What is it about?
How are (im)migrants and receiving populations constantly making new forms of urbanism? The continued influx of migrants brings new challenges for cities. Migrants settle in an existing context, which can lead to polarisation and exclusion, or to enrichment and the creation of new cultural resources which can contribute to the vitality and diversity of today’s global cities.
How are cities and citizens adjusting to this increasing diversity?
By reflecting this diversity, museums can engage with contemporary urban life, seeking direct contact with different communities in the city, and looking for ways of helping cities to work better and become more resilient. These urban dynamics require thoughtful engagement to allow museums to act as mediators of dialogues and places for a new kind of world citizenship.
The International Committee for the Collections and Activities of Museums of Cities (CAMOC) in partnership with the Commonwealth Association of Museums (CAM) and the International Committee for Regional Museums (ICR) and with support from the International Council of Museums (ICOM) set out to explore the roles museums can have in collecting, presenting and collaborating in these processes through their joint project Migration:Cities | (im)migration and arrival cities.
The overall aim of the project is to:
· Create a web platform for city museums (and migration museums as well as other museums dealing with this issue) and museum professionals to find relevant experiences, share knowledge and discuss ethical and meaningful ways to engage with new urban dynamics and the diverse realities of ‘Arrival Cities’. The platform will:
o Become a resource for museum professionals and a hub to discuss the preservation and representation of contemporary urban life in museums, offer different insights from various types of research practical tools and museums’ and migrants’ own experiences.
o It will also facilitate exchange and mentoring opportunities between professionals, act as a think-tank and contact zone between professionals and institutions alike.
· Organise annual workshops about museums and migration that will bring colleagues together to discuss these issues and share best practices
Today more than 50% of the world’s population lives in urban environments, and the number is expected to increase to 65% by 2050. The continued influx of migrants brings new challenges for contemporary cities. Migrants settle in an existing context, which can lead to polarisation, exclusion, enrichment and creation of new cultural resources. Migrants contribute to the vitality and diversity of today’s global cities.
How are cities and citizens adjusting to this increasing diversity? What cultural, political and economic processes and transformations arise from these dynamics and what is their impact on the identities of the different groups affected? By representing these processes and transformations through their activities and functions, museums are engaging with contemporary urban life, seeking direct contact with different communities in the city, looking for everyday ways of adapting, transforming and making cities work better and become more resilient.
These urban dynamics require thoughtful engagement to allow museums to act as mediators of dialogues and places for a renewed kind of world citizenship.
Geographical Impact: Global – for museums in arrival cities around the globe
To help museums:
Short and medium-term objectives
· Share experiences, ethical approaches, best practices, and discussions in order to support the work of professionals engaging with the nuanced theme of migration in museums.
· Support museums and professionals in creating participatory projects aimed at representing migrant populations and new urban dynamics.
· Help museums interpret new urban narratives and propose themes for social debate based on their knowledge of historic urban processes, stories of diverse urban groups and their various themes of interest.
· Help museums play an important role in the dynamic processes of city-making, acting as moderators and connectors.
· Help museums acknowledge that migration touches humanity as a whole, and that unpacking this rich process, past and especially present, is essential to rebalance diverse voices in our societies as we move forward.
· Strengthen relationships with UNESCO.
a. Main: museum professionals linked to (im)migration museums, city museums, immigrant/settlement services organizations and institutions dealing with (im)migration contexts.
b. Secondary: (im)migrants, concerned citizens, artists, activists and student
Initial Website structure – areas of content
· “TEDTalk-like” video library of testimonials by professionals from different museums, public and private institutions and individuals presenting their projects on city-making and migration.
· Voices from migrant groups represented in different projects will also be accessible online t through videos and interviews.
· The background of both projects and migrants’ voices will be available online through the Resources database, and linked to each video page.
· Our contributors will be invited to share images of objects that relate to the stories told through their projects.
· These images will be accompanied of their background information and history, the interpretation that it carries, related videos and resources, tagging, and a space for comment and interpretation by other platform users.
· Collections will be an alternative way to access the projects in the platform, and will work as the project’s digital collective and collaborative collection.
· A Library of relevant papers, scientific and academic materials on various aspects related to migration and migration in museums. This may be based on sociology, history, ethics policy and a range of other themes.
· Tool-kits: tool-kits and frameworks drawing from our museums and professionals experiences offering practical guidelines on how to create and conduct effective participatory projects for migration in museums.
· Background information documents about the projects and voices presented in Case Studies: relevant policies of the region, statistical information, overview of the migration context of each presentation.
Talk with an expert: a list of professionals available to offer mentoring on an availability basis, and their contacts. Also including expert migrants
Blog: latest news, posts and additions to the project
(Future) Webinars: workshops to be organised online around relevant themes. (At this stage this is just for future allocation of spaces and basic planning)
* If you would like to contribute to the Migration:Cities project with a short film please download the guideline: How to make a short film for the Migration:Cities platform
Our first workshop took place in Glasgow in November 2015. The second took place in Athens in February 2017, this time with our project partners: 1. CAMOC. 2. CAM, the Commonwealth Association of Museums 3. ICR, the International Committee for Regional Museums. The next workshop will take place in Mexico City in October 2017. The details are now being posted on the Conferences page.
The reports of the two completed workshops are set out below.
Athens, 6-7 February 2017
A project in the form of a workshop funded by ICOM.
The inaugural workshop took place in Athens where CAMOC, CAM, and ICR members and other participants exchanged experiences in one of the current epicentres of the migrant crisis in Europe. The intention was to learn from experiences that are real and happening, and examine them from three angles: museums, concerned citizens/organisations, and the (im)migrants themselves.
The full report is on this link: Athens 2017
Glasgow, 26-27 November 2015
Now on YouTube on the link below:
Our interactive workshop, organised by the Open Museum in Glasgow, took place at the Riverside Museum, the winner of the European Museum of the Year award in 2013. It was held in collaboration with the Maryhill Integration Network, a community centre working with migrants and refugees in the city. A full report on the workshop is in our January Newsletter, plus this link: CAMOC Glasgow Speaker's Presentation Slides And you can see the video of the workshop on our YouTube site, see above.
Carla Mardini illustrating the background to the Beit Beirut Museum and Urban Cultural Centre. Virtually destroyed during the Civil War in Lebanon the building is becoming a centre dedicated to the city.
Apart from Beirut, we had participants from string of cities across the world. The detailed programme is here: Migration and the notes of the workshop proceedings are here: Workshop One Workshop Two Workshop Three