So here’s how we decided to celebrate International Museum Day 2019: taking a leap into social media possibility with a Vox Pop on our Twitter page, asking a couple of questions relevant in the museum community at this time. The term ‘Vox Pop’ is one common to journalists who used to go out to gather views from the public: ‘Vox Populi, the ‘voice of the people’. Of course now, social media no longer requires the interface of journalists. So what were our questions? One harks to the International Council on Museums (ICOM)’s current move to redefine what museums are and what they do. ICOM has actually put out an open invitation for interested persons and organisations to submit definitions and up to now, more than 250 persons have made submissions. You can join the re-definition movement by clicking or pasting this link: https://icom.museum/en/news/the-museum-definition-the-backbone-of-icom/
One of our respondents was Jamaican curator Rachael Minott who works in the UK. “For me”, she said, “museums are a space for collective memory, open for new audiences to access and use to understand themselves and their world better. This meaning they can not be static spaces; they should be open to multiple contributors to what we decide to remember”
And Monique Barnett-Davidson of the National Gallery of Jamaica underscored the importance of exhibitions in manifesting the value of museum collections: “Exhibitions create the platform upon which a museum can make connections between people and collections. They introduce context as well as create narrative and meaning.”
Our second question riffed on the IMD2019 theme of Museums as Cultural Hubs and here we got full agreement that this is and should be a major role. As Jamaican Cultural Activist and poet Jon Andrea Hutchinson commented: “It’s important for us to document our lifestyle, our history for the next generation…through museums.” She noted that this was also vital for other societies that want to study us and warned, “…if not, other people are going to write our stories from their perspective and sometimes we even buy in!”
Do you have a point of view? Share it with us, nuh!