that's not what got us to the moon. That's not what made our space program successful so without meaning to. That's kind of become one of our catchphrases around here. Don't want our campers our students to be afraid to fail but the collection it wasn't just made up of american space hardware. The cosmic sphere also boasts the largest collection of soviet space artifacts anywhere outside of russia and this fills in the sizable reasonable gaps of how most other space museum's present the space race the cozma sphere team which included patty carey served obtaining soviet space hardware in in the late nineteen eighty s and early nineteen ninety s again right place at the right time. The soviet union was cobbling. They were looking to get rid of some of their artifacts artifacts. We worked through a broker and we were able to obtain them so they are part of our collection. They are not loaned pieces by the decision to try and collect them. Why why didn't other museums try to in the same way that you did. I think that our early leaders were very visionary in what we could become and recognize that in a sense we were only telling half the story half of the space race coury is colored red and filled with soviet space objects and text about the soviet human spaceflight program and the other half is blue telling the american story. Our gallery is is setup particularly well in the sense that you get a comparison. We split the gallery in a sense where you can see. This is kind of what was going going on the soviet union at the time. This is what the americans were doing. I think that our gallery does a really good job of comparing the two in a linear way so you can say okay during the mercury program and here's the vostok program the effect is striking the causes fear is not a design museum but by putting the artifacts from two different superpowers superpower's close to one another you get an appreciation for the subtle and not so subtle differences in the industrial design compare the design language of the soviet looking at the moon rover on display at the museum with the american mars rovers that americans might be more familiar with and you can see the different ways each program approach the problems of surviving in space even without the color coordination wessels favourite soviet are the fact is the luna sphere a copy of a soccer soccer ball shaped device carried by luna to whose only purpose was to cover its crash landing site on the moon with little pendants embossed with images of the hammer encircle. The soviet sent the luna sphere and it's just a small ball that upon landing it has a small explosive in it and all of these little art gallery calls them cosmic calling cards all of these cosmic calling cards go all over the surface of the moon. What a nice little just such a <hes> a metaphor for the cold war a little stick in the eye wetzel said that it's becoming increasingly difficult to teach younger generations about the political context context of the space race after all. It's been thirty years since the berlin wall fell very difficult to explain. I would even say the cold war is kind of difficult to explain because first of all they didn't live through it. I don't know if you did but i mean i was on the tail end of it. It wasn't isn't black and white there was so much great and i think that's the difficult part especially you've seen. Our gallery is pretty big. A forty five minute tour down there you just barely make it to the shuttle and that's if you're rushing so it's difficult to portray those ideas in a short amount of time to a younger audience no matter what you do do it gets wrapped up nice eight as we change here on earth so too does the way we teach the story of spaceflight what's will give me me an example of the list of items. Humans have left on the moon. A list that includes everything from the propagandistic lewis fear pendants to actual trash left there by the apollo astronauts. I didn't with our campus yesterday. We do a collection sure and i was telling they were appalled. I was like wow the generational it were hauled. What we we trashed the moon and i'm only did this is one of the reasons i will always keep coming back to space museum's museums. The environmental consciousness that the apollo program itself sparked by its images of tiny fragile borderless earth now gets the chance to reevaluate valuate apollo a new and that's just one of the ways that the cosmic sphere free from specific location can tell the story of human space exploration better than the site-specific museum visiting the johnson space flight center in houston texas visitors learn how that site play the role in the larger apollo missions visiting using the parkes observatory in australia. You can learn about how that radio telescope was instrumental in broadcasting famous images of neil armstrong stepping onto the moon and to the rest of the world. The cosmos fear allows visitors to take a step back. This has been museum archipelago. Hi it's again since you've listened all the way to the end. I'm going to go out on a limb and say you're a fan of museum. Archipelago join other fans by subscribing to club archipelago. It's not so secret club that gives you access to a special bonus features like longer versions of some of my interviews my my take on the museum industry an inside a tours of museums all around the world all with the same humor and quality. You've come to expect from museum. Archipelago repel ago joined today two dollars a month on patriot dot com slash museum archipelago and get museum cappella lugar stickers mailed straight to your door. That's patriot dot com slash museum archipelago to join club archipelago book. You'll find a full transcript of this episode kalang with show nuts at museum archipelago dot com. If this is your show don't forget to subscribe for free in your favorite podcast player. Thanks for listening and next time bring a friend.
67. Cit de l'Espace Celebrates Apollo Day from the Middle of the Space Race
"Welcome to museum archipelago. I'm Ian Elsner Museum Archipelago Guides you through the rocky landscape of museums. Each episode is never longer than fifteen minutes so let's get started all over the city of Toulouse France on buses and on the streets there are ads featuring a smiling moon within the American astronaut reflected in its Science Demotion Response Apollo Day is the fiftieth anniversary celebration of the Apollo eleven moon landing the first and for now only time humans have made it to another celestial body hosted by the city museum until his plus. We usually Google it got to choose your seats. DELAYS POSTPONED GUM to lose is the center of the European Aerospace Industry with the headquarters of Airbus anchoring what is known as Aerospace Valley a cluster of engineering hiring and research centers in the heart of France like the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex featured in episode sixty four the museum aspects of themed attractions but unlike most space museums in the United States the museum. Zoom presents hardware and content from multiple space agencies around the world taking a more global approach to the history and the future of space exploration this could be because in addition to being the center of the European Aerospace Industry Industry the museum and the rest of France sit in the middle physically in the middle of the two competing superpowers in the space race that ended with Apollo Eleven NASA the American Space Administration and the Soviet Space Program <unk> are both well represented here the museum features a mix of Soviet and American space hardware like an American lunar module and the Soviet Soyuz capsule and the mix of Russian and American is also present in more subtle title ways to in the planetarium show an animated James the Penguin and Vladimir the bear guide visitors through the night sky. Wow Vladimir surprising bear. I was keen visit Cidade the Lespinasse because my family also sits in the middle of the space race. My Mom who is Bulgarian remembers watching the Apollo Eleven Moon landing as a kid on T._v.. From behind the iron curtain she says news. About humanity's achievement was broadcast in Bulgaria but with an air of disinterested detachment the adults she was watching the broadcast with knew better than to celebrate. My Dad who is American remembers watching the Apollo Eleven Moon in landings at his home in Wisconsin. Everyone around him was interested and of course openly excited from its vantage point in the middle sitate. Doulos boss has its own story to tell the story of the Apollo landings is presented here here with all the excitement of American Space Museum. If a little less patriotic one obvious difference is the date when you'll Armstrong. I set foot on the moon. It was eight fifty six P._M.. Houston time on July Twentieth Nineteen sixty-nine but in France it was almost four A._M.. On July twenty first there's something charming about accounting for time zone differences on a place like the moon but I wonder if that's the reason why the museums of holiday is July twenty first when I have always learned that the moon walk began on July twentieth today the less boss did not answer my request for comment but the exhibit taxed says that French children were awoken in the middle of the night to. Watch the moon walk in the gallery footage of the moonwalk was interspersed with footage of people watching from all over the world including Sydney Australia and Paris France in the museum's gallery about the Apollo missions. I watched a the museum presentation of Earth Moon Comparisons for children called meeting moon. The focus was on physics a demonstration of what it would feel like to lift a heavy object on earth in that same object on the moon but the presentation was is rooted in the Apollo Project referencing specific missions and even the experiences of individual astronauts. The finale of the presentation was a feat of coordination by one of the child volunteers they were strapped into a harness harnessed that simulated moonlight conditions and they were asked to erect an American flag in the hole in the carpeted lunar surface which they finally managed to be the presenters noted that the United States was the only country to land humans on the moon so far. Yeah I like the optimism of the so far. Even if the next enterprise to land on the moon is American the United States won't be the only country there for too long. The museum has a temporary exhibit called Moon episode to presumably episode one was the Apollo missions which presents some of the challenges and proposes some of the solutions to going back to the moon each each of the solutions presented did not rely on national space agencies but simply human ingenuity to tae the LAS boss is not designed for an American or Russian audience instead the museum is a showcase Oh case of space achievements in general and French contributions to those achievements in particular. The biggest thing in the museum is the R._E._M.. Five rocket a human ready launch vehicle designed by the French Space Agency that accounts for sixty percent of global satellite launches. You can get a bite to eat at lot terrace. Yanni's a reference to French Guyana an overseas department of France where European rockets are launched because of the departments proximity to the. The equator but while I was there the museum was making its final preparations for Apollo Day moving a lunar module to a special location in the middle of the open air part of the museum all to get ready to celebrate not just in the American achievement by the human one one of the young visiters also curious about the preparations was wearing a t shirt with Yuri Gagarin's face on it Gargantuan the first person in space flew on a Soviet rocket only eight years years before the Moon landings the modified version of that rocket is also on display not far away in a video in the moon episode to gallery. The narrator notes that the boot prints around the apollo eleven landing site are still there untouched just as the astronauts left them Sa- Tae Dila spouse doesn't mention a Lunar Museum a project regular listeners know. I want to help develop when the time comes. I hope the Future Museum at the Apollo Eleven landing site is a little like the city Dallas boss. I hope that it doesn't just feature the American story but instead features the mix of countries presented here that led to the achievement so whether how do you celebrate on July twentieth or July twenty first. I wish you a happy holiday. This has been museum archipelago. You'll find a full transcript of this episode along with shown.
76. 400 Years Post-Mayflower, the Provincetown Museum Rethinks Its Historical Branding
"Welcome to museum archipelago. I'm UNLV museum. Archipelago is your audio guide through the rocky landscape of museums each episode is never longer than fifteen minutes. So let's get started. Sometimes a historical event is all about the branding and the brand of Plymouth. Rock as the spot. Where William Bradford and the mayflower pilgrims first disembarked is pretty strong in the American tradition. That I grew up learning the rock symbolized the pilgrims arrival in what is now the United States and at the beginning of their interactions with native nations. Who Live Nearby Plymouth? Rock is an easy visualization tool shorthand. Something that sticks in your mind. But the mayflower. Didn't I land on Plymouth rock or even anywhere near? What is now Plymouth Massachusetts? Its first five weeks on this continent which included the signing of the mayflower compact happened in the bay on the other side of Cape Cod near city now called province town. I grew up in province town. And when you grow up in province town and it's all you know it's all you ever know so I grew up knowing that the pilgrims landed here and we were always taught the importance of the mayflower compact and to go out in the world and realize that not everyone was taught that is just fascinating. They spent five and a half weeks here exploring our shores There are a lot of significant moments before they realized that the train was just to rocky not as protected from the weather. So they got back on the boat and headed to Plymouth for whatever reason in history books and when kids are taught it really picks up at that point in blimp. It's fairly easy to compress five weeks particularly if they happened. Four Hundred Years Ago. The quest here is not just accuracy. It's not about saying well. Actually it's to be aware all participating in historical branding and that monuments and museums are perhaps the best brand ambassadors. Hello My name is Courtney hearst and I'm president of the Board at the pilgrim monument and province town museum. It is interesting even recently. Unfortunately there were some graffiti on Plymouth rock just last week you every news feed was running it especially here locally and it was saying. Plymouth landing place of so we were calling to correct people. Say That's actually not true. The province town museum sits under the Pilgrim Monument. A Slim Granite Tower that dominates the skyline of province town. The monument was completed in nineteen ten to draw attention to the fact that the mayflower landed. Here I good branding as a school kid. Her said that the top of the tower was a great place to escape with friends and since the museum was free she would hang out there. Whenever her school was between sports seasons but during those childhood visits she was unaware of another type of dehumanizing. Branding happening in the exhibits. The whole hang used to be lined with these huge murals almost life size as a kid. They felt life-size. Now that I'm talking I'd say they're not but they're big and each one depicted a different moment in the pilgrim's arrival and the impact on that nation. So it's their first interaction and the native people all look exactly alike. There's no definition in their faces. Their hair is exactly alike. They all look really aggressive. Really angry. And that they're on the attack the pilgrims all have very distinct features. They're wearing different clothes there expressions. They look almost fearful on their cowering. They definitely look like they're being attacked so you can even start to go layers deeper and deeper and deeper in the end the inaccuracies. But when you just look at it the stereotype that it was portraying on a subconscious level the portrayal of WOMP and dog people like this isn't unique but it serves the narrative of the Pilgrim's virtue and nobility in the face of a hostile world now the only way they persecuted in Europe. The narrative goes but they will also persecuted in the new world which creates a justification for anything that happens afterwards. All of this buttressed by implied neutrality of the Museum. They were so inaccurate. That we're actually GONNA leave one of them up in this new exhibit as A. Can you point out what's wrong? In part of the interactive of the exhibit will be show. What's wrong the new exhibit which is called story is a partnership between the province town museum and members of the dog nation. So our story. It were working with In conjunction with the tribe polyp eaters and Stephen Peters specifically have been the real brains behind it and the execution of it we have learned in the last few years through working so closely with the tribe that a lot of the story was wrong and then it wasn't told accurately so we have worked with them to create a whole entire new exhibit. We've got at the room and rebuilding it and it's called our story and what's interesting about it is. It will be told from their perspective as far as how they were living here Before the pilgrim showed up on the example of a story from those first five weeks that has been told exclusively from a colonial lens is a soy of Cornhill the spot near province town where pilgrims found stores of corn preserved by the WOMP dog it was always positioned as they simply found the corn. And that's how history tells it i. It was actually stolen corn. It was clear the way that it was stored the way that it was capped that it had been put there by people. There's no way that you could have been. They even say that in their log so it was clear people are living here. They just hadn't come across them yet. The our store gallery opens later this year. To commemorate the four hundred year anniversary of the pilgrims arrival under the initiative. Province town four hundred the initiative is planning for a much different commemoration than the three Hundredth Anniversary. Back in nineteen twenty back. Then it was called celebration not a commemoration and included and parades. It's not a celebration for everyone and that it is somewhat more solemn in that yes you know the pilgrims came here and they did some good things and they were brave for coming here and seeking that's part of the story but it's not all to be celebrated so we've been training ourselves for the last two years even that small nuance of a word. But it's not a nuance when you see how important it is so everything from that word. Choice will shift To things like we're not having a parade you know that that was an initial brainstorm idea. You think like centennial. Let's do a parade and things like that. We're not going to do that because that would be seen as disrespectful and we understand that so. The collaboration has been so tight throughout that. I think it's going to feel a lot different in all of those ways. I hope but the province town museum is also in the middle of another. Maybe even bigger branding change connecting the pilgrim story of four hundred years ago to the modern history of province town with the past one hundred years province town has attracted artists playwrights and the LGBT plus community today province town is perhaps the best known gay resort on the US is east coast. Hurst wants to expand who we think of as province towns pilgrims. The word pilgrim has been intentionally used to describe the passengers of the mayflower because of passage in William Bradford struggle therefore it connecting his journey to the Christian Bible. That's good branding for hearst. Sees it as through line to province towns more recent history as well or hoping to reframe the word pilgrim and stuff for it to symbolize a group of people and really what they're seeking which is to be accepted for who they are? Whatever that the whether it's religious freedom or any freedom at all. I'm seeking a place where they can be themselves. I think there's a sense that this board and this team are committed to telling more accurate story of province town in the mayflower pilgrims were the first pilgrims to arrive here. Four hundred years ago and they came seeking acceptance and tolerance and freedom and then pilgrims of all sorts of come to province town shores. Since them they were the first but so many the fishermen the artist. Lgbtq community So many so. We're really hoping that we can t take each of those stories. Each of those pilgrims stories and Tele cohesive history of province town growing up here. The AIDS epidemic was so close to us and again you just grow up thinking that's what most people saw and life into that my mom would like crews dinners by Guys House that were struggling and had no on how many of them came here to in some cases. Diane how this town these Portuguese women in the community just took them in and loved them and really took care of them. That's a story. That's you know it's province down story but it's it's AIDS story and it's a national story and that's a case that likely might be in the new updated version in the Museum. So when we say that we wanna tell them more accurate. It's even just a more comprehensive story because it does have a thread in the nation's history as well on example of a future exhibit might be about the spirit this pizza riot of nineteen ninety which are says was province towns analog to the important stonewall riots in New York City when the bars would get out at night and typically the gay bars would get out and not just gay bars but gay people would come into the street and they would Ali pizza and it would be really hard to get through. We'll one night. There was a police officer was giving some giving them trouble on unnecessarily. Shouldn't have been and the group rioted so these moments that were happening here in our cosmo but shifted the town and the town shifted legislature on. What used to be called gay bashing Importing more laws in place and and protecting them even further and it was this moment that for us changed. Perception culture and Robinson historical brands are powerful in the same way that a single monument can shift towns legislation for the better of photogenic. Rock can diminish five weeks of history in the minds of millions of students and the word choice that the museum uses can turn a Bushel of stolen corn into just an innocent lucky. Find as the four hundred year anniversary of the mayflower arrival approaches. The province town museum is preparing for the commemoration by changing things up. They don't use the word branding. But like the pilgrims themselves they're expanding the word pilgrim to include recent province town history. The working to tell the story of members of the WOMP inauguration directly instead of through the Lens of the colonists and they want people to know that the mayflower landed here first before moving on to Plymouth. We obviously want to shine a spotlight on the fact that the pilgrims actually landed here and the time that they spent here but beyond that were hoping to cast a spotlight on province town as a place that is welcoming to pilgrims and that message for us in today's time feels just as powerful this has been museum archipelago. Grab your popcorn. 'cause Museum Cappello is going to the movies. Introducing our brand new bonus series archipelago at the movies each episode. We dive deep into a movie about museums and tried to understand what it says about the broader museum landscape the archipelago at the movies deep dives into national treasure and night at the museum are now available. Exclusively to club archipelago members not a member yet join now and you'll also get full access to the Club Archipelago Bonus podcast plus fun extras like stickers and pins joined today at Patriot Dot com slash museum archipelago. But you'll find a full transcript of this episode as well as shown it links at Museum Archipelago Dot Com. If this is your first show subscribe for free in your favorite podcast player. And if this isn't leave us a rating or review wherever you get your podcast. Thanks for listening and next time bring a friend.
68. The Akomawt Educational Initiative Forges a Snowshoe Path to Indigenize Museums
"Welcome to museum archipelago. I'm ian elsner pews. Eum archipelago guides you through the rocky landscape of museums each episode so he's never longer than fifteen minutes so let's get started for many indigenous people native people we're looking for ways who engage a culture at all places at all times and for me and for many other native people it happens to be in the realm of museums and donna spears focuses on engaging with her culture within the realm of museums precisely because museums violently separate her culture from living context yup to a a donald spears initiate hush con- you believe people buses team. Hello i'm donna spear yucca like a fruit shanghai and online crane. I'm born for the way people my maternal grandfather from the tangled plan and my paternal grandfather is from the chuck todd chickasaw people well. I'm the director of programming and outreach for the adamant educational initiatives spirits co-founded the educational initiative in twenty eighteen with chris newell and dr jason ma'am sheeny the initiative was born out of their experiences in museum and classroom education across present day new england. They saw the need to supply regional educators with the tools to implement competent education on native history and native contemporary issues. They created the initiative to build those tools. The word adamant is a pass inequality word. It is the pessimist plenty word for the snowshoe path. One of our co founders chris newell is a quasi and he recommended this term as a defining part of our our initiative because snowshoe pass at the beginning of the winter season is hard to find. It's hard to walk on but the more people pass along this past and carve out this path through the snow. During the season the easier it becomes for everyone to walk together and we see that as of of our our mission and part of the work that we're trying to do part of the guiding principles for our work that we are looking to add to that educational taste experience for people we living with an amongst here in what is present day new england because we're all going on the same direction and the more information and the more culturally accurate and respectful and historically accurate information. We're working within the easier. It is for our children far grandchildren and when i say our a need that i also mean native people the initiative focuses on what's called sites of knowledge these include k. through twelfth schools universities and museums but a spirits describes the notion of silence sites of knowledge is a western idea poorly suited to the work work they do instead the agony educational initiative seeks to employ knowledge at all places and at all times something that museums as they exist today fail to do in our traditional communities native communities there is no place that you would go to learn and to gain the authority on one one particular place and then leave that place and and not employ that knowledge someplace else or not see the connection between one place and another so there's no to a the museum and this is the authority and this is where you learn about this and then you exit the museum and that knowledge is no longer useful to you as you go the daily life that concept of silencing knowledge and silently our understanding of the world is a foreign one to this continent spears share share the striking example of this at untold stories twenty nineteen which was called indigenous futures and collaborative conservation. The session was the closing session of the american institute for conservation annual conference there. She showed an image of a hard no schone cradle board as presented in detroit art institute. It is completely they divorced from context and certainly doesn't feel lifting in typical museum conservation fashion. She compares this with an image of the cradle board that held her as a child tiled and has securely held all four for children. The ties on the cradle board are ceremonially retied for each child representing continuity in the material real world that is nowhere to be found in the museum. If you came into my house right now you would see all of the cradle boards from when i was a baby that were made for for me which i have a few and then the credit of words that we had made for for our children and my husband and i children they are placed up on the wall the difference difference between that and he is that we keep pieces of that babies experience within the cradle awards so we keep we keep a blanket in certain certain pieces of material culture so we keep those on the cradle boorda wing put them up on the wall to remind us of of that time that special time with our our son or daughter her and so these are instances where the critics award is referring to a specific specific place in a specific emotional life our family spears uses the difference between her cradle boards in her own home and how they would be treated in the museum collection to illustrate the difference between living collections and ethnographic objects. I think we look at within using collections. All of that is ripped away. All of that is stripped stripped and that stripping of those experiences and the spiritual and emotional life of that piece is a violent nine one and it's a very apt representation of what colonialism is that we're going to take this and we're going to repeat away from its relationship relationship with you and make it only relevant in his relationship to us the colonizers and that's the story like it's honored. That's the story that's more important and that is a violent story and it's one of domination and so when we go into museums and we see items is that have a lived relationship with us within our communities within our homes we see them on display as <hes> ethnographic jack objects that is a reminder that our understanding of our own <noise> material culture is not the one that is important to prevent the continued need violent ripping of the emotional life that object collections represent the initiative offers a range of educational support services in educational programming across present day new new england and part of that is making sure that certain words remain problem is d- using the term present day because we don't like to use the term new england even on probably ties like it's this is not problematic. Everyone calls in new england. This is okay. We sanction this term. We don't want onto us anytime that place american western understandings of our of our places and our culture in our communities in reference to into reference to europe in this case england some of the services offered by the initiative take the form of outreach programming like understanding cultural appropriation or guided tours. He's like lessons in radical feminism from the fourteenth century at the mashantucket pequot museum the initiative also offers consulting services providing museums uh-huh historical societies and cultural institutions with socially just an accurate historic information and the means with which to interpret native collections and themes with breath and for native communities we get to go on to medium <hes> across the southern present-day new england and look at again looking at <hes> <hes> exhibits critically there are many museums in the area that are starting to form a native american advisory panels and who sits on those panels is so important. I think wending that adam out really is very good at is we are also part of a native communities here in the north not so i am from these other tribes but i married an air canada and all of our children are also near it can't it which is the federally recognized tribe type here in rhode island and so i do have buying into this community and to the well-being of the representation of my children's community knowing how inaccurately museums portray your own culture or the cultures that you're familiar or intimate with how does that change how you visit museums or how does that change injure visitor experience where you don't know much about the culture being presented for me to say that i'm always aware of that. When i go into museum mm is not completely accurate that native people we even though we know that this has been done to us we still look to some of these institutions as places of knowledge college and they think that when i go into museum to learn about something there is always that question of how did care who wasn't who made it but really why did they make it. What is this objects life outside of if here and i think that i'm not always asking that question all the time but that is a question that they're at the back of my back of my mind and i think that the more that you can bring these these disembodied pieces back to a body the better i would relate to it as as a native person and as an indigenous person. I think that that there's definitely a duality of play for me when i go into a museum. It's it's it's conflictual. There are some newer museums that deliberately define their primary audience as members of a native nation an example that just opened in minnesota is the hokuto taty hoti the shock happy midday con su communities new cultural center. There's a touchscreen interactive media piece there that protects some information shen behind the code that only nation members know how can practices like these change how museums have presented themselves for centuries. What ask the question who's the primary recipient of what we're giving in this space who are we who are we pointing this space towards who's the orientation the intention point and that doesn't mean that there can't be of the people in the space and learning from that or watching that process. I think that s. museums grapple with their colonizing passed in the role that they play they play in colonizing turtle island island the world. Is you know being in bed with imperialism. I think that as the museum field grapples with that history we're going to start to see museums as places where practice can be on display so in the sense that there is an orientation towards this tribal nation. This is who you're speaking to oh but the museum can points out or put on display the fact that this practice is being followed and people are in a museum using the actual <unk> actual practice. The museum is speaking directly to the practice very blatantly using language and terminology and saying we have a certain group that we are prioritizing here. We want you to learn in this space. The you were not the orientation you are not the the the thing that this museum and we all around and that in of itself is an educational experience. I'm sometimes it's good to be disruptive active in that way and that museums can be disruptive force in that in that process by saying that they're orientation is toys this ticket particular community and not towards the over culture and i think it's really important for white visitors to museum to a very very comfortable space. They knew how to interact with museums. They know how to interact with exhibits that reaffirm what they were already thinking before. They went into the building. <hes> i think disrupt that experience can be really interesting really important and i think now have an opportunity to be <hes> really interesting disruptive tool in the process. The agamal education initiative lives at mount dot org there you can find the list of resources from a guide to indigenous terminology to readings and books organized by grade level. You can also see a list of classes and services is that the initiative offers across present day new england. You can watch spears in the complete proceedings of untold stories twenty nineteen at untold stories dot live information is also available for the twenty twenty conference in salt lake city utah called preserving cultural landscapes. This has been museum archipelago this week. Museum archipelago is hosting its first ever live show. The show will be a part art. Lower allston live hosted by the p._x. Podcasts garage zone three and aaronow brewing event takes place in boston massachusetts. This thursday used in august eighth at seven pm at aeronautic austin. Two six seven western have in the show. I will play the host of museum archipelago interviewing a young the director of a fictional lower allston museum. There's a link to r._s._v._p. In the show notes come by to say hi and pick up some sweet museum archipelago archipelago logo stickers. I hope to see their you'll find a full transcript of this episode along with show notes at museum archipelago dot com club archipelago members get access to a bonus podcast feed that sort of like the director's commentary to the main show and fun extras like stickers support the show and join club archipelago today for two dollars at patriotair dot com slash museum pal. Thanks for listening and next time bring a friend.