ICME (the International Committee for Museums of
Ethnography), an international committee of the International Council of
Museums (ICOM), will hold its 2014 annual conference on 14–16 October, 2014, in
Zagreb, Croatia. The theme of the conference will be "Museums and Innovations.”
ICME/2014/Croatia will organize the conference as a forum
where museum professionals, students and academic researchers can discuss
innovative ways of presenting heritage in museums (through recent permanent and
temporary exhibitions or online projects) they have taken part in or studied
during recent years, as well as projects in process or planned for the near
future. This conference aims to initiate a debate about new ways of thinking
and working in museums today and in the future.
Collections have to be constantly interpreted and
reinterpreted in order to extend knowledge about the collected objects. It is a
well-known fact that each museum is defined by its collections, but a
contemporary museum cannot offer its visitors only the elements of the past.
One if the most important questions museums face is how to promote contemporary
relevance and prompt new meaning making with objects. Ethnographic and social
history museums are at the forefront of exploring new methods to attract
visitor’s reflection on the past, the present and the future.
Museography today has a complex role, to explain who we are
and what museums might positively impact on global society, which implies more
difficult tasks than showing the making techniques and the functions of
The conference will raise a number of questions:
- How are museums dealing with change?
- Which subjects are presented in temporary exhibitions?
- How are subjects with social relevance presented?
- What about the presentation of political and social
- How are links between the past and the present established?
- How to make heritage interesting and relevant for visitors?
Some museums raise questions concerning new ways of presenting
the complexity of identities and by doing so they give an intercultural context
to their collections, that is, they try to show the dynamism and changes in
society. To what extent, if at all is it part of the new museum’s role to
influence communities and government, to act as agents of social justice and
help address social needs. Museums have been challenged by the need to modernize
collections and displays, but also by the ‘turn’ towards audiences. How might
museums attract new audiences without alienating existing visitors? The quality
and sustainability of a visit has become increasingly important and prompting
visitor’s understandings of the museum as a place of dialogue, a place where
she/he will consider diverse questions and gain new knowledge(s) of self and "others,”
our similarities and our differences.
- Should museums be provocative to play an active role in
society and react to current events through developing exhibitions and
organising public discussions?
- How can controversial, intimate or marginal topics be
presented in exhibitions?
- What about individual stories, how can they be presented?
- How might intangible heritage be presented?
What are your views on digital technologies in museums—how do they enhance or
detract from the original?
- What about art installations in cultural, historical and
ethnographic museums? Do they help us develop new museum concepts and inform
pedagogical practice? How?
The ICME/2014/Zagreb is planned as a forum where experts,
primarily ethnologists and cultural anthropologists, students and academics will
briefly speak (for between 20–30 minutes) to the theme, highlighting
contemporary problems and challenges faced by museum exhibitions, as well as
the extramural activities they organize around them for specific target
audiences such as families, children, elders and migrant communities.
Papers will be organized into thematic units and followed by
a discussion and exchange of experience in relation to each set of papers
discussed. A major aim for this conference is to initiate an on-going
discussion about the challenges, problems and new possibilities of planning and
working on exhibitions or joint projects.
Abstracts of between 250 and 300 words should be
submitted for selection to the ICME Review Committee, which will comprise Zvjezdana
Antoš, Sylvia Wackernagel, and Viv Golding who will act as chair. Submissions
should be sent to Viv Golding (firstname.lastname@example.org),
Zvjezdana Antoš (email@example.com) and Sylvia
by 1st May 2014. If you send the abstract as an attachment, please also
include the text of the abstract in the text of the e-mail itself.
The following information should be included with the
Title of submitted paper
Name(s) of Author(s)
Affiliation(s) & full address(es)
Abstract in English (between 250 and 300 words)
Support equipment required
Details of the ICME conference
Registration forms, registration fee information, hotels, and other details are
available on the ICME web site, http://icme.icom.museum, and in the latest
ICMENews at http://groups.yahoo.com/group.
Conference Fee: 200 Euros
The conference fee pays for the printed program, lunches and
coffee breaks, and the welcome and farewell party.
Post-conference tour to Istria
Three-day tour of sites/museums of cultural heritage
(history, archeology, ethnography) and related to the theme of conference. The post-conference
tour fee will be about 250 Euros paying for the bus transport, hotel, meals, and