Monica Barcelos is a project manager specialized in cultural cooperation, strategic planning, management of cooperation platforms and of international networks and partnerships. She is currently the coordinator of the Ibero-American Museum Program (Ibermuseos) which fosters cooperation among museums in Latin America, Spain, and Portugal.

1. Why a museum or a cultural institution should participate in #MuseumWeek? Which hashtags are the most interesting and why?

MuseumWeek presents itself as a spontaneous way of promoting the museums and cultural institutions all around the world. It is an opportunity to strengthen the sector, which echoes across five continents, highlighting the common aspects that surround museums regardless of their location and typology, and to foster a contemporary dialogue between institutions. My favorite hashtags are #womenMW, that highlights the important role of women in cultural development and points out to gender equality. And #differenceMW raising awareness that each one should be proud of being different and that museums are spaces for promoting respect for different identities, ethnicities, genres, etc.

2. How do you see the future of museums worldwide? Do you personally think they will be playing a crucial role in the structuration of human societies?

Much more than places of preservation, museums are spaces for sharing, appreciation of social memory, cultural appropriation and, above all, research. As long as there is an understanding of the importance of the relationship between the museum and its community, the museum will always be a place to question history, through the arts and symbolic objects. In a globalized world, museums present themselves as places of reflection and cultural strengthening, so they have a fundamental role in the process of structuring human societies.

3. In a more general way, what are de digital challenges of Ibero-American museums, especially in Latin America, for the next years?

The reality of Ibero-American museums is so diverse that we must understand the challenges inside and outside institutions. The basic challenge is the strengthening communications in the contemporary context: how a museum will position itself and communicate with the community considering the information overflow that circulates through the web and social media. On the other hand, there are public policies regarding the digitization and open access of the museum collections. This can be considered an even further step in the Ibero-American context. Most countries have no policies at all. Finally, a fundamental challenge concerns the new skills that digital culture requires and lies in the adequate training for the training of professionals in the sector in the use of digital platforms.