Women in Culture: Interview with Marília Bonas, from Memorial da Resistência de São Paulo
What museums do, besides exhibitions? What happens in those restricted areas closed to the public? Who are the people who work there and who visits them? The efforts of preservation, research, and communication – the basis of the action of any museological institution – observe a number of challenges, discoveries, and curiosities that rarely escapes the staff offices and technical reserves.
Why this? Because museums do so many things at the same time, with and for a lot of people.
So how do you bring this whole diversity of particularities to the general public? In recent years, social media have opened up a whole new range of communication and relationship building for museums. Institutions now share their collections, invite audiences to act as co-curators, open discussion spaces, and remotely give access to most of their actions in live broadcasts or specific posts.
And for a whole world of interested people today, just follow an institution in their networks to discover in real time with the professionals of the area what is underneath an Italian Renaissance artwork or see how to manage the conservation of an ancient Persian carpet.
It was thinking of this potential in every museological institution that was born #MuseumWeek – a global action that consists in the sharing of information on collections, actions and audiences worldwide via Twitter, coordinated by a thematic hashtag.
For us museum managers, what is the great game of #MuseumWeek?
First of all, desacralize our actions. A museum can be a very fun place on the internet. Who never shared a museum meme in their own networks?
But more than that, a hashtag of #MuseumWeek stimulates fundamental discussions about the function of museums in the contemporary world.
The critical perspective of institutions on themselves – such as the invisibility of certain procedures, gaps and silences in the collections, the low valorization of technical areas and a myriad of day-to-day challenges – not only reach the most diverse publics but strengthens institutions, their professionals, and their social function.
Whether it’s to stimulate our voyeurism, share secrets, or showcase the complexity behind the scenes of a museum and its importance in society, #MuseumWeek is an incredible tool for supporting the role of museums in the contemporary world. Join us. It will be fun, I promise you that.