CAM Bulletin No. 31 November/December 2015
UPCOMING CAM EVENTS
Workshop: Access in Museums in South Asia
Jaipur, India, March 25-28, 2016
The Commonwealth Association of Museums and the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum are organising a workshop titled Access in Museums in South Asia, in partnership with ICOMOS India and supported by the Inclusive Museum. The workshop will focus on the challenges of making buildings and collections physically and intellectually accessible, with a special focus on historic properties and collections such as the MSMS II Museum and its collections. The goal is for participants to sensitise themselves on issues of accessibility, and acquire the working knowledge necessary to facilitate better access at their own institutions. The activity-based workshop process as well as outcomes will be shared with their own colleagues and institutions and developed further. A post-workshop tour of heritage sites in the neighbouring region will be offered by historian Dr Giles Tillotson as an optional extra. For more information contact Bess Forrestall email@example.com.
CAM INTERNSHIP PROGRAMME
Hello CAM members! Iím Bess Forrestall and Iíve been lucky enough to be selected the CAM intern at the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum in Jaipur, India. I hail from the small eastern province of New Brunswick, Canada, where I was born, raised and took my BFA in painting and drawing. Last spring I completed a MA in art education at Concordia University in Montreal. Throughout my MA, I relied on my experience working in galleries across the east coast to develop a deeper understanding of the potential museums have as sites of knowledge production.
Canadaís east coast is well known for its relaxed atmosphere, so itís no surprise that the bustling streets of Jaipur have been a huge change for me! There are people, cars, cows, and rickshaws everywhere. Itís all very exciting, and Iím trying to soak it all in. This city is known for its artisans and the core is made up of bazaars full of fine craft work. The museum is located at the centre of these bazaars in the City Palace, and its grounds are breath-taking. In my first week and a half Iíve been focused on learning about the museum and its collection. Iíve got about 300 yearsí worth of reading to catch up on, so I am getting through as much possible before getting down to the real work!
I will be designing educational outreach materials for children, teens and adults about the museumís new exhibition on painting and photography, the architecture of the City Palace and design across the collection. I will also be assisting in the organisation of the upcoming workshop on Access in Museums in South Asia. I am sure other projects will come along as well, and I just canít wait to see what the next six months have in store!
2016-2017 Internship Positions
If your museum is interested in hosting an intern next year, please contact the Secretariat. You must develop a program that would be an educational opportunity for the intern and provide a detailed workplan. The intern would work on a project for CAM at the same time. The Canadian government and CAM provide funding to cover the internís travel, salary and accommodation allowance; if your museum is able to contribute financially that would be appreciated. Host museums provide supervision, workspace, materials and supplies, and any internal travel required, as well as support for the intern while working at your facility.
CAM DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAMME (DLP)
We intended to start a cohort of students in the Caribbean at a workshop on Long Island in October; however the workshop was postponed due to the recent hurricane and we await news about when they will be able to begin. If you need training in basic museum studies, and would be interesting in participating in the distance learning programme, please review the information on our website and contact the Secretariat.
Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Malta, November 27-29, 2015
Preparations are underway for civil society organisations such as CAM to contribute to this yearís CHOGM. CAM will participate in the Civil Society Forum; Secretary-General Catherine C. Cole will speak about Museums and the Blue Economy at the Youth Forum. She recently attended a series of pre-CHOGM events in London.
Civil Society and the Commonwealth: Reaching for Partnership, Report Launch, October 26
The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) launched a report to CHOGM at a reception at Canada House. The report recognises that ďspace for civil society is shrinking, with crackdowns on courageous voices of dissent. In far too many countries, restrictive laws and practices by government are squeezing the space for individuals and organisations to speak out and act on behalf of the poor and marginalised.Ē The launch featured a panel discussion with barrister and chair of Just-Fair Jamie Burton, Director of the Commonwealth Foundation Vijay Krishnarayan, Director of the Royal Commonwealth Society Michael Lake, and Alistair Stewart, Commonwealth Equality Network.
Reception at St. James Palace, October 27
The Queen held a pre-CHOGM reception at St. James Palace to recognise the work of of Commonwealth Organisations throughout the world. This show of appreciation for our work was very gratifying. CAM Secretary-General Catherine C. Cole was honoured to have the opportunity to meet the Queen and Prince Charles; however, President Rooksana Omar was unfortunately unable to attend due to insufficient time to secure a visa.
Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Briefing in Advance of CHOGM, October 28
The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association held a meeting at Westminster Hall, Houses of Parliament which provided insight into what to expect in Malta. Maltaís High Commissioner H.E. Norman Hamilton, Political Director at the Commonwealth Secretariat Simon Gimson and David Concar of the UKís Foreign & Commonwealth Office spoke on a panel chaired by MP Roberta Blackman-Woods. Many expect this yearís CHOGM to be a milestone for the Commonwealth. Commonwealth values reflect unity amidst diversity and CHOGM provides an opportunity for the Commonwealth to influence global decisions such as at the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Paris.
COMMONWEALTH DAY 2016
The theme for next yearís Commonwealth Day, March 14, 2016, is An Inclusive Commonwealth referring to the values of tolerance, respect, understanding, equity and fairness that are laid out in the Commonwealth Charter.
NEWS FROM COMMONWEALTH MUSEUMS
Hurricane Joaquin Devastated the Southern Bahamas
BY Kim Outten Stubbs, Chief Curator, The National Museum of The Bahamas/ Antiquities, Monuments and Museums Corporation (AMMC)
Hurricane Joaquin moved through the Islands of the Southern Bahamas on Thursday and Friday 1st and 2nd October with a furry. It greatly impacted the communities of Crooked and Acklins Islands, Rum Cay and San Salvador Island and Long Island. The hurricane was a Category 4 with winds up to 150 miles per hour, sea surges and heavy rains that hovered over the islands for two days. More than 800 homes were severely damaged in these sparsely populated islands. Thankfully there was no loss of life on the islands but unfortunately a tanker with all of its crew was lost.
The National Museum of The Bahamas/AMMC operates museums in Long Island and San Salvador Island, where we have three full-time staff, Mrs. Patsy Cartwright and Mrs. Sheena Cartwright in Long Island and Ms. Garnell Williams in San Salvador. The Long Island Museum is housed in a building shared with the library and community centre and there was extensive damage to the roof; the library sustained much damage and the museum water damage in particular to the interior walls. In San Salvador, where the museum has been closed for some time awaiting repairs and construction of the new exhibition, both buildings received damage to exterior doors, windows and the roof.
Some areas of Long Island, Crooked and Acklins Islands are still underwater and uninhabitable. Museum staff have also experienced extensive damage to their homes and had to be temporarily relocated. Dr. Keith Tinker, AMMC Director and Mr. Alexander Flowers, Secretary to the AMMC visited Long Island on 28th October to see first-hand and assess the situation at the museum. We are however, awaiting official reports from the National Disaster Committee and Ministry of Works.
We welcome the assistance of the international museum community with our recovery efforts.
Roseau Old Market Trust (ROMT), Dominica
By Melvina Leslie, Chair, Roseau Old Market Trust
During colonial times the Roseau Old Market (ROM) was a thriving market and the square was the place where all the major trading activities between Dominica and neighbouring islands took place, from commodities to slave trading. Commonly known as the Old Market Square, the ROM is steeped in the history of Dominica. It tells us where we came from, who we are and the story of what our ancestors endured in getting us to where we are now.
Located in the capital city, the ROM comprises of the Old Post Office Building which was converted into a museum, tourist information desk, craft vending stalls, restaurant, and a public convenience. The building, which dates back to 1810, replaced a previous building built in 1770. Our ancestors were sold and executed in the square. The Roseau Old Market Trust (ROMT), a non-profit organization, was created in May 1995 to maintain a sense of pride for the city of Roseau. The Trustís objective is to provide support for heritage tourism as one of the strategies that is very important for cultural preservation.
The infrastructure has been attacked by major storms, high seas swells and hurricanes, most recently, Tropical Storm Erika overtopped the seawall causing extensive damage to the infrastructure. Salt spray and normal wear and tear have also taken a major toll.
Broken window in the museum
The museum has been non-functional for almost three years. In June 2014 a new Board of Trustees encountered significant challenges which hindered the ability to successfully operate and maintain the ambience. The ROMT does not have the resources to undertake major repairs. Furthermore, the new Trust has inherited outstanding utility bills and arrears in wages for nine full-time employees. The Trust has expressed concern that if the infrastructures are not repaired the architectural, historical and cultural aspects of Roseau will lose their significance and likely disappear.
Nigerian National Heritage Commission Marks 70th Anniversary
By Erin Sobat, McGill University firstname.lastname@example.org
Yusuf Usman, NCMM Director-General
The Nigerian National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM), which oversees 45 museums and heritage sites across the country, celebrated its seventy-year anniversary in September. An event held at the Nigerian National Museum in Lagos highlighted the achievements of the Commission in heritage preservation since 1945. The night also represented the launch of a special commemorative exhibition featuring iconic objects from across the history of Nigerian art traditions. Yusuf Usman, Director-General of the NCMM, outlined the key objectives associated with the anniversary, specifically the need to raise the profile of the museum sector among Nigerians and tourists alike. In addition, he highlighted the desire of the Commission to strengthen cooperation with international museum and heritage partners. In particular, he hopes that these relationships will aid in plans to enhance programming activities as well as ongoing efforts surrounding the repatriation of Nigerian cultural objects worldwide. More information on the NCMM can be found at www.ncmm.gov.ng.
International Association of Agricultural Museums
By Merli Sild, President and Cozette Griffin-Kremer, Secretary General email@example.com
Agriculture is in the headlines worldwide, as friend and foe of humanity and the planet. AIMA members strive to show there are many nuances between these opposite attitudes and that agriculture has shaped human beings socially, culturally and economically. There is no Ďoneí agriculture. The very word invites a multitude of definitions and bears witness to profound diversity in practices. The shape it takes in any society demonstrates human ingenuity, resilience and aspiration. When it Ďtook offí, along with early industrialisation in the 18th and 19th centuries, it delivered one of the major shocks to world production with increases in yields, the effects of which are still being measured today in enormously increased food supplies and drastic impacts on ecosystems. What future is agriculture shaping for us today and how can we shape our agricultures to insure it contributes to the common good?
Howell Living History Farm, Lambertville, New Jersey, USA, Courtesy: Pete Watson.
The AIMA was founded in 1966 at the first conference of agricultural museums held in Prague and has endeavoured to address these and many other questions ever since. The AIMAís purpose is to educate the public about the significance of agriculture to human society, to explain the many ways that agriculture has evolved through time, and to facilitate dialogue between museums across the globe about agricultural topics and discoveries.
The AIMA is an affiliate of ICOM and its strategic plan reflects the international nature of the organisation; AIMA would welcome members from Commonwealth museums. The AIMA meets every year to plan activities including the Triennial Congress, next to be held at the National Agricultural Museum of Estonia in 2017. For more information visit the AIMA website at http://agriculturalmuseums.org/ and contact us.
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CAM Executive Council, 2014-2017
President: Rooksana Omar, Chief Executive Officer, Iziko Museums of South Africa
Vice-President: Amareswar Galla, Founding Executive Director, International Institute for the Inclusive Museum, India, Denmark & Australia
Treasurer: Ericka Chemko, Program and Operations Manager, Edmonton Heritage Council, Canada
Past-President: Martin Segger, Research Associate, Centre for Global Studies, University of Victoria, Canada
Lumepa Apelu, Principal Officer, Museum of Samoa
Richard Benjamin, Head, International Slavery Museum, National Museums Liverpool , UK
Claude Faubert, Director-General , Canada Science and Technology Museum
David Mbuthia, Head, National Museums of Kenya (NMK) Central Region
Kim Outten Stubbs, Chief Curator, National Museum of The Bahamas
Huism Tan, Head, Curation and Exhibitions, National Library Singapore
Mrinalini Venkateswaran, Projects Manager, Eka Archiving Services, New Delhi, India
The Commonwealth Association of Museums is an Affiliated Organization of ICOM and a recognized Commonwealth Organisation.