Find the latest updates on the 26th ICOM General Conference, currently taking place in Prague.
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The 26th ICOM General Conference ended with no less than 40 excursions organised by ICOM Prague 2022 throughout the Czech Republic. Participants were able to get to know the host country and ICOM’s institutional members as well as Czech museum staff, who were delighted to share their experiences and projects.
The off-site meetings organised by the International Committees continued this afternoon, proposing a wide variety of topics such as “Taboos in Museology: Difficult issues for museum theory” by ICOFOM (International Committee for Museology) questioning what a taboo can say about the history of an object. Or NATHIST (International Committee for Museums and Collections of Natural History) offering a workshop on the legal aspects of meteorites that need to be popularised. We can also mention Best Practice award winning projects presentations by CECA (International Committee for Education and Cultural Action). CAMOC (International Committee for the Collections and Activities of Museums of Cities)Off-site meeting : « City museums and urban sustainability », in continuation of the CAMOC Webinar: Museums, sustainable cities and communities and CAMOC Barcelona 2021 Annual Conference. Or a wide variety of projects presented by ICOM COSTUME (International Committee for Museums and Collections of Costume, Fashion and Textiles) on the theme: The Impact of Rites in Clothing and Adornment.
Today is the @FaimpAvicom off site meeting in the National Technical Museum in Prague. From 4 to 6 PM we will have #FaimpFestival awards ceremony! #NarodniTechnickeMuzeum #ICOMPrague2022 #AVICOMPrague22 pic.twitter.com/gejopx702r
— AVICOM (@FaimpAvicom) August 25, 2022
ICOM, ICOM Czech Republic and the Organising Committee of ICOM Prague 2022 held a press conference at the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic to announce the adoption of the new museum definition, the elections outcome, and the results of ICOM Prague 2022. “The success of ICOM Prague 2022 demonstrates the importance and relevance of the themes we have tackled: from climate change resilience and leadership to human rights and innovation,” said the former ICOM President, Alberto Garlandini. The newly-elected President, Emma Nardi, saluted the results of ICOM Prague 2022 and says it is ready to meet the challenges addressed during the conference.
Off-site Meetings : the 32 ICOM International Committees are holding today their own meetings in ICOM institutional member museums located in Prague and the surrounding area. They traditionally include expert lectures as well as an accompanying programme and presentations by the host institutions.
— ICOMICMAH (@icomicmah) August 25, 2022
The Organising Committee of ICOM Prague 2022 symbolically passed the ICOM Flag to ICOM United Arab Emirates, who will hold the 27th ICOM General Conference in Dubai in 2025.
Emma Nardi was elected new President of ICOM by the 37th ICOM General Assembly. Furthermore, 14 new members have joined the ICOM Executive Board: Inkyung CHANG, Republic of Korea, Terry Simioti NYAMBE, Republic of Zambia, Carina JAATINEN, Republic of Finland, Feng ZHAO, People’s Republic of China, Marilia BONAS, Federative Republic of Brazil, Kaja SIROK, Republic of Slovenia, Tayeebeh Golnaz GOLSABAHI, Islamic Republic of Iran, Steph SCHOLTEN, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Deborah TOUT-SMITH, Commonwealth of Australia, Luís RAPOSO, Portuguese Republic, Jody STEIGER, Republic of Costa Rica, Karin WEIL GONZÁLEZ, Republic of Chile, Ahmed MOHAMMED, United Arab Emirates, Rachelle DOUCET, Republic of Haiti
“The world of museums is the world of culture, and culture is what keeps us moving forward” said Emma Nardi, speaking in Spanish for this first speech.
The 37th ICOM General Assembly has adopted the 2022-28 Strategic Plan, as well as the following Resolutions: Resolution n°1: “Collections management during and after armed conflicts”; Resolution n°2: “Language diversity and overcoming language barriers for equitable participation of all ICOM members”; and Resolution n°3: “For active participation of all National Committees and balanced access to ICOM resources”.
— ICOM CECA (@icom_ceca) August 24, 2022
The Extraordinary General Assembly of ICOM has approved the proposal for the new museum definition with 92,41% (For: 487, Against: 23, Abstention: 17). The vote is the culmination of the 18-month participatory process that involved hundreds of museum professionals from 126 National Committees from all over the world. “This new definition is aligned with some of the major changes in the role of museums, recognising the importance of inclusivity, community participation and sustainability,” said ICOM President Alberto Garlandini. Following the adoption, the new ICOM museum definition is: “A museum is a not-for-profit, permanent institution in the service of society that researches, collects, conserves, interprets and exhibits tangible and intangible heritage. Open to the public, accessible and inclusive, museums foster diversity and sustainability. They operate and communicate ethically, professionally and with the participation of communities, offering varied experiences for education, enjoyment, reflection and knowledge sharing.”
La nouvelle définition du musée par l’@IcomOfficiel a été adoptée aujourd’hui en AGE à 92,41% des voix ! Félicitations au groupe de travail ICOM Define. Notre présidente @jrdicom en était membre pic.twitter.com/zsVAhhgaxV
— ICOM France (@ICOM_France) August 24, 2022
Lauran Bonilla-Merchav and Bruno Brulon presented the participatory process that led to this new proposed definition of museums.
— ICOM Chile (@ICOMChile) August 24, 2022
This afternoon, ICOM will hold the Extraordinary General Assembly for the vote on the museum definition proposal, followed by the 37th Ordinary General Assembly to vote on the 2022-28 ICOM Strategic Plan, the Resolutions and the 2022-25 elections of the new ICOM President and the Executive Board. ICOM Members can access these statutory meetings via the online platform Agora.
The round table “The power of Museum Definition: a common museum base” was presented by the co-chairs of the standing committee on the subject, Lauran Bonilla-Merchav and Bruno Brulon. The 12-step process of 18 months of consultation and analysis was detailed by the committee members.
— Cinthia Gimenez Arce (@thuchiscga_bol) August 24, 2022
Nanet Beumer, Head of Digital and Marketing, Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam), Lāth Carlson, Executive Director, Museum of the Future (Dubai), Professor Sarah Kenderdine and Sarah Brin, Head of Business Development, Media Molecule (Sony PlayStation) took part in the last panel of the conference dedicated to museums and new technologies. They presented innovative and inspiring projects, inviting us to question the link between museums and technology in the broadest sense, and not only digital technology, in the service of the development of knowledge and the experience of visitors.
Seb Chan, Director & CEO at ACMI in Melbourne, delivered a speech on Museums and new technologies, opportunities and limitations.
“Our online collection reveals to the public the bias in what has (and has not) been collected and how language used in historical collection documentation show the prejudice of this time.”
Museum Night was a unique opportunity for all conference participants to experience a dedicated cultural program.
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ICOM, in collaboration with Wikimedia Czech Republic, held a Wiki-Edit-a-Thon to create, enrich and translate information about cultural heritage in danger in Wikipedia, Wikimedia and Wikidata. Several participants worked together to raise awareness on the ICOM Red List for South East-Europe and helped protect cultural heritage from your laptop!
“Anyone can contribute by improving and completing an existing article about cultural objects at risk and insert images, links, sources or Wikidata info boxes. If you are an Wikipedia expert you might engage in creating a completely new article or translate an existing article in a different language.” – Alexandra Fernandez Coego
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In this session, participants had a general review of the publication process and how to ensure that a publication has an impact in museum studies and heritage. These workshops are also an opportunity to hear successful examples of publications and to exchange with other participants.
“Focus on what your paper brought to the field, and don’t forget the reason can’t sense the heart behind your paper” – Aedin Mac Devitt
In the framework of disruption in the field of contemporary museum management, a panel discussion following the theme of Vision: Museums and leadership gathered guest panellists to discuss the topic under their perspective and experience. How do we embrace digitization and its new challenges? To bring their standpoint, guest speakers Elizabeth Merritt (American Alliance of Museums), Marek Prokupek (INTERCOM, ICOM Czech Republic), Andres Roldán (Director of Parque Explora), and Antje Schimdt (MK&G Germany) discussed the pros and cons of having to re-plan museum leadership in the times of uncertainty considering the pandemic aftermath, the new terms museums have to come with when it comes to funding, the Colombian case of Parque Explora and its innovative and interactive content for children and the institutional transformations when it comes to implementing digital changes.
“How do we transform organizations in the ‘forever’ business?” @_AntjeSchmidt talks digital transformation but this applies to museums in other ways. Orgs often burnout due to constant change. Work together and provide a safe space and time to adapt. #icomprague2022 pic.twitter.com/bdzbOJnbZy
— Environment & Culture Partners (@EnvCulturePrs) August 23, 2022
“Values represent the changing needs of the audiences, which recognize that museums need tools to grapple with the change” – Lonnie G. Bunch III.
Lonnie G. Bunch III (14th Secretary of the Smithsonian) is the guest speaker at the third session on Values and Leadership along with Hilary Carty (Clore Leadership). This session, moderated by Dr. Carol Ann Scott, entails the core theme of disruption in museology, and how world museum leaders face new challenges in the integration of physical and digital tools for new business models.
The Strategic Plan Committee (SPC) presented the new 2022-2028 Strategic Plan for the organisation, the roadmap and the methodology followed to develop it.
2022-2028 Strategic Plan @ICOMofficiel
3 focus areas:
🟩 ICOM is the global voice for museums
🟩 ICOM Implements best practice in governance and management
🟩 ICOM supports a global museum network dealing with change #ICOMPrague2022 pic.twitter.com/hVNmkg4EvW
— David Vuillaume (@DavidVuillaume) August 23, 2022
In the same framework a panel discussion followed with speeches from special guests Mordecai Ogada (Conservation Solutions Afrika), Sébastien Soubiran (ICOM France, Jardin de sciences de Université de Strasbourg, and Ondřei Dóstal (National Technical Museum of Czech Republic). The guests discussed the difficulties associated with colonialism, especially in understanding African cultures, the responsibility of academic institutions to facilitate dialogue with society in order to avoid elitist positions, and the requirement for museums to take a comprehensive approach in order to take sustainability into account in their daily operations.
“Museums need to be windows, not castles” – Mordecai Ogada
Hilda Flavia Nakabuye inspiring keynote speech titled “Sustainability: Museums and Resilience” called for greater involvement of youth in museums to address these issues and take action but also in the governance of ICOM. The young Ugandan activist stressed the need for cultural institutions to include youth, to address the needs of younger generations and embrace the newest trends in communicating with them.
“Museums are not just buildings, they are the roots to preserve our cultural heritage, and this place needs to be shared with the young generation in ways that are understandable to them. […] Youth should be actively involved in ICOM activities and decision-making processes, youth must be included if we want to achieve sustainability”
Sustainability is not about attending events, adding words to flyers, and then going home and doing nothing – sustainability is a change in mindset. We must take action and lead the change. Now! – Hilda Flavia Nakabuye, absolutely inspiring! #ICOMPrague2022
— Craig Middleton (@_museumguy) August 23, 2022
— AVICOM (@FaimpAvicom) August 22, 2022
ICOM Mentoring Session : the professional areas investigated will be Conservation and Preservation, Education and Mediation, Leadership and Museum Management, Communication and Marketing and Curatorship and Collection
The ICOM Solidarity projects focus on the challenges that museums face during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, especially the resilience of museums and the way they adapted to the new situation. This session was the opportunity to share the results of several projects that received financial support from the ICOM Solidarity initiative in 2021.
“Our right to be and to live, is our right to dream” from the project The noises we are: the sound heritage of the Andes
By ICOM Ecuador, with CECA, ICOM Bolivia, ICOM Uruguay, ICOM El Salvador
Composing new narratives at #ICOM_MemorialLecture #LGBTIQ+ #Museums with Ben Garcia @LGBTQ_Museum and Craig Middleton @_museumguy, moderated by @carlosesv : “Queeriing Museums to question Museums processes” pic.twitter.com/qxXu1jjG7U
— ICOM (@IcomOfficiel) August 22, 2022
Museum Fair and Expo Forum is now open. The Fair brings together museums and companies to present inspiring displays and state-of-the-art technology, providing a unique opportunity for the global audience of heritage and museum experts to discover new ideas and breakthrough solutions.
Following the framework of Museums and civil society, the third session had a panel discussion with talks by Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett (POLIN Museum ICMEMO, Vice-Chair of ICOM USA), Kateryna Chuyeva (Vice Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine), Nisay Hong (Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, ICOM Cambodia), and Jasminko Halilovic (War Childhood Museum Foundation), who honored the platform by bringing to the attention of the participants four situations across the world.
“Museums are about people, standing with people and for people” – Kateryna Chuyeva
Margarita Reyes Suárez keynote speech about Purpose: Museums and Civil Society
“We have started to represent the great cultural diversity of our country (…) with the creation of collective museums for construction in collaboration with the communities. (…). Let us use the spaces of the museum to take them into consideration and finally listen to them. To name the unspeakable and make the invisible visible.”
Margarita Reyes Suárez is an anthropologist and museologist with more than 30 years of experience in the development of participatory projects for Colombian museums and heritage sites.
With the speeches of the ICOM Prague 2022 representatives and a special live performance of folkloristic Czech music and dance, the Opening Ceremony at the Hall of the Prague Congress Center gave start to the 26th ICOM General Conference.
— ICOM (@IcomOfficiel) August 22, 2022
Welcome to ICOM Prague 2022! The international museum community is coming together in Prague and online this week to celebrate, explore and unleash the Power of Museums. Over 3,000 museum professionals will take a deep dive into the most pressing issues of the global museum sector, participating in 140 sessions, panels, workshops and parallel conferences. ICOM Prague 2022 will also be a unique occasion to discover the vibrant cultural landscape of the Czech capital.
Stay tuned to this live article for updates and remember that online registration will stay open for the duration of the conference.