THE STRUCTURE OF THE WORKING PROCESS
Over the course of four phases, the EMEE project aimed to apply the ideas of its underlying theoretical concept of Change of Perspective to a practical context.
THE FIRST PHASE OF THE PROJECT
During the first phase of the project, the partners began with a Mapping Process that had the aim of providing an overview of the current museum discourse concerning the EMEE topics. Drawing on ten best practice examples each, the partners selected and analyzed how museums have treated the topic of ‘Europe’ in their collections so far, what opportunities there are for attracting so-called ‘non-visitors’ (bridging-the-gap), and how the option of visitor participation and activation has been dealt with up to this point. Moreover, lists of current research projects and publications on these topics have been compiled. During the first phase of the EMEE project, the partners were able to build on this foundation and developed five so-called EMEE Toolkits: these offered an application-oriented presentation of the concept of Change of Perspective (COP) for all kinds of museums, as well as encompassing different focuses and thus creating a bridge between theory and practice. Additionally, the project partners developed accompanying EMEE COP-Workshops which are designed to train museum experts and interested non-professionals and which will therefore allow for the use of the concept in the long run.
THE SECOND PHASE OF THE PROJECT
While the first project phase was aimed at creating the essentials and provide the theoretical framework, the second phase focused on developing viable ideas on the basis of the EMEE Toolkits and the COP. In doing so, the interdisciplinary and international project team turned out to show significant creative potential. One of the main goals during this phase was to develop Exemplary COP-Units that could demonstrate how the EMEE Toolkits – and therefore the Change of Perspective – can be applied to different objects. To accomplish this, the partners chose suitable European topics and objects that allowed for multiple perspectives, recorded suggestions of so-called ‘museum distant groups’ and cooperated with them. Together, they developed scenographic, artistic and musical staging options for the objects in question, as well as educational and cultural programs to impart the COP and to thus contribute to the ‘Europeanization’ of local, regional, and national museums.
Moreover, and supporting this goal further, a scenographers’ competition entitled ‘One Object – Many Visions – EuroVisions’ took place, which ended with a touring exhibition. This second project phase concluded with two more EMEE Workshops that focused on applying the results of the EMEE project to museum practice. The first workshop addressed the question of how scenography can be deployed to convey varying perspectives on an object, while the second workshop revolved around the problem of attracting non-visitor groups by means of artistic interventions.
THE THIRD PHASE OF THE PROJECT
After the theoretical framework had been established and viable exemplary ideas with an interdisciplinary outlook had been developed, the third phase of the project aimed to apply parts of these ideas to a practical context with the help of so-called ‘EuroVision Lab.s’. These EuroVision Lab.s were dedicated to the tagline ‘One Object – Many Visions – EuroVisions’ and were set up in all countries that participated in the project. While some of the Lab. activities had been conceptualized individually by the participating museums according to the COP’s principles, other parts like the EMEE Young Scenographers Contest or the Eurobarometer – while still being part of the Lab. – toured through all participating countries. Towards the end of the third phase of the project, the Lab.’s activities were evaluated and an EMEE Study Module was outlined, which is expected to ensure the implementation of the project’s ideas at university level.
THE FOURTH PHASE OF THE PROJECT
The fourth project phase was all about ensuring and maintaining sustainability. The project’s results were documented in documentary films, the so-called ‘Final Brochure’ and the EMEE E-Book were created and dissemination was intensified. The last General Meeting which took place in Brussels in September 2016, served as a platform to inform stakeholders, policy makers, representatives of museum associations and European museum experts about the project’s results (see also in the ‘Final Brochure’ the chapter: ‘Recommendations for Stakeholders and Policy Makers Based on Findings from the EMEE project’).
Moreover, two factors will contribute to the implementation of the EMEE ideas in the long run: 1. The EMEE Workshops and the EMEE Study Module ensure that students as well as museum experts will still be able to engage themselves in the EMEE concepts in future. 2. In order to implement the project’s ideas in the long run a broad network interested museums and institutions was established. Currently, the network consists of 148 partners that employ the concept of Change of Perspective.