We publish with pleasure a guest post by Sabine Fauland from Museumsbund Österreich.
Museums Make Cultural Diversity Visible
The museum documents social change – museums not only depict this in their collections, but as “seismographs of society” (Gottfried Fliedl) they can, through their media, react to current sociopolitical issues and promote discussion and debate in order to help local and national communities to shape the present in recognition of diversity. The museum’s narratives bridge borders, geographic as well as cultural, challenge stereotypes, and reveal common roots.
As a site of communication and critical public opinion, the museum is predestined to be a centre of integration. Besides creating exhibitions that address contemporary issues and stimulate discussion, many Austrian museums are focusing on mediation efforts. In the museum, people get to know one another and share their stories – art and nature educators initiate and moderate the processes and discussion forums.
LENTOS Art Museum in Linz – New Neighbors, the museum as a place of open mediation – for old and new neighbors, refugees and Austrians, children and adults. Meet and greets incl. tours, group viewings of artworks, childcare, group painting, and coffee and cake
Architekturzentrum Wien (Architecture Centre Vienna) – Vienna orientation tours: City tours for those unfamiliar or new to Vienna. On foot and Citybike, people show each other places in Vienna where they can relax, get important things done, and look forward to coming back for a second visit
Austrian Belvedere Gallery – German in the Museum: the common language is key to facilitating contact and communication, viewing and discussing artworks together in the museum
Styrian Fire Brigade Museum – Orient Meets Occident: Events for long-time local residents or new arrivals to promote better mutual understanding
Further information is available here.