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Invitation to the annual meeting of the ICOM committees COMCOL, CAMOC and ICOM-Europe

Invitation to the annual meeting of the ICOM committees COMCOL, CAMOC and ICOM-Europe


International Conference on “Participative strategies”

Date:              31st October to 3rd November, 2011

Venue:           Berlin/Germany, Dahlem Museums (National Museums in Berlin)


The International Committee on Collecting (COMCOL) is the newest ICOM inter-national committee. It has the pleasure inviting you to participate in its first inter-national conference. Conference will be dedicated to “participative strategies”. It will be held in Berlin, 31st Oct.-3rd Nov. 2011. The first two days of the conference will beorganized jointly with the international committee on city museums (CAMOC) and the ICOM regional committee for Europe. On the last two days each committeewill organize its own programme with an excursion.


The focus of COMCOL lectures and workshops on Nov. 2nd will be on “Participative strategies in documenting the present”. On the fourth day (Nov. 3rd), there will be an excursion to the East German city of Eisenhüttenstadt, not far from Berlin, to visit the city and the Documentation Centre of GDR everydayculture.



Call for Papers


In their collecting policies, city museums, history museums and ethnographic museums all over the world show a remarkable tendency not only to focus on the present, but also to involve the source communities. Such participative strategies challenge thetheory and ethics that underpin traditional practices. Some of the values at stake are institutional autonomy and professional authority. Mirroring the contemporary in collections and exhibitions may require a detached position, but how does reflexivity based on professional expertise relate to the hands-on perspective of communities and individual citizens? In other words, what is the role of the professional curator? Will his/her responsibility move in the direction of facilitator, helping communities to discuss the complexity of their identity?




Abstracts and lectures are invited on the following questions;


Proposals to discuss other issues are also welcome.


Ø  What does “documenting the present” look like in your museum?

Ø  What is your experience of involving individuals or community members in the museum’s collection policy?

Ø  What are the methods and techniques to involve external “experts”?

Ø  Should participative strategies be limited to collecting objects andstories or should they be extended to post-acquisition curatorial work? 

Ø  What are the advantages and disadvantages of involving people as experts of their own culture and time in the museum’s collection policy? Does it enhance the traditional cultural institution or is “inclusion an illusion”?


The deadline to submit the abstracts is July 15th, 2011.

The deadline for response by the programme organizers regarding the submission is August 15st, 2011.


Please use the registration form (http://www.comcol-icom.org/) for your English written abstract (not more than 300 words) and your CV (not more than 100 words) and send it to:



Elisabeth Tietmeyer, Museum Europäischer Kulturen – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin/Germany