ICOM UK’s Working Internationally Conference Films
Three films produced by BL for the ICOM UK’s Working Internationally Conference exploring some of the most significant global issues affecting museums and the cultural industry today: social justice, sustainability and the future of museums.
The films are available on the Barker Langham Youtube Channel.
Check out their accompanying booklet for more information.
Through political turmoil, public health crises, economic downturns and seismic shifts in global culture, museums have to adapt to survive and remain relevant. Today, many are using rapid-response collecting as a proactive tool to build archives that speak to who we are now. What does it mean for museums and cultural institutions to collect amid chaos and disquiet? How can we trust ourselves to interpret and make sense of the world even as we are changing with it, often at breakneck speed? Sharing inspiring stories of the ways in which museums have responded to disruption, this film examines the act of collecting in times of strife. With insights from Foteini Aravani (Museum of London), Dr Aaron Bryant (Museum of African American History and Culture), Anna Burckhardt (Museum of Modern Art) and Suzy Hakimian (Museum of Minerals and Chair of ICOM Lebanon), this film asks how museums can navigate ever-changing landscapes, and sheds light on why, and for whom, they collect.
Every object can tell a story of humanity’s impact on our planet and every museum has the power to be a voice for climate action. In this film, Barker Langham takes you on a virtual journey across the world’s museums and cultural landmarks with stories that shed new light on the way we think about our places, collections and institutions in the context of the global environmental crisis. This international tour includes the District Six Museum in Cape Town, the Brooklyn Museum, the National Museum of Qatar and many more. At each museum, we hear stories of environmental impact and people’s changing relationship with, and effect on, the world. By sharing these stories, and by highlighting some of the many inspiring ways in which museum professionals are working to protect the planet, we want to nurture hope for the future. If museums can work together globally, we can build a compelling narrative of the Earth in the Age of Humans and perhaps even influence its outcome.
With the sustained move to decolonise museums, the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement and a growing global debate about economic inequality, social justice has become a hot topic for museum workers. It’s an idea that affects everything. Whether museums are re-centering the stories they tell, changing pay and hiring policies, or working to empower visitors to transform their communities, the way we act depends on what we think a good life looks like, and how we plan to build it. So, how do we define that life? How do we define social justice? And how can we chart a path from good intentions to just outcomes? This film aims to explore these questions through a series of interviews with experts, including Subhadra Das (University College London), Clara Paillard (Public and Commercial Services Union), Deborah Tulani Salahu-Din (National Museum of African American History and Culture), Matt and Jess Turtle (Museum of Homelessness), and Anne Wetsi Mpoma (independent curator and gallerist, Brussels).