tim – Textile and Industry Museum Augsburg

Urška Purg

European cities are facing the downfall of industry for a while now. Causing the changes in society and people’s lives, it is becoming more and more important topic also for the museums. Museums try to save and preserve some remains of the fallen or transferred industry. Although, preservation and assuring the referential point in constantly changing times is an important role for museums, who wish to compensate the loss of industry and modernisation (Marquard 2001 in Zübe 1989 po Kaiser idr. 2014, 6), that is no longer enough for them. Museums are becoming the carriers of the changes as well, as Kaiser, Krankenhagen and Poehls place museums (2014, 6). This means, museums need to face their actions also in the present society and its needs, as well as in the future. There are more and more museums, who are doing their best to leave their footprints in this process. TIM is just one example, how once leading textile industry in Augsburg has managed to cope with their vanished era.

Placed in an old complex of former textile factory, State Textile and Industry Museum Augsburg tells a story of industrial importance of Augsburg in the textile field in the history. It is a specialized history museum, which pays a tribute to the once important and todays ruined bit of local textile industry.

I had an opportunity to visit the museum already three years ago, and with a help of a really good guided tour, it charmed me completely. It was nice to come back again after three years to see, how they are proceeding. Museum is placed in an old building with a subtle and clear museum design. The concept of the museum follows the chronological order, with an introduction of the textile production from the very beginning through raw materials with silkworms and origins, and so on, followed by the machine production, textile patterns and final products through time. The main story is accompanied by the parallel story in the separate thematic cubes, introducing the development of the textile industry in Augsburg. Both stories are very intuitively and neatly arranged. Through being a very structured museum, it is very clear for the visitors to follow the proposed storylines, with interesting blue interactive DIY islands with children’s tasks and games. Although, I appreciate there is not too much text, more text in English wouldn’t hurt. They offer guided tours in five languages though. However, for individual non-German speaking visitors, who wish merely to stroll around and discover the exhibition on their own, there is a gap. In addition, the staff addressing you in German no matter your questions are in English also doesn’t help much. There is demonstration of the machines by the former factory workers, which is impressive, it adds value to the whole concept and helps clarifying the picture, however it is available three times a day – if you are not aware of this, you can easily miss it.

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tim’s main entrance.

Nevertheless, to continue with the space itself – it breathes and it is not overcrowded with objects. They have managed to keep the feeling of the former factory and transform it in to a museum at the same time. There are also a lot of remarkable design ideas, which enable the display of the more sensitive objects, placed into drawers, with sensor lighting, that turns on, when the visitor approaches the showcase. Unfortunately, all the sensors did not work anymore.

During my first visit, I admired the most the idea of making the special Augsburg textile patterns available for the public with a help of technology. Tim keeps around 550 pattern books, which span the period of 1793 to 1993, and include approximately 1.3 million textile patterns. Since the books are old and sensitive museum objects, they need to be exhibited under extremely strict conditions, which are not very friendly to the visitors. At the same time, it is impossible to enable the overview of all of the patterns through opening the books on a random page, without the possibility to browse through the books (reasonably not allowed). Therefore, they came up with an idea of a museum catwalk with three giant central female dresses, equipped with computer connection to the scanned patterns from the books and the possibility of projection of the selected patterns to one of the two completely white dresses. Genius! It offered us children to play, and more serious design students to try out their combinations and ideas. However, at my second visit this no longer existed. The first giant dress remained as it was, made out of various patches of cloth, whereas the white two are now so to say – useless. One was just there, and the other had a too bright projection of a very short video clip about something. It was excessively bright and therefore, impossible to decipher the meaning of it. Without the computer stations with patterns, these three giants lose their meaning and work only as a middle filling of the room with books of patterns on the sides, which are excessively illuminated from the bottom up, making it impossible to watch the patterns in the dark showcases anyway.

The presented textile story is very well incorporated into the important historical events, with emphasis on their influences on the industry. It rounds the dramatic rise and fall of the textile industry during the 20th century, including the First and the Second World War. For this purpose, the complementary video content is carefully incorporated in a very subtle way, blending in with the grey info islands and showcases, enriching the story flow and adding the information value.

For those of us, who do not like to read too much anyway, the final exhibition segment was the most interesting one, presenting the selected pieces of fashion clothes, including the remarkable black wedding dress from 1909. The majority of presented dresses and swimsuits is ladies-wear, although some uniforms and gentlemen’s suits were not missing. Moreover, I must say, I wouldn’t mind to have a dress or two from the exhibition in my home closet. Whether I would manage to fit in, is another question; however, some pieces are really beautiful and timeless.

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A part of the permanent exhibition I really liked – presentation of fashin pieces, including the swimwear collection.

Permanent exhibition is concluded with a quick jump into present times with probably most popular room among the children, I imagine. A special grey cube includes space-like suite for steel workers, firefighters’ protective wear, wind-stopper test, carbon fibre products and other – to me – less appealing things with interactive elements.

Overall, museum offers a rounded story and illuminates an important piece of industrial history. Some relevant contemporary issues regarding this industry remain unspoken and can still be used in the temporary exhibitions, where the wonder and usefulness of the carbon fibre was presented at my visit. The museum is fresh and made with a thought on the ones, who like to discover things. However, what truly disappointed me is the prohibition of taking photos in today’s era?! I would fully understand the limitation of photographing with prohibition of flash usage, but the full stop? Their webpage says, it’s because of protecting the copyright – what copyrights? Or better, whose? It is a state museum, devoted to the people. And anyway, prohibiting the visitors from taking any photos in nowadays times is just a manifestation of not understanding, how the social web world is turning. Because of this demand, I am using the photos from three years ago, when no one prohibited me from taking any photos.

There has been a slick article exactly on this topic: Why is taking photos banned in museums.

To wrap it up, the museum is very contemporary in its storytelling, compared to other museums Augsburg has to offer, and it is worthwhile visiting. They even have a lovely museum shop at the entrance/ exit; with live on the spot sewing corner, many tim’s products and fair supply of thematic books for adults and children. In addition, their chic café/ restaurant fits perfectly to the ambient and rounds the museum experience with a tasty refreshment. Not to forget, how great the fact is, they have managed to name the tram station after the museum and a bus line as well. However, it still holds a broad space for improvements to develop into more tourist friendly destination. Especially, loosing that leftover of hierarchical demand of visitor’s gratefulness for being able to visit the museum, which completely mismatches their friendly webpage.

Finally yet importantly, I would like to take a quick look in Slovene museums and the industry topic. In Slovenia, there have been a few examples of facing the decomposing elements of the deindustrialization; only a few will be mentioned here, since this calls for a special post on its own. Years ago, Museum of Recent History Celje prepared a participatory project “Ne meč’te piskrov stran” referring to the public call to collect the Western-Emo enamel pots and use them in art interpretations, while enriching the museum collection with these missing elements. In Bela Krajina Museum, a temporary exhibition to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Beti Textile Company – the economic miracle of Yugoslavia (Brancelj Bednaršek 2016) is on a display this year. In Maribor, The Museum of National Liberation of Maribor is actively collecting the remains of the vanishing industries, preserving their spirit and (hi)stories, recently with emphasis on the Maribor’s textile industry, known as the Yugoslav Manchester.


Kaiser, Wolfram, Krankenhagen, Stefan in Poehls, Kerstin: Exhibiting Europe in Museums. Transnational Networks, Collections, Narratives, and Representations. New York in Oxford: Berghahn, 2014. (Volume 6, Museums and Collections).

Brancelj Bednaršek, Andreja: Predgovor/ Foreword. Beti: 60 let spominov. Beti (Metlika). Metlika: Belokranjski muzej, 2016. 10-13.

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Muzej Sheikha Faisala: izvrstna osebna zbirka

Tina Palaić

Muzej Sheikha Faisala je eden izmed tistih katarskih muzejev, ki je nedvomno vreden ogleda. Gre za eklektično privatno zbirko, ki vsebuje toliko raznolikih predmetov, da se zagotovo najde takšen, ki očara še tako zahtevnega obiskovalca. Ogromne dvorane, iz katerih lahko smukneš v dodatne ločene sobe in odkriješ popolnoma nov svet, ponujajo neskončen vir za ustvarjalnost posameznikove domišljije. Na žalost nismo imeli možnosti videti vseh muzejskih sob, saj so bile nekatere v času našega obiska nedostopne. Po skoraj dveh urah, ko smo trije ‘raziskovalci’ zaključili z ogledom, nisem bila povsem prepričana, kako bom opisala svojo izkušnjo. Potrebovala sem nekaj časa, da sem sestavila vse koščke – in se na koncu odločila, da me ne bo preveč skrbelo, če bo tokratni zapis bolj eklektičen kot ponavadi 🙂

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Izjemna stavba muzeja, namensko zgrajena za prikazovanje zbirke Sheikha Faisala.

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Pred muzejem je majhna laguna, kjer je mogoče videti tradicionalno arabsko plovilo.

Muzej Sheikha Faisala prikazuje privatno zbirko Sheikha Faisala bin Qassim Al Thani-ja, bližnjega sorodnika katarskega Emirja (zbiratelj je del širše vladarske družine). Ko sem bila obkrožena z več kot 15.000 predmeti, med drugim z njegovimi oldtimerji, ladjami, arheološkimi predmeti, s tradicionalnimi oblekami, z orožjem ter s številnimi vrhunskimi primeri likovne in dekorativne umetnosti, sem se pričela spraševati, kdo pravzaprav je ta zbiratelj, kakšni so njegovi interesi in motivi. Za razumevanje zbirke, še posebej privatne, je zagotovo treba dobro poznati človeka, ki stoji za njo. Muzej Sheikha Faisala namreč ne prikazuje le islamske dediščine, temveč odraža tudi življenje samega zbiratelja. Še več, za nekatere predmete je verjetno le on tisti, ki pozna njihovo zgodbo, pomen in vrednost.

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Sheikh Faisal se je rodil v Dohi leta 1948. Danes je eden najbolj uglednih poslovnežev na Bližnjem vzhodu (Al-Faisal Holding). Z zbirateljstvom je pričel v 60. letih prejšnjega stoletja in svojo zbirko še vedno nadgrajuje. Zbirateljsko aktiven je torej že dobrih 50 let – gre za obdobje, v katerem je Katar doživljal pomembno družbeno in ekonomsko tranzicijo. Zbirka vključuje njegove osebne predmete, prav tako pa tudi stvari, ki jih je skozi vsa ta leta zbral na svojih številnih potovanjih v različne kraje. Muzejska stavba je bila zgrajena na njegovi kmetiji, ki je locirana 22 km iz Dohe, in leta 1998 odprta za javnost. Ker je zbirka privatna, se muzej ne umešča pod pristojnost Qatar Museums Authority, osrednje organizacije za muzeje v državi (vstopnina je zato 15 QR, kar je skoraj 4 €).

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V ospredju je maketa puščavskega tabora, v ozadju pa del šejkove zbirke oldtimerjev.

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Na spletni strani muzeja je mogoče prebrati, da je zbirka Sheikha Faisala razdeljena v štiri sklope: islamska umetnost, dediščina Katarja, vozila ter kovanci in denar. V resnici mnogo predmetov ni razvrščenih v navedene kategorije. Moje mnenje je, da gre zgolj za zelo široke sklope, znotraj katerih pa lahko obiskovalec najde raznorazne predmete. Večina je brez oznak, prav tako pa ni spremljevalnih tekstov (opazila sem le dva panoja s tekstom o uporabi ladij). Prav zato sem se med sprehodom po muzeju počutila, kot da brskam po nekem tujem življenju. Številne družinske fotografije, ki so obešene na stenah po vsem muzeju, so moj občutek le še okrepile.

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Brez zgodbe, ki bi jo povedal Sheikh Faisal, je nemogoče vedeti, zakaj je razstavil eno ob drugem zbirko islamskih rožnih vencev in staro televizijo s telefonom.

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Miniaturna maketa šolskega razreda.

Muzej prikazuje osebno zbirko Sheikha Faisala, ki jo lahko razumemo tudi kot njegov komentar na izjemno hiter razvoj in družbene spremembe, s katerimi se njegova država sooča v zadnjih nekaj desetletjih. Zagotovo zbirka predstavlja njegova stališča (in do določene mere tudi vidike njegovih sorodnikov), ki odražajo predvsem njegovo ogromno bogastvo, prav tako pa tudi njegove življenjske priložnosti, izkušnje, vrednote in okus. Ker sem imela občutek, da je njegova zbirka kaotična in naključna, sem sprva želela blog poimenovati drugače – Osebni kabinet čudes Sheikha Faisala. Nato sem pomislila, da ta ideja izhaja iz mojega razumevanja dediščine in muzejskih ustanov, ki temelji na Zahodnem pojmovanju, in da bi s tem poimenovanjem bila verjetno v zmoti. Namesto tega raje razmišljam, da opisane prakse zbiranja in razstavljanja izhajajo iz lokalnega kulturnega in zgodovinskega konteksta, in da jih določa predvsem specifični položaj njegove družine.

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Ladja, ki so jo uporabljali za transport, ribolov ali nabiranje biserov, je razstavljena v naravni velikosti. Omenjene dejavnosti so bile tradicionalni viri prihodka pred odkritjem nafte.

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Navdušujoča zbirka preprog je razstavljena v prostorni dvorani.

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Sheikh Faisal hrani tudi osupljivo zbirko pohištva.

Osebna zbirka Sheikha Faisala je zagotovo vir znanja. Obiskovalci, študentje in raziskovalci – vsi lahko preživijo v muzeju ure in ure, raziskujoč eno temo za drugo. Kakorkoli, da bi zbirko zares razumeli, obiskovalcem predlagam, da se pred obiskom dogovorijo za vodstvo po muzeju.

Sheikh Faisal Museum: world-class personal collection

Tina Palaić

Sheikh Faisal Museum is definitely a must-see place in Doha. This eclectic private collection contains at least one thing to fascinate any visitor. Huge halls with additional separate rooms, where you can sneak into and have a whole new world to discover offer endless sources for your imagination. Unfortunately, we did not have the opportunity to see all the rooms – some were locked at the time of our visit. After almost two hours, when the three of us left the place, I was not sure how I was going to articulate my experience. I needed some time to put all the pieces together – and eventually I decided not to worry too much if the text is more eclectic as usual. 🙂

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Great building of the Sheikh Faisal Museum.

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In front of the museum, there is a small lagoon with a traditional dhow on it.

Sheikh Faisal Museum displays the private collection of Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani, a close relative of the Father Emir. Being surrounded by more than 15.000 objects, including vintage cars, boats, archaeological material, costumes, weapons, fine and decorative art, I started to wonder about the collector, his interests and motives. In order to understand the collection, particularly private one, you definitely need to know and understand the person behind it. Sheikh Faisal Museum does not only display the Islamic heritage, but also reflects the life of Sheikh Faisal himself. Furthermore, for some objects, perhaps he is the only person who knows their meaning and value.

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Sheikh Faisal was born in Doha in 1948, and is one of the most prominent business leaders in the Middle East (Al-Faisal Holding). His collection has developed since 1960’s, the period of Qatar’s social and economic transition, and includes his personal belongings, as well as objects collected on his travels from different places in different times. A museum building was built on his farm, located 22 km from Doha, and opened to the public in 1998. The collection is private, therefore the Museum does not come under the authority of Qatar Museums Authority, the main museum organization in the country (entrance for the Museum is 15 QR, which is almost 4 €).

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A full-scale vessel, applied in transport, for fishing or in pearl diving. (Before oil, Qataris depended on fishing and diving for natural pearls.) Beside the captain, second in command, steering man, the divers, and their pull-men, the professional musicians were an important part of the crew as well.

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At the front, you can see a model of a desert camp, at the back, there is part of Sheikh Faisal’s collection of vintage cars.

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According to museum’s website the collection is organized into four themes: Islamic Art, Qatar Heritage, Vehicles, and Coins and Currency. However, many objects are not ordered within such categories. From my perspective, these are just broad categories, under which a visitor can actually find all sorts of objects. Almost all of them are without labels and there are no texts provided (except for 2 panels with the text about the boats). For that reason, when wandering around the place, I had strong feeling that I am digging into somebody’s personal life. Numerous family photographs displayed on the walls throughout the museum, made this feeling even stronger.

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Without Sheikh Faisal’s story, it is impossible to know why he put together a collection of Islamic prayer beads and the old television with a phone on the top of it.

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Miniature classroom model.

The museum shows us Sheikh Faisal’s personal collection, which can be understood also as his commentary on a rapid development and social change his country has been facing in last few decades. Certainly, the collection presents his viewpoint (and to certain level of his relatives), which reflects in particular his enormous wealth, as well as his life opportunities, experience, values and tastes. At first, due to the chaotic and coincidental display of Sheikh Faisal’s objects I was thinking about different blog title – Sheikh Faisal’s Personal Cabinet of Wonders. Then I realized that this notion derives from my understanding of heritage and museum institution, which is based on the Western notions, and that in this case I would probably be wrong. Instead, I consider these collecting and exhibiting practices as deriving from the local cultural and historical context, and which are defined in particular by the specific position of his family.

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There is a huge hall, exhibiting a fascinating collection of carpets.

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Astonishing furniture.

To conclude, the collection certainly is a source of knowledge! Visitors, students, researchers – all can spend hours investigating one particular theme after another. However, to grasp it fully, I recomend you to find a guide to take you around.

Museum of Islamic Art, Doha

Tina Palaić

It is truly an exceptional opportunity for me to experience Doha, the capital city of Qatar, in the time of the rapid development of all Gulf area. Constant progress includes also impressive cultural offer. Museums, which are one of the sites of ongoing process of Qatari national identity construction, are not an exception. In this blog post, I would like to write about Museum of Islamic Art, an exceptional museum in many ways. Before doing so, I will provide brief introduction to better understand the Qatari cultural sphere.

Qatar is a tiny Gulf state, which gained independence from British protection in 1971. The country is in the process of rapid growth, and changes are monthly seen in every corner of Doha. On the one hand, there are many luxury hotels, spas, world class restaurants, malls and architecturally interesting and quite unusual buildings, and on the other, there are variety of options to shop in lively souqs and markets as well as explore several excellent museums and other vibrant cultural places. Qatar is still reliant on oil wealth however, the state wants to decrease its dependence on oil exports and establish a country as a major regional and international cultural and educational center.

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West Bay, one of the most prominent districts of Doha, with its modern and unusual buildings.

In her article, UCL Qatar lecturer Karen Exell suggests that collecting and displaying (I would say in the western style) are something new in Qatar – these practices have been in operation since the middle of the 20th century. They have been defined by very particular socio-cultural context. Firstly, Qatari nationals are a minority in their own country (they represent around 12 per cent of the population; total population estimated in 2016: 2,383,705 people). The majority of the population consists of skilled and unskilled expatriate workers with residence status only. Secondly, unprecedented rapid development as well as increase in personal wealth connected with oil exploitation, change their ways of life in just a few decades. Consequently, there are many private collections which serve as a point to negotiate collectors’ own relationships with modernity. They show mostly traditional ways of life and express nostalgia about lost times as well as fear to lose traditional values. One of the extraordinary private collections can be seen in the Sheikh Faisal Museum (opened in 1998).

First museum in the western model, Qatar National Museum, was established in 1975, shortly after Qatar gained independence. This museum is now closed due to reconstruction and will reopen in 2018 (check out its outstanding architecture by French architect Jean Nouvel). Many museums and galleries were opened in the last two decades, for instance Museum of Islamic Art (2008), Mathaf: Arab Museum of Contemporary Art (2010), Msheireb Museums (2015); Al Riwaq Art Space (1998), Al Markhiya Gallery (2008). All museums and galleries offer free entry. The lead organization for museums in Qatar is Qatar Museums (2005) which is responsible for development of museums and art galleries as well as restoration of archeological sites. It also organizes and sponsors various cultural events.

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Museum of Islamic Art attracts lots of people especially during the weekends – on Fridays and Saturdays.

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Museum of Islamic Art (MIA).

The Museum of Islamic Art is located on the Corniche, very beautiful waterfront promenade, on the man-made island sixty metres from the shore. It was designed by the prominent Chinese-American architect I. M. Pei, and that cooperation immediately attracted a lot of attention and media coverage in the West. The building truly is spectacular. It is a clear example of engaging with modernity, however strong connections with the past were required. In the museum’s catalogue I have read about architect’s quest for the “essence” of Islamic architecture – he defines it through the play of light and shadows, “where sunlight brings to life powerful volumes and geometry plays a central role” (p. 26).

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Spacious atrium with big chandelier and the decorative patterns on the floor, inspired by geometric Islamic designs.

The extraordinary collections of the MIA are not large in number – or at least curators did not put the majority of the objects on the display. Exhibition rooms are spacious and comfortable, with many chairs around to take a rest if necessary. In order to make every object seen and appreciated, they used the lightning to create the atmosphere of uniqueness of each of them in the otherwise dark rooms without natural lights. Exhibition includes metalwork, ceramics, jewellery, woodwork, textiles, coins and glass. It is clear that the display was created in the manner of orthodox Western exhibition design – on the basis of consideration, that the object tells its story by itself.

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Hunting horn from Italy, probably Sicily, from 11th-12th century. On the exhibition, there are very tiny information available about the object.

Museum collection is very diverse. Objects geographically range from Spain to Central Asia and India, and in time from the 7th to the 19th century. They come from both secular and religious aspects of diverse worlds. As it is written on the exhibition, their collection “reflects the diversity of many cultures and ideas within one civilization”. This is a great perspective for me, however what I really missed, was the context, which would explain the historical and geographical backgrounds of the items. In addition I also craved for more information about the importance of exhibited objects as well as background of objects’ selection.

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Here you can see a collection of astrolabes, scientific instruments, used throughout the Islamic world mainly to determine prayer time and direction of prayer towards Mecca.

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Here are two beautiful lamps, a great example of Islamic art on glass.

This experience leads me to the question: who is the museum’s target audience? What is the connection with the local population – especially because MIA is very western styled museum? Of course MIA expresses its openness to people of all ages and ethnic backgrounds – by the way, check their online tours – but it seems for me that the main aim of the museum is not to include and communicate to local audience. In my opinion, they want to impress the West with both the amazing architecture and acceptable version of the Islamic world. Namely, without providing any context, museum exhibition excludes any connections to politics. With doing so, the museum demonstrates that “Islam has continually been a tolerant and progressive force, adopting, adapting and passing on ideas within and across its borders” (catalogue about MIA, p. 9). This quote clearly shows, that a heritage is – like always, but here perhaps more evidently – a political tool to emphasize selected interpretation.

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Next to MIA is MIA Park, where you can stay for the whole day to enjoy the greenness, and catch the pleasant cool breeze from the sea. On this photo you can see MIA Park Bazaar, the modern version of the old souq tradition (held weekly every Saturday).

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This large sculpture, designed by American artist Richard Serra, stands at the end of the MIA Park pier. Known as the ‘7’ sculpture, it celebrates the spiritual and scientific significance of the number 7 in Islamic culture. Unveiled in 2011.

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MIA at the sunset.

Muzej islamske umetnosti, Doha

Tina Palaić

Res je izjemna priložnost doživeti Doho, glavno mesto Katarja, in to prav v času hitrega razvoja celotnega Zalivskega območja. Nenehen napredek vključuje tudi impresivno kulturno ponudbo. Muzeji, ki so eni izmed tistih prostorov, kjer poteka proces konstruiranja katarske nacionalne identitete, pri tem niso izjema. V tem tekstu želim predstaviti Muzej islamske umetnosti, ki je v več pogledih izjemen muzej. Pred tem pa bom poskusila s kratkim uvodom približati kulturno sfero v Katarju.

Katar je majhna Zalivska država, ki je svojo neodvisnost od britanske nadvlade razglasila leta 1971. Država se izredno hitro razvija in spremembe v Dohi lahko mesečno opazujemo na vsakem koraku. Poleg številnih luksuznih hotelov, welness centrov, izvrstnih restavracij, nakupovalnih središč in arhitekturno zanimivih in precej nenavadnih stavb so v mestu tudi številne možnosti za nakupovanje na živahnih souqih in tržnicah, prav tako pa tudi za raziskovanje številnih muzejev in drugih kulturnih prostorov. Bogastvo Katarja še vedno temelji na nafti, vendar pa želi država zmanjšati svojo odvisnost od izvoza te dobrine in se vzpostaviti kot glavno regionalno in mednarodno kulturno in izobraževalno središče.

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Moderne in nenavadne stavbe West Bay-a, enega od najbolj izstopajočih predelov Dohe.

Karen Exell, predavateljica na UCL Qatar, v svojem članku pojasnjuje, da sta zbiranje in razstavljanje (jaz bi dodala na način, ki se je uveljavil na Zahodu) v Katarju nekaj novega – ti praksi naj bi se pojavili v sredini 20. stoletja. Opredeljuje ju specifičen socio-kulturni kontekst. Prvič, Katarci so v svoji državi manjšina (predstavljajo približno 12 odstotkov celotne populacije; v letu 2016 po ocenah v državi živi 2,383,705 ljudi). Večino predstavljajo kvalificirani in nekvalificirani priseljeni delavci, ki imajo le status rezidentov. Drugič, izjemno hiter razvoj ter porast osebnega bogastva, ki sta povezana s prodajo nafte, sta spremenila njihov način življenja v le nekaj desetletjih. Posledično je nastalo precej privatnih zbirk, ki zbirateljem služijo pri vzpostavljanju njihovega odnosa do modernosti. Te zbirke prikazujejo predvsem tradicionalne načine življenja, skozi njih pa se izražata nostalgija za izgubljenimi časi in strah pred izgubo tradicionalnih vrednot. Eno izmed izjemnih privatnih zbirk si je mogoče ogledati v Muzeju Sheikha Faisala (odprt 1998).

Prvi muzej, osnovan po zahodnem modelu, je bil Katarski nacionalni muzej, odprt leta 1975 – kmalu po razglasitvi neodvisnosti. Trenutno je zaprt zaradi obnove; ponovno naj bi ga odprli leta 2018 (preverite arhitekturno zamisel francoskega arhitekta Jeana Nouvela za ta muzej). Več muzejev in galerij je bilo odprtih v zadnjih dveh desetletjih: Muzej islamske umetnosti (2008), Mathaf: Arabski muzej sodobne umetnosti (2010), Msheireb muzeji (2015), Al Riwaq Art Space (1998), galerija Al Markhiya (2008). Vstop v vse muzeje in galerije je prost. Osrednja organizacija za muzeje v Katarju je Qatar Museums (2005), ki je odgovorna za razvoj muzejev in umetnostnih galerij ter obnovo arheoloških najdišč. Poleg tega organizira in sponzorira različne kulturne dogodke.

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Muzej islamske umetnosti privablja številne obiskovalce predvsem čez vikend – ob petkih in sobotah.

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Muzej islamske umetnosti (MIA).

Muzej islamske umetnosti je postavljen na Corniche, zelo lepo obmorsko promenado, na umetnem otoku 60 metrov od obale. Oblikoval ga je znan kitajsko-ameriški arhitekt I. M. Pei, kar je vzbudilo veliko pozornosti in medijskega poročanja na Zahodu. Stavba resnično je veličastna. Gre za dober primer povezovanja z modernostjo, čeprav so naročniki pri njenem oblikovanju zahtevali močne povezave s preteklostjo. V muzejskem katalogu je opisano arhitektovo iskanje “bistva” islamske arhitekture – sam ga definira kot igro luči in senc, “kjer sončna svetloba oživi ogromne prostore in kjer ima geometrija osrednjo vlogo” (str. 26).

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Prostoren atrij z velikim lestencem in okrasnim vzorcem na tleh, ki so ga navdihnili islamski geometrijski vzorci.

Zbirka muzeja ni obsežna – ali pa so kustosi izbrali manj predmetov za razstavo. Razstavne sobe so prostorne in prijetne; v vsaki je več stolov, kjer se je mogoče odpočiti. Da bi bil vsak predmet viden in cenjen, so s pomočjo osvetlitve – v sicer temnih sobah brez naravne luči – ustvarili vzdušje, v katerem prav vsak predmet izstopi. Na razstavi je mogoče videti predmete iz kovine, stekla in lesa, nakit, tekstil in kovance. Zelo očitno je, da je bila razstava pripravljena na podlagi tradicionalnega oblikovanja razstav na Zahodu – temelji na predpostavki, da predmet sam po sebi govori svojo zgodbo.

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Lovski rog iz Italije, verjetno iz Sicilije, med 11. in 12. stoletjem. Na razstavi je o predmetu na voljo le malo informacij.

Zbirka muzeja je zelo raznolika. Predmete so zbrali od Španije do osrednje Azije in Indije, časovno pa se umeščajo med 7. in 19. stoletje. Njihovo ozadje je tako sekularno kot religiozno. Na razstavi je mogoče prebrati, da zbirka muzeja “odraža raznolikost mnogih kultur in idej znotraj ene civilizacije”. Zame je to odlično stališče, a na razstavi sem res pogrešala kontekst, ki bi pojasnil zgodovinsko in geografsko ozadje razstavljenih predmetov. Prav tako sem si želela več informacij o vrednosti vsakega predmeta ter o njihovi selekciji.

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Na fotografiji je zbirka astrolabov, znanstvenih instrumentov, ki so v islamskem svetu med drugim služili tudi za določanje časa in smeri molitve v smeri Meke.

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Islamska umetnost vključuje tudi steklene izdelke, kot sta ti krasni svetilki.

Ob tej izkušnji razstave sem se vprašala: kdo je muzejsko ciljno občinstvo? Kakšna je njegova povezava z lokalnim prebivalstvom – predvsem zato, ker je MIA muzej, oblikovan po zahodnem modelu? Seveda muzej izraža svojo odprtost za obiskovalce vseh starosti in različnih etničnih ozadij – predlagam, da preverite njihova spletna vodstva – a imam občutek, da glavni namen muzeja ni vključevanje in komunikacija z lokalnim občinstvom. Menim, da je bil njihov poglavitni cilj impresionirati Zahod – tako s samo arhitekturo kot sprejemljivo verzijo islamskega sveta. S tem, da na razstavi niso zagotovili nobenega konteksta, so iz muzejske interpretacije izključili kakršnekoli povezave s politiko. Na ta način muzej kaže, da je bil “islam nenehno tolerantna in napredna sila, ki je uresničevala, prilagajala in prenašala ideje znotraj in čez njegove meje” (muzejski katalog, str. 9). Ta navedba kaže, da je dediščina – kot zmeraj, a morda tukaj le nekoliko bolj očitno – politično orodje za poudarjanje izbranih interpretacij.

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Poleg MIA je MIA park, kjer je mogoče ves dan uživati v zelenju in prijetnih osvežilnih vetrcih, ki pihajo z morja. Na tej fotografiji je bazar v parku MIA, moderna verzija starejših souq tradicij (poteka vsako soboto).

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Velika skulptura, ki jo je oblikoval ameriški umetnik Richard Serra, je postavljena na koncu pristaniškega nasipa v MIA parku. Znana je po imenu skulptura ‘7’. Obeležuje duhovni in znanstveni pomen števila 7 v islamski kulturi. Postavljena je bila leta 2011.

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MIA ob sončnem zahodu.

#vstopilSEM: mejniki in prehodi mladih

Tina Palaić

Pred nekaj tedni sem se zaradi osebnega zanimanja udeležila Družabnic, dogodka, ki so ga ob osebni razstavi #vstopilSEM: mejniki in prehodi mladih v Slovenskem etnografskem muzeju pripravili njeni avtorji. Pogovarjali smo se o najrazličnejših izkušnjah, ki smo jih udeleženci Družabnic doživeli ob prehodu iz mladostništva v odraslost. Srečanje me je tako navdušilo, da sem se ga čez en teden ponovno udeležila – tokrat z drugimi gosti in drugimi temami. Ideja Družabnic, ki muzejski prostor vzpostavljajo kot varno in zaupno okolje za izmenjavo izkušenj in pogovor o dilemah, odločitvah in refleksijah vsakokratnih udeležencev, me je spodbudila, da raziščem tudi ozadje priprave razstave #vstopil SEM. To je še zlasti zanimivo, ker gre za osebno razstavo mladih, katerim tovrstne priložnosti v muzejih niso prav pogosto omogočene.

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Družabnice, spremljevalni dogodek ob razstavi #vstopilSEM, so se pričele z vodstvom avtorjev po razstavi. Foto: Pija Japelj

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Družabnice vzpostavljajo muzej kot varno in zaupno okolje za pogovor o najrazličnejših temah. Foto: Pija Japelj

Razstavo o svojih mejnikih in prehodih so pripravili študentje Oddelka za etnologijo in kulturno antropologijo Filozofske fakultete v Ljubljani v sodelovanju s Slovenskim etnografskim muzejem. Ta v sklopu razstav obiskovalcev omogoča posameznikom ali skupinam, da s pomočjo medija razstave predstavijo svoje osebne dediščine. To je izjemno zanimiv način vključevanja različnih glasov v muzejsko institucijo. Sodelovanje z obiskovalci je v vsakokratnem primeru drugačno in zahteva različne premisleke. Tako je bilo tudi v primeru sodelovanja s študenti, za katerega je pobuda prišla s strani Oddelka za etnologijo in kulturno antropologijo. Potekalo je v okviru vaj pri predmetu Etnologija Slovenije, ki so jih obiskovali študentje 2. letnika prve bolonjske stopnje, izvajala pa sta jih profesor dr. Miha Kozorog in kustosinja muzeja mag. Polona Sketelj. Pod mentorstvom profesorja so študentje spoznavali teorijo obredov prehoda in jih navezali na svoje prehode iz obdobja mladostništva v odraslost, kustosinja pa je študentom predstavila razstavo Vrata. Prostorski in simbolni prehodi življenja, na katero se razstava študentov vsebinsko in oblikovno navezuje, s študenti se je pogovarjala o procesih muzealizacije ter jih usmerjala pri pripravi razstave. To je na podlagi zbranega gradiva pripravila ožja skupina dvanajstih študentov, ki so tako opravili tudi obvezno študijsko prakso.

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Odprtje razstave #vstopilSEM. Foto: Luka Rener

Muzeji lahko posameznike ali skupine, s katerimi sodelujejo, vključijo kot zgolj svetovalce, kot sogovornike v raziskavi ali pa jih povabijo k sodelovanju v vseh segmentih muzejskega dela. Zanimalo me je, kako je potekalo sodelovanje v tem primeru. O tem sem se pogovarjala s kustosinjo muzeja mag. Polono Sketelj in nekaterimi avtorji razstave. Sketeljeva je izpostavila dvojno vlogo študentov v procesu priprave razstave. Kot etnologi in kulturni antropologi so se ukvarjali s sabo – opazovali in reflektirali so svoje osebne mladostniške izkušnje ter jih v procesu muzealizacije transformirali v razstavno pripoved. Pri tem je bilo pomembno, tako Sketeljeva, da so med sabo vzpostavili spoštovanje in predvsem razumevanje, da ni pravilnih ali napačnih prehodov, ampak gre za različne zgodbe, odtenke istih prehodov. Poudarila je tudi, da tovrstna priprava razstave, pri kateri so mladi raziskovali svoje izkušnje, ne dovoljuje posploševanja na celotno skupino mladostnikov. Tako jih je ves čas usmerjala k razmisleku o prikazu lastnega osebnostnega razvoja. Pri tem pa je želela v koncept razstave posegati čim manj; pomembno ji je bilo, da ga mladi oblikujejo sami. K poglobljenemu razmisleku jih je spodbujala z zastavljanjem vprašanj: kaj je cilj razstave, kaj želijo sporočiti obiskovalcu in kako bodo to storili. Opozorila jih je na njihovo odgovornost – kot avtorji razstave so mladi odgovorni za uporabo ustrezne antropološke teorije, ustreznega jezika, smiselnih vizualnih elementov. Nekateri elementi razstave so zahtevali več etičnega razmisleka; pri teh je kustosinja študente vodila z usmerjenim pogovorom.

Ena od dilem, s katero so se srečali, je bila stopnja varovanja osebnih podatkov avtorjev razstave. Vključili so namreč tudi dokumente, s katerih je te podatke mogoče jasno razbrati. Za njihovo vključitev se je vsak avtor odločil na podlagi lastnega razmisleka, argument zanjo pa je po besedah Sketeljeve sama narava osebne razstave, ki predstavlja osebne zgodbe njenih avtorjev.

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Spričevalo o opravljenem lovskem izpitu. Pomemben prehod, ki vzbuja občutke pripadnosti – v tem primeru lovski družini. Foto: Luka Rener

Intimnost predstavljenih zgodb se med drugim kaže tudi z vključitvijo pesmi ene od študentk, ki govorijo o njenih čustvenih stiskah in iskanju smisla. Nekateri študentje so spregovorili o možnih izhodih iz stisk, o katerih mladi razmišljajo. Med njimi je tudi samomor, ki so ga želeli ponazoriti z lutko, obešeno v avli muzeja. Ker pa nihče od njih ni imel tovrstne izkušnje, se po razmisleku za visečo lutko niso odločili. Tako so sledili načelu prikazati le tisto, kar zadeva neposredno njih kot avtorje razstave.

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Pesmi o iskanju smisla in pomenu življenja. Foto: Luka Rener

Prav tako je v luči intimnosti zanimivo opazovati osebno zbirko drog enega od študentov, ki so jo mladi vključili v razstavno pripoved, saj jim eksperimentiranje z drogami predstavlja pomemben prehod v odraslost. Pri tem pa si je bilo treba zastaviti vprašanje, kako droge predstaviti in kakšen učinek bo to imelo na obiskovalce. Odločili so se, da jih bodo predstavili kot enega izmed izzivov, s katerimi se srečujejo, in da bodo s fotografijami, ki so jih posneli sami, ponazorili tudi posledice, ki jih lahko ima njihovo uživanje.

Razstava #vstopilSEM: mejniki in prehodi mladih torej temelji na njihovih osebnih zgodbah. Svoje mejnike in prehode so predstavili v dveh sklopih, s katerima izražajo svoj odnos do odraščanja. Sklop #z vami prikazuje tiste prehode, ki so uradni, pogosto potrjeni s strani države ter vsem na očeh. Sem se uvrščajo polnoletnost, vozniški izpit, matura, vpis na fakulteto, prva služba. Sklop #sami prikazuje tiste prehode, ki so na robu in prikriti, zanje so mladi lahko tudi kaznovani – a so pri odraščanju zanje nujni, bistveni. Avtorji so v ta sklop umestili teme spreminjanja telesa, srečevanja s spolnostjo in z drogami, zabavo, adrenalinske športe in – zanimivo – tudi prehod v materinstvo. Med obema sklopoma je po obsegu najmanjši del razstave, ki preko fotografij prikazuje potek njihovega dela. Zame je ta del izjemno pomemben segment razstave, saj obiskovalcu ponudi informacijo o njeni pripravi, obenem pa je avtorjem omogočil temeljitejši razmislek o procesu, ki jih je pripeljal do končnega rezultata.

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Pesem, ki reflektira delo kustosa / kustosinje, kot ga je dojel eden od avtorjev razstave. Foto: Pija Japelj

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Prikaz ustvarjanja razstave – priložnost za refleksijo o opravljenem delu. Foto: Luka Rener

Zelo povedno pa je tudi oblikovanje razstave, s katerim so avtorji obiskovalcem prikazali še eno pomembno dimenzijo njihovega življenja: družbena omrežja. Mladi si danes bistvene novice sporočajo preko Facebooka, Instagrama, Twitterja. To je bila podlaga za uporabo znaka #hashtag (na primer pri naslovu razstave in imenih razstavnih sklopov) ter za zapise zgodb v obliki statusa na Facebooku. Ker pa njihovi rokopisi, ki so bolj intimni in osebni, zanje še vedno ostajajo pomembni in se ohranjajo, drug nivo informacij na razstavi predstavljajo njihovi zapiski na steni, sklop pesmi, zapisanih na roko, ter risbe z različno motiviko. Razstavo lahko obiskovalec zaradi nizov prehodov, ki jih spoznava, doživlja kot nekoliko kaotično in tudi površinsko. A tudi to vzdušje, ki ga ustvarja – na prvi pogled naključna – umeščenost zgodb in predmetov v prostor, nakazuje na še eno značilnost sveta mladih, ki so nam skozi razstavo spregovorili o sebi: kaže na iskanje lastne, individualne poti v nizu prehodov v odraslost, ki jih moramo in nekatere tudi sami želimo opraviti v pogosto kompleksni realnosti, ki je ni vedno enostavno razumeti, še manj pa polno živeti.

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Mladi se veliko ukvarjajo tudi s svojim telesom – z njegovim spreminjanjem in dozorevanjem. Svoje razmišljanje so podali v obliki Facebook zapisa. Foto: Luka Rener

Mladi so skozi razstavo o sebi spregovorili zelo odprto. Muzej so dojeli kot svoj prostor, kot varno okolje, v katerem je mogoče deliti zelo intimne zgodbe. Poleg razstave je to še nekoliko bolj čutiti na Družabnicah, srečanjih, ki so jih predlagali in pripravili sami. Ena od udeleženk je izrazila svoj pogled na sodelovanje z muzejem tako:

»Sodelovanje z muzejem ima posebno vrednost, saj študenti tudi v praksi spoznamo delo v njem. Meni osebno pomeni ogromno, saj sem ravno tukaj ugotovila, kaj me v življenju veseli in v kateri smeri želim graditi kariero. Imam tudi to srečo, da je tovrstno delo zelo povezano z mojim prostim časom, saj se vedno znova srečujem s kulturno dediščino.

Po odprtju razstave #vstopilSEM so se porajala nova vprašanja. Kaj sedaj narediti z njo? Bo samevala celo poletje? Bodo obiskovalci razumeli, kaj jim želimo sporočiti? Na koncu smo našli super rešitev – Družabnice. V Družabnice smo združili vodenje po razstavi s pripovedovalci osebnih zgodb in na koncu pogovor z gosti. Odziv ljudi je bil neverjeten in upam, da se bodo Družabnice odvijale še naprej, ker ljudje potrebujemo prostor, kjer lahko delimo svoje trenutke, misli in zgodbe.«

Pija Japelj

Razstavo #vstopilSEM: mejniki in prehodi mladih si je v Slovenskem etnografskem muzeju mogoče ogledati še do novembra. Družabnice, ki so se razvile ob njej, pa želijo mladi tudi zaradi izjemnega odziva ob prvih dveh srečanjih razvijati še naprej. Preverite, kaj navdihujočega nam še pripravljajo!

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Polnoletnost – eden od uradnih mejnikov odraslosti. Foto: Luka Rener

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Eden od prehodov iz mladostništva v odraslost je tudi maturantski ples. Za to obleko se skriva zanimiva zgodba, ki jo lahko preberete na razstavi. Foto: Luka Rener

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Mladi so na razstavi s ponazoritvijo predstavili tudi svoj najbolj osebni prostor – svojo sobo. Foto: Luka Rener

#I have entered: turning points and passages of the youth

A review of an exhibition created by students of ethnology and cultural anthropology in cooperation with Slovene Ethnographic Museum

*the title of the exhibition is a pun: SEM = Slovene Ethnographic Museum AND I have

Tina Palaić

A few weeks ago I attended Družabnice, an event, organized as the accompanying programme of the personal exhibition entitled #I have entered: turning points and passages of the youth (#vstopilSEM: mejniki in prehodi mladih). It was prepared in the Slovene Ethnographic Museum by the young authors of the exhibition. Participants talked about different experiences we had during the passage from our youth to adulthood. I was so inspired by the event that after one week I participated in another one – with different guests and on different topic. The idea of Družabnice, which establishes museum as a safe and confidential space for exchange of participants’ personal experiences as well as conversation about their dilemmas, decisions and reflections, encouraged me to do the research about the background of exhibition making. This is particularly interesting, because exhibition #I have entered is made by the young, who do not get such an opportunity in museums on a regular basis.

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Družabnice, accompanying programme of the exhibition #I have entered. At the beginning we were strolling through the exhibition and authors shared selected stories with us. Image: Pija Japelj

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Družabnice establishes a museum as safe and confidential space for conversations about different themes. Image: Pija Japelj

An exhibition about their turning points and passages was created by students in the Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana; faculty department proposed the cooperation to the Slovene Ethnographic Museum. Within the second permanent exhibition, entitled I, We and Others: Images of My World, the Museum enables individuals or groups to introduce their personal heritage through the creation of their own exhibitions. Such cooperation with visitors allows the museum institution to present different perspectives as well as include unrecognized heritage stories. However it is always different and demands exhaustive professional considerations. It was the same in collaboration with students of the 2nd grade of the first cycle degree, who attended the practical class Ethnology of Slovenes under the supervision of professor Miha Kozorog, PhD, and museum curator Polona Sketelj, MSc. Professor Miha Kozorog introduced the concept of rites of passage and students made connections with their passages from youth to adulthood. Museum curator Polona Sketelj presented them the exhibition Doors. Spatial and Symbolic Passageways of life, which is the basis for students’ exhibition in terms of content and design. Furthermore she explained processes of musealization and guided them through the exhibition making. Eventually the exhibition was created by a group of 12 students, who thus also did their obligatory student practice.

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An exhibition opening. Image: Luka Rener

Museums can include individuals or groups as merely consultants, as interlocutors in museum research, or they invite them to participate in all phases of museum work. I spoke with great interest with museum curator Polona Sketelj and some authors of the exhibition about their cooperation and the level of students’ inclusion in the museum work. Polona Sketelj emphasized the double role of the students in that case – as ethnologists they practiced self-observation and self-reflection. Therefore, they collected their personal adolescent experiences and in the process of musealization transformed them into exhibition narrative. It was of extreme importance, said Polona Sketelj, that students were respectful and gained understanding, that there are no right or wrong passages, but only different stories, only nuances of the same passages. Since the young investigated their own experiences, the display does not allow generalizations about young people. For this reason she directed students to reflect and exhibit their own personal development. However, she did not want to interfere in the concept of the exhibition too much; it was of great importance for her that students made it by themselves. She directed them to in-depth consideration about the exhibition content with several questions: what is the purpose of the exhibition, what message do they want to communicate to the audience, and how will they do it. She emphasized their responsibility – as exhibition authors students are responsible for the correct use of anthropological theory, adequate language, sensible visual elements. Some exhibition content demanded more ethical consideration. In these cases, museum curator guided students with directional conversation as well.

One of their dilemmas was the level of authors’ personal data protection. Students exhibited some of the documents, where such information are clearly visible. Each author decided to display them on the basis of her/his own consideration. According to Polona Sketelj, an argument for doing so is also the nature of such personal exhibitions, which display personal stories.

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This certificate proves that its owner has passed the hunting exam. It was very important passage for him, which has brought the feeling of belonging to one of the hunting associations in Slovenia. Image: Luka Rener

The intimacy of authors’ stories is indicated also in the display of several poems depicting emotional distress and searching for the meaning of life, written by one of the students. Some of them also described different ways young people use to get out of everyday or occasional anxieties. One of them is committing suicide, which they wanted to present with a puppet, hanging in the museum lobby. However at the end they did not decide for the puppet, because no one has had that kind of experience by themselves. They followed the principle to show only the content connected personally with them.

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Poems depict one of the student’s search for the meaning of life. Image: Luka Rener

Authors included one student’s personal drug collection as well, to show experimenting with drugs as one of the important passages from the youth to adulthood. This is another level of intimacy visitors might experience strolling through the exhibition. Students asked themselves how to display drugs and what effect may this small collection have on the audience. They decided to represent drugs as one of the challenges they are confronted with, and they included also authorial images to show the consequences of taking drugs.

Exhibition #I have entered is based on students’ personal stories. They present their turning points and passages within two chapters, which show us their attitude towards adulthood. The chapter #with you (#z vami) includes official passages, which are often proven by the government and clearly seen in the society, for instance: adulthood, driving licence, matura examination, enrollment in faculty, first job. The chapter #alone (#sami) includes those passages, that are hidden and often on the edge, and young people can get punished for their activity – however they are essential for them in the process of becoming adults. Within this chapter authors speak about the perceptions and changing of their bodies, first sexual experience, drug experimentation, entertainment, adrenaline sports, and – interestingly – they included the passage into motherhood in this chapter as well. In addition, there is a small part of the exhibition between these two, which shows us the processes of the exhibition making through the selected images. From my perspective this part of the display is very important, since the authors had to reflect the process of exhibition making in order to present it, as well as the audience can get information about it and thus might develop more complex understanding of the exhibition.

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A poem, which reflects the job of a museum curator, was written by one of the exhibition authors on the basis of his own experience in the museum. Image: Pija Japelj

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Demonstration of the exhibition making – an opportunity to reflect the process. Image: Luka Rener

Through an exhibition design, which is quite expressive, authors emphasized very important dimension of their everyday life: social networks. They communicate most of the news through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. That was the basis for the use of #hashtag sign (for instance with the title of an exhibition as well as titles of both exhibition chapters), and for narration of their personal stories in the form of Facebook posts. However, more intimate and personal texts written by the hand are still important for them therefore, they included texts on the walls, poems, and several drawings with different motifs as the second level of information.

A visitor is confronted with a series of passages, and this is why the exhibition can appear as chaotic as well as superficial. However this atmosphere created by – perhaps at first sight accidental – embedment of objects and stories in the space, shows us another feature of authors’ world. It depicts the seeking of their own, individual pathways in the series of passages into adulthood, some of which are obligatory and other they simply wished to pass, in the often very complex reality. On one hand, this reality is not easy to understand, and on the other, it is even less easy to live it to the full.

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The youth reflect on their bodies a lot – how they change and mature. Their experiences and thoughts are presented in the form of Facebook posts. Image: Luka Rener

Through the exhibition the youth speak very openly about themselves. They perceive museum as their own space, as confidential environment, where they can safely share their personal stories. This feeling was even more present on Družabnice, an event, proposed and organized by them. One of the students shared her opinion about cooperation with the museum:

»Cooperation with the museum has special value, because it allows students to get to know the museum work in practice. Personally it means a lot to me, since through the work here I have realized, what I am interested in in my life and in which direction I want to build my career. I am also very lucky, that this kind of work is connected to my leisure time as well, because I have been encountering with the cultural heritage all the time.

After the opening of the exhibition #I have entered there were a lot of questions. What to do with the exhibition? Will people come to the museum to see it? Will our message reach them? At the end we have found a great solution – Družabnice. We combined guided tour through the exhibition and conversation with invited guests. Visitors’ response was absolutely positive and I hope, that we will continue with Družabnice in the museum, because we all need a safe place to share our moments, thoughts, and stories.«

Pija Japelj

You can see the exhibition #I have entered in the Slovene Ethnographic Museum until November 2016. Due to the outstanding feedback young authors want to develop Družabnice also in connection with other exhibitions. You just need to check all the inspiring events they have prepared for us!

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Adulthood is one of the official passages. The text on the wall says: “Finally 18, I am finally an adult and free! What a lie!” Image: Luka Rener

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One of the important official passages is also graduation dance. There is an interesting story behind this dress. You can read it on the exhibition. 🙂 Image: Luka Rener

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Authors of the exhibition included a depiction of their the most personal space – their room. Image: Luka Rener

New trends in museology II.

A book review

Tina Palaić

As a young museologist, I try to educate myself constantly in the field of museums – both practically and theoretically. Recently I have read a very useful book, which aims to bridge the gap between theory and practice. It is a book written by renowned museologists and practitioners Peter van Mensch and Léontine Meijer-van Mensch, who call for development of new, up-to-date museum practices to establish and maintain museums as essential institutions in our society. New Trends in Museology II (2015) is the second edition of their book New Trends in Museology (2011), but very much upgraded. They presented it on the international workshop with the same title in April 2016 in the Slovene Ethnographic Museum in Ljubljana, where I first met them in person and was fascinated by their broad knowledge, as well as deep understanding of contemporary ideas about museology. From their perspective, museum professionalism rests on three pillars: theory, practice, and ethics. These three pillars are the underlying theme of the book whether they speak about museum collections, educational design and programmes, importance of inclusion and participation, integrated heritage perspectives, as well as evaluation and ethics.

Authors start their book with a core of the museum’s identity – a collection. They consider it not as an end but as a means to achieve museum’s social role. They write:

“A collection creates an idea of the past (and the present) in order to make it a possible entity for discussion in the present. It is also a gift to the generations to come, and in this respect we may speak of transfer of culture to contemporary publics as well as to future societies.” (p. 17)

They emphasize two things: first, the heritage is about transfer of culture (for instance between generations), and second, the relationship with the heritage is always active – there are selected elements, which support the accepted idea of the past, which are considered as a heritage. We can understand heritage as a contemporary cultural product, which refers to the past. With this in mind, museum experts should consider the dynamic nature of collections whose values change with the changes in society, and in addition to documentation, registration, conservation and restoration understand both collecting and deaccessioning as two strategies for collection development. Authors define deaccessioning as an instrument of a dynamic collecting policy; for instance, parts of the collection can be exchanged for objects of a higher value. For doing so authors suggest stronger cooperation between museums in order to achieve museums’ more distinctive profiles.

Furthermore they introduce two very important concepts: guardianship and shared responsibility. They define guardianship as shared ownership:

“Guardianship would [than] prioritize forms of shared ownership where museums and creator/user communities share responsibility for the preservation of objects as living heritage i.e. a form of the preservation where heritage value does not exclude use outside of the museum context.” (p. 20)

Who is in the position to decide what is heritage and what should be preserved? Whose stories are heard and whose voices subordinated? In addition to guardianship, the idea of shared responsibility also aims to cross the gap between authorized and subordinated heritage discourses, as well as liberate the process of signification and selection of heritage from the authoritative heritage discourse.

Another inspiring concept is heritage community, which was introduced by the Council of Europe in its Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society in 2005. A heritage community is defined as a group of people who value specific aspects of cultural heritage which they wish, within the framework of public action, to sustain and transmit to future generations. Authors wrote:

“Interestingly, no reference is made to space and territory and there is no reference to local, regional or global importance. Also noteworthy is the absence of predefined societal parameters, national, ethnic, religious, professional or based on class. A heritage community can thus be built up across territories and social groups.” (p. 55)

There is a clear relation between the concept of heritage community and the concept of Heritage 3.0/Museum 3.0, which is also described in the book. The idea of Heritage 3.0 is based on the term Web 3.0 (third generation of Internet-based services) and means that databases of heritage institutions are connected. It also refers to the collaboration in general, which can be thematic or place-related – I immediately connected the Heritage 3.0 with the process of deaccessioning. Furthermore, the idea of Heritage 3.0 is important because the traces of history and the stories are recorded by many different heritage institutions: museums, archives, libraries, and organizations of built heritage and nature and landscape protection, but also organizations concerned with intangible heritage. Together these institutions constitute the memory of »the place«. If connected through the idea of Heritage 3.0 visitors have an opportunity to understand heritage in all its complexity better.

Another enrichment, which is the result of interdisciplinarity, is evident in authors’ discussion about learning and experience design. When talking about educational turn in museums they cite several authors who use theories from education studies. Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences and David Kolb’s theory of experiental learning are both very useful for the development of museum education. What is really valuable is the understanding that visitors make their own meanings and construct their narratives based on their previous knowledge, experience, interests, expectation, intention, and not least their physical and mental condition. Authors introduce the experience as one of the most influential concepts in developing museum practice today and encourage curators to personalize experience.

“… visitor wants a meaningful personal experience. Customized experience design is not enough. Customers want to be in control of their own experiences in a way that the experience is relevant.” (p. 45)

Museums should be socially responsible by facilitating civic engagement, acting as an agent of social change or moderating sensitive social issues – which museum-specific products will make this possible? Moreover, how can we measure product’s quality and value? A whole chapter is dedicated to this question where authors offer several approaches and methods for evaluating different elements of museum work. They also describe their own model: a systems approach to the museum phenomenon. They see the museum as a system of connected subsystems: preservation, research, and communication, which can be divided into smaller subsystems. The aim of the model is to identify what is needed in processes and how that relates to the needs of society. Evaluation of museum work and its products is a necessary step following the implementation of ethical principles in museum work. Authors elaborate professional ethics of museum workers and introduce several important concepts: transparencysocial responsibility, and moral agency.

The book provides an exhausting introduction into variety of contemporary ideas about museums’ role in today’s society.  As they write themselves:

“In Internet terms, our book might be considered as a portal. It was our intention to point at practices and ideas that are relevant to contemporary developments, and to make connections between tendencies, in order to guide you towards a multitude of resources reflecting the present-day professional discourse.” (p. 10)

If a reader wants to gain in-depth understanding of described concepts and ideas it is necessary to read some other works. Fortunately, authors include rich bibliography, which can serve as a source for further research about contemporary museum practices. There is plenty of good museology literature out there – therefore, do not wait too long! 🙂

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The book cover.

Nove težnje v muzeologiji II.

Recenzija

Tina Palaić

Kot mlada muzealka na začetku svoje karierne poti se poskušam tako na področju teorije kot tudi strokovnega muzejskega dela ves čas izobraževati. Pred kratkim sem prebrala zelo uporabno knjigo, ki poskuša prečiti vrzel med teorijo in prakso v muzejih. Napisala sta jo priznana muzeologa in tudi praktika Peter van Mensch in Léontine Meijer-van Mensch, ki bralce pozivata k razvoju novih muzejskih praks, ki bodo vzpostavile in ohranjale muzeje v vlogi pomembnih družbenih institucij. Nove težnje v muzeologiji II (New Trends in Museology II, 2015) je druga izdaja njune knjige Nove težnje v muzeologiji (2011), vendar precej dopolnjena. Predstavila sta jo na mednarodni delavnici z istim naslovom v aprilu 2016 v Slovenskem etnografskem muzeju. Takrat sem ju tudi prvič osebno spoznala in bila navdušena nad njunim obsežnim znanjem ter poglobljenim razumevanjem sodobnih muzeoloških idej. Njuno izhodišče so trije stebri muzejskega profesionalizma: teorija, praksa in etika. Ti trije pojmi so rdeča nit knjige; prisotni so, ko govorita o muzejskih zbirkah, izobraževanju v muzejih, inkluziji in participaciji, perspektivah celostne / integrirane dediščine, evalvaciji in muzejski etiki.

Avtorja pričneta diskusijo z jedrom muzejske identitete – zbirko. Zanju ne predstavlja končnega rezultata muzejskega dela, temveč sredstvo, s katerim muzeji uresničujejo svojo družbeno vlogo. Zapišeta:

“Zbirka ustvarja idejo preteklosti (in sedanjosti) z namenom, da omogoči razpravo o njej v sedanjosti. Prav tako je darilo prihodnjim generacijam in v tem smislu lahko govorimo o transferju kulture tako sodobnim javnostim kot tudi prihodnjim družbam.” (str. 17)

Poudarjata, da gre pri dediščini za prenos kulture (na primer med generacijami) in da je odnos do dediščine vedno aktiven. Kot dediščino namreč razumemo tiste izbrane elemente kulture, ki podpirajo idejo o preteklosti, kot jo želimo oblikovati. Tako lahko dediščino razumemo kot sodoben kulturni produkt, ki se nanaša na preteklost. Ob razumevanju teh predpostavk je treba upoštevati dinamično naravo zbirk, katerih vrednotenja se spreminjajo s spremembami v družbi. Poleg inventarizacije, dokumentacije, konzerviranja in restavriranja sta strategiji razvoja zbirk tako zbiranje kot deakcesija – izločitev predmeta oziroma primerka iz zbirke. Avtorja deakcesijo definirata kot instrument strategije dinamičnega zbiranja; muzeji med sabo lahko na primer izmenjajo dele zbirk s predmeti višje vrednosti. Avtorja tako predlagata tesnejše sodelovanje med muzeji, s čimer lahko ti izgradijo bolj razločevalne profile.

V nadaljevanju predstavita dva izjemno pomembna koncepta: skrbništvo in delitev odgovornosti. Skrbništvo definirata kot deljeno lastništvo:

“Skrbništvo [potemtakem] daje prednost oblikam deljenega lastništva, pri čemer muzeji in izvorne / uporabniške skupnosti delijo odgovornost za ohranjanje predmetov kot žive dediščine, gre torej za obliko ohranjanja, pri kateri vrednost dediščine ne izključuje njene uporabe izven muzejskega konteksta.” (str. 20)

Kdo je tisti, ki odloča, kaj je dediščina in kaj naj bi ohranili? Katere zgodbe so slišane in kateri glasovi podrejeni, izključeni? Tako kot koncept skrbništva je tudi ideja delitve odgovornosti poskus prečenja vrzeli med avtoriziranim in podrejenimi dediščinskimi diskurzi. Procese vrednotenja in izbire dediščine osvobaja avtoritativnega diskurza dediščinskih strokovnjakov.

Naslednji navdihujoč koncept je dediščinska skupnost, ki ga je predstavil Svet Evrope v okviru Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society leta 2005. Dediščinska skupnost je skupina ljudi, ki vrednoti specifične aspekte kulturne dediščine, ki jo želi v okviru javnega delovanja ohraniti in prenašati na naslednje generacije. Avtorja sta zapisala:

“Zanimivo je, da (pri opredelitvi dediščinske skupnosti, op.p.) ni nobene reference v zvezi s prostorom in teritorijem in ni reference v zvezi z lokalnim, regionalnim ali globalnim pomenom. Pozornosti vredna je prav tako odsotnost vnaprej definiranih družbenih parametrov, nacionalnih, etničnih, religioznih, profesionalnih ali razrednih. Dediščinska skupnost je tako lahko vzpostavljena onkraj teritorijev in družbenih skupin.” (str. 55)

Med konceptom dediščinske skupnosti in konceptom Dediščina 3.0 / Muzej 3.0 je jasna povezava. Ideja Dediščina 3.0 izhaja iz izraza Splet 3.0 (gre za tretjo generacijo spletnih storitev) in pomeni, da so podatkovne zbirke dediščinskih institucij med seboj povezane. Prav tako se ideja nanaša na sodelovanje na splošno, ki je lahko tematsko ali povezano s prostorom. Sama sem idejo Dediščina 3.0 takoj povezala s procesom deakcesije. Nadaljnje je ideja Dediščina 3.0 pomembna, saj se sledovi zgodovine in pripovedi hranijo v različnih dediščinskih ustanovah: muzejih, arhivih, knjižnicah, organizacijah za varovanje nepremične dediščine in varovanja narave, prav tako pa tudi v tistih, ki se ukvarjajo z nesnovno dediščino. Te institucije skupaj tvorijo spomin “prostora”. Če bi bile vse povezane s pomočjo ideje Dediščina 3.0, bi obiskovalci imeli priložnost bolje razumeti dediščino v vsej njeni kompleksnosti.

Nadaljnja obogatitev, ki izhaja iz interdisciplinarnosti, je razvidna iz diskusije avtorjev o izobraževanju in učenju v muzejih. Ko govorita o izobraževalnem obratu v muzejih, navajata številne avtorje, ki se naslanjajo na pedagoške teorije. Teoriji raznoterih inteligentnosti Howarda Gardnerja in izkustvenega učenja Davida Kolba sta izjemno uporabni pri razvoju muzejskih izobraževalnih / pedagoških programov. Resnično pomembno pa je razumevanje, da obiskovalci v muzeju ustvarjajo svoje lastne pomene in narative na podlagi svojih prejšnjih izkušenj, znanja, interesov, pričakovanj, namenov in ne nazadnje tudi njihovega fizičnega in duševnega stanja. Avtorja predstavita izkušnjo kot enega od vplivnejših konceptov v razvijanju sodobne muzejske prakse in spodbujata kustose, da izkušnjo personalizirajo.

 “… obiskovalec želi smiselno osebno izkušnjo. Oblikovanje standardizirane izkušnje ni dovolj. Uporabniki želijo nadzorovati svojo lastno izkušnjo na način, da je ta zanje relevantna.” (str. 45)

Muzeji naj bi bili družbeno odgovorni z omogočanjem vključevanja posameznikov, delovanjem kot agenti družbene spremembe in moderiranjem občutljivih družbenih vprašanj. Kateri je tisti za muzeje specifičen način / produkt, ki družbeno odgovornost omogoča? Še več, kako pa lahko merimo kvaliteto in pomen tega produkta? Temu vprašanju je posvečeno celotno poglavje njune knjige in avtorja navedeta več pristopov in metod za evalvacijo različnih elementov muzejskega dela. Predstavita tudi model, ki sta ga razvila sama: gre za sistemski pristop k analizi muzejskega fenomena. Muzej razumeta kot sistem povezanih podsistemov: ohranjanje, raziskovanje, komunikacija so podsistemi, ki se delijo na še manjše podsisteme. Namen njunega modela je prepoznati elemente posameznega procesa in kaj je zanje potrebno ter identificirati, kako se ti elementi povezujejo s potrebami družbe. Evalvacija muzejskega dela in njegovih produktov je nujna posledica vpeljevanja etičnih principov v muzejsko delo. Avtorja predstavita profesionalno etiko muzejskih delavcev in številne pomembne etične koncepte: transparentnost, družbena odgovornost, moralno delovanje.

Knjiga nam ponudi izčrpen uvod v raznolike sodobne ideje o vlogi muzejev v današnji družbi. Kot zapišeta avtorja sama:

“Glede na internetno terminologijo je lahko najina knjiga razumljena kot portal. Najin namen je bil pokazati prakse in ideje, ki so relevantne za sodobni razvoj, in povezati tendence z namenom usmeriti vas k množici virov, ki reflektirajo današnji strokovni diskurz.” (str. 10)

Če želi bralec globlje razumeti opisane koncepte in ideje, mora poseči po drugih delih. K sreči sta avtorja pripravila tudi obsežno bibliografijo, ki lahko služi kot vir za nadaljnje raziskovanje sodobnih muzejskih praks. Veliko je dobre muzeološke literature – torej, ne odlašajte predolgo z branjem! 🙂

new trends

The book cover.

Pokemanija v zraku

Urška Purg

Povsod je in kot kaže, ne gre nikamor – igra Pokemon GO, ki je zgolj v nekaj dneh povsem preplavila svet. Uspela je pripronicati prav povsod, tudi v kulturne ustanove, pa če jim je to všeč ali ne. Igra ima seveda svoje pluse in minuse, med katerimi nam vsi sploh še niso poznani in se šele počasi kažejo.

Na svojem osvajalskem pohodu ni pozabila na tak ali drugačen način vključiti tudi muzejev in galerij. Nekateri od njih gostijo na novo samo-zaposlena bitja ali so celo PokeStop postaje, kjer se iskalci te lokacijske igre lahko dodatno oborožijo za lov ali celo privabijo divje Pokemone.

Z izjemo le redkih muzejev in krajev spomina, kot sta Auschwitz Memorial in Holocaust Museum Washington, je večina svetovno znanih muzejev, kot so MoMA, V&A, Museum of London in drugi, sprejela ta poseben lov za zakladom in njega igralce odprtih rok. Tudi slovenski muzeji in galerije so se nemudoma odzvali na nov trend. Po večini so igro sprejeli in po družabnih kanalih igralcem oznanili, da so tudi oni v tem ter svojo vlogo v igri. Na tak način so se poskušali pridružiti nespregledljivi maniji, vsak na svoj način.

Istočasno je na dan prišlo že kar nekaj člankov, kjer svetujejo muzejem, kako dobiti kar največ od te igre, preko investiranja vanjo, ukvarjanja z njo, pozivanja k vodenim ogledom z igro in še več. Kaj je torej najmanj, kar lahko muzeji dobijo od Pokemon GO igre? S tem, ko je muzej PokeStop postaja, nenadoma postane zanimiv za igralce širokega starostnega spektra, ki je v Sloveniji presenetljivo zgoščen na igralce globoko v svojih dvajsetih. To še sicer ne pomeni, da bodo vsi ti iskalci Pokemonov prihrumeli v muzej, se pa nedvomno ustavijo pred njim in si morebiti zapomnijo ime in lokacijo. Za slovenske razmere je to za omenjeno populacijo že veliko. Preko tega bodo mogoče geolocirali ta isti muzej v svojih miselnih zemljevidih in morda ravno to v prihodnosti pripomore k temu, da se nekega dne odločijo za obisk. Sicer je to slednje izjemno idealistično in še povsem nepreverjeno, ni pa neverjetno. Če povzamemo – s to igro muzeji nenadoma dobijo dostop do novih množic ljudi, ki se zadržujejo na njihovih dvoriščih ali pred vhodi; vse je na inventivnosti muzejev, kako bodo na to reagirali. Kako daleč naj muzeji skočijo v ta val manije, naj bi bilo uravnano z njihovim poslanstvom in vizijo.

Če se še za nekaj trenutkov vrnemo na potencialno neprimernost nekaterih PokeStop postaj – kaj lahko muzeji storijo v takih situacijah? Ali lahko vplivajo na igralce in Niantic – avtorje igre, da jih odstranijo iz tega začaranega prelivajočega se virtualno-realnega sveta? Glede na to, da je večina postaj, ki so najverjetneje nalepljene na postaje ene izmed zgodnejših Niantic-ovih iger Ingress, pravzaprav spomeniki, umetnine in kulturna dediščina na prostem, je ogromno potencialnih točk, ki so v očeh marsikoga povsem neprimerne za igro. Tako kot že zgoraj omenjeni Auschwitz. V Sloveniji bodo igralci nenadoma seznanjeni z enormno količino vseh vrst spomenikov, še posebej tistih iz druge svetovne vojne ali časa takoj po njej. Med njimi so tudi spomeniki žrtvam druge svetovne vojne, ki naj bi bili območje spoštovanja, spominjanja in miru. Sicer posamezniki ali ustanove lahko zaprosijo Niantic, da jih izvzamejo iz igre, vendar to v tem trenutnem navalu na igro pomeni le to, da se bodo prošnji posvetili, takoj ko bodo utegnili.

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Pokemon seekers in front of a museum. / Iskalci Pokemonov pred muzejem (foto: Monika Montanič).

Glede na to, da to še zdaleč ni zadnja iz vrste takih iger, se bodo morali muzeji in druge ustanove pripraviti nanje, da bodo v sodobnem svetu lahko živeli in šli v korak s časom. Poleg tega lahko iz lastne izkušnje povem, da je igrica tudi za popolnoma ne-igralsko bitje zasvojljiva in pritegljiva. Če mi ne verjamete, jo preizkusite sami. In še več, prav zanima me, kaj vse bo še prinesla prihodnost.

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