Predicting museum futures is no mean feat. Being unreasonably bold would be faced with the challenges of the now that would acknowledge much more what comes across as reasonable. It might be absolutely unreasonable that we re-invent the museum institution to address climate emergencies. Transforming the museum into a public space with a participatory management model is an ambition yet to be achieved. We might ask whether Museums can morph into genuinely democratic, inclusive and polyphonic spaces for critical conversations about pasts and futures. We could also question whether museums can ever be fully integrated within communities, acting as co-catalysts for radical changes in ways of seeing and living. Indeed, will a human-central museum, at peace with the natural environment, ever see the light of day?
This conference seeks to present the latest thinking, actions and initiatives that modestly or radically depart from the traditional mold of curator/object-central spaces. We are keen on showcasing the latest developments in the museum landscape, be they conceptual initiatives or projects that are happening and evolving in the now, and which may well inform, influence and define the museum, particularly with regards to climate change, artificial intelligence and future technologies, but not just. We are open to anything that is absolutely unreasonable to predict a reasonable future for museums.
We welcome contributions from scholars, museum curators and directors, think-tanks, institutions and others working in the museum sector who act as or support game-changers in the sector.
The bi-annual conference is an international project developed jointly by Prof. Carmel Borg and Dr Sandro Debono at the Department of Arts, Open Communities and Adult Education (University of Malta). The conference seeks to inform the Department’s vision for and its active advocacy towards democratising the museum space and develop new museum models that are inclusive and polyphonic.
Pre-Conference Webinar Events will be proposed from October to December 2020, with six international voices from the museum world, each of whom shall be sharing views and perspectives about museum futures.
Each speaker shall present a personal reaction to future challenges and ambitions during a dedicated webinar. Towards the end, Mike Murawski, change leader and committed advocate for more equitable and community-centred museums shall present his reflections on the presentation and discussion. The webinars shall be moderated by Prof. Carmel Borg and Dr Sandro Debono from the Department of Arts, Open Communities and Adult Education, at the University of Malta.
We have asked speakers to react to the conference theme – ‘Shaping Museum Futures’ – through their very own lens, experience, advocacy and expertise. Knowing too well that this is the topic of the moment facing museums across the globe, the webinars shall hopefully contribute to the much-needed discussion about museums and their role in a post-COVID19 world.
The pre-conference webinar events precede the call for papers and posters for the conference ‘MUŻE.X – Shaping Museum Futures’ taking place in October 2021.
The MUŻE.X conference will take place on the 18 – 20 October 2021 and will be hosted by the University of Malta Valletta Campus, MALTA.