The Milli İrsimiz Project, an innovative museum learning initiative from Azerbaijan
by Asli Samadova, external consultant to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan, curator of the Milli İrsimiz (Mİ) Project
©Azerbaijan Carpet Museums/ Mİ Project
Due to the current state of development of the Azerbaijani museum sector, many activities that are inseparable from museum practice in other countries are quite innovative in Azerbaijan. The Milli İrsimiz (Mİ – National Heritage of Azerbaijan) Project is one such example, focusing on the country’s cultural heritage and arts. In 2015, within the scope of the Mİ Project and with support from UNESCO, I launched an initiative titled Teaching and Learning Carpets and Other Textiles in a Museum.
Started as an independent project aimed at developing generic learning materials able to be adapted to any given textile collection or complementary to existing museum learning practices, the project caught the interest of Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism. This resulted in the development of museum-specific learning materials covering carpet and textile collections for the country’s two main museums – the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum and the Azerbaijan National Museum of Art. All of the materials are registered under a Creative Commons “Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International” licence that allows copying and redistribution of the material in any medium or format as well as remixing, transformation, and building upon the material for non-commercial purposes and with appropriate credit.