‘Museums as social arenas’. Presentation of EMEE project and EMEE workshop at the Museum of Gorica/ Slovenia, April 21st 2016

EMEE member of working group invited the Slovene EMEE partners during their hosting of travelling part of the EuroVision Lab. exhibition to give an EMEE talk and perform an EMEE workshop for the regional museums of the Primorska region.

At the beginning, there was a short presentation of the EMEE project and its outcomes with special attention to the museums, as carriers of stories and heritage, and their role in the nowadays society – how important it is that museums reflect society and its processes within their work and purpose on the base of their multi-layered heritage. In short, how museums nowadays need to bridge the gap with the audience and become a place of connection, reflection and co-creation of various users (the visitor and non-visitor becomes an active user).

In the next section, an example of good practice on museum inclusion and bridging the gap with participation was presented – Accessibility of cultural heritage to vulnerable groups. The project, EMEE satellite partner, was based on the concept of inclusive, participatory museum and shows several examples and programmes that were prepared with co-creation of vulnerable groups (Roma, immigrants, sensory impaired people – blind, deaf, deafblind, young adults – first job seekers, unemployed people over 55 years old…).

In the last part of the presentations, the emphasis was given on the concept of museum as social arena as, again, the place of connecting, creating and nurturing cultural dialog.

Our final activity was performing a workshop Museum as Social Arena, where we divided participants into groups, in order to develop a programme, including the entire concept of social arena and participation of various social groups. It also gave opportunities to those museum representatives, who are already developing a new programme, to use the gained knowledge and implement it. With the workshop, we tried to encourage museums to undertake the social arena concept and implement it in everyday museum work.