Thursday, 25 March 2021

David Fleming and the Perfect Museum

"In terms of museums as part of the overall cultural life of a society, we can be a platform to enable people to be visible, not hidden, we can encourage empathy, respect and understanding, we can be a positive platform, we can be a supporter, campaigner and active participant/collaborator. Museums are places that can enable many voices to be heard. All of this work comes down to the teams working within museums being aligned with the framework of a strong mission and linked policies. Being active about inclusion means being outward facing, aware of societal and global inequalities and their causes, and seeing contemporary life and the future as being influenced by the past. Being active about inclusion is a mind-set and means working hard to include."

"Museums working with an inclusion mind-set will think about the broader context of any subject or theme they deal with. They will need to take a fresh look at the past, working with people whose histories have often been excluded from the main narrative, looking at uncomfortable (or controversial or contradicted) subjects in an honest and open way. But working with culturally diverse people/communities, migration and refugees is not always about a museum being a campaigning organisation and a platform for debate; it can also be about being a ‘safe’ place."
David Fleming (Director of National Museums Liverpool, 2001-2018)

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- Fleming, D. (2017) Thinking strategically about inclusion in museums. In M., Vlacou (coord.) The Inclusion of Migrants and Refugees. The Role of Cultural Orgnisations (50-57). Acesso Cultura
- photograph via