Here are her takeaways:
- Be fearless. This was a big exhibit with, I suspect, an unknown outcome when it began. The staff had to trust its exhibition partners, the refugees themselves, and its own ability to explain and explore the content.
- Let go of your “museum” voice. We talk a lot about shared authority, but then, often, we resort to exerting control after we talk to an “advisory committee” and get their input.
- Be about the now. More than ever, the world needs more thoughtful, passionate voices exploring how we can make a better world together. The long lead time for exhibition development often shoves us into irrelevancy.
- Don’t just talk. It’s pretty easy to talk about how museums should be relevant and how we should be more diverse. We are still moving way too slow and need to pair institutional and personal action. Last year at ICOM, the mayor of Lampedusa, Italy, where many refugees have come ashore, spoke about how history will judge all of us in receiving nations harshly for our lack of actions in the refugee crisis. We must do more.
Read the post on Linda’s blog The Uncatalogued Museum.