CAM Bulletin #37 November/December 2016
Heritage and Nation Building
CAM Triennial General Assembly
Hosted by the Glenbow Museum and Archives
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
June 19-23, 2017
Mark your calendars and plan to join us!
- Visit Indigenous heritage sites in Southern Alberta
- Indigenous Heritage Roundtable
- Heritage and Nation Building Symposium
Explore the role of museums and heritage organisations in creating and promoting a national identity with colleagues from throughout the Commonwealth during Canada’s sesquicentennial year.
Indigenous Heritage Roundtable
This will be the first Roundtable including museums and other heritage organizations, Canadian and international indigenous speakers, and will provide a context for an open, constructive dialogue. The Roundtable will focus on recommendations in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and develop an action plan for heritage organizations at local, national and international levels.
The UNDRIP states that indigenous people have rights to self-determination, to maintain distinct institutions, foster cultural development through preservation and continuity of cultural traditions, knowledge and language, and present indigenous perspectives in exhibitions and programs about subjects that touch on their lives. The TRC questions support for the UNDRIP by museum and heritage organizations. It exerts Aboriginal peoples’ inalienable right to know the truth about what happened and why, public education and programming, and a national program for commemoration and reconciliation. Heritage organizations should support local efforts to develop and implement strategies and procedures for ongoing identification, documentation, maintenance, commemoration, and protection of residential school cemeteries or other sites at which residential school children were buried, and respond to families’ wishes for appropriate commemoration ceremonies and markers for children who died in residential schools reburial in home communities.
Heritage and Nation Building Symposium
Heritage organizations have long played a role in creating and promoting cultural identity. Regional and ethnic differences among residents may be minimized by a national narrative. This symposium will explore how museums contribute to creating a unified national identity and how they may be used as tools of the state to promote that identity. Current challenges presented by migration underscore these divisions and approaches to nationalizing new residents. The symposium will explore the the role of heritage organizations in addressing the sustainable development goals and the promotion of human rights.
Human Remains Management Workshop
Iziko Museums of South Africa
February 13-14, 2017
CAM is meeting in Cape Town with the Iziko Museums of South Africa, the Museums Association of Namibia and the National Museum of Botswana the week of February 13-14, 2017 to initiate a project on policy and legislation related to human remains management in southern African nations. Contact: Keely McCavitt at CAMhumanremains@gmail.com for information.
Migration Cities: (Im)migration and Arrival Cities
Athens, February 6-8, 2017
CAM is participating in a workshop in Athens to initiate the CAM/CAMOC/ICR collaboration on Migration Cities. We are looking for best practices in museum projects related to migration in towns or cities of any size and will be compiling resource material for museums interested in beginning this type of work. CAM will include a panel about Migration: Cities in next year’s symposium. If your museums is working on a project related to migration and you’re interested in becoming involved in this project as it develops, please contact the Secretariat firstname.lastname@example.org.
CAM Social Media Campaign
Please submit a fun artifact, object, image or photograph along with a short text explaining what the artifact is, and where it comes from, that can be featured in our #ArtifactOfTheWeek campaign to email@example.com. Let us know what social media platforms you are currently using effectively and ways in which CAM may be able to help cross-promote activities, resources and educational opportunities.
CAM INTERNSHIP PROGRAMME
There are now two possibilities for your museum to host a Canadian intern. First, CAM currently applies for funding each year from the Young Canada Works at Building Careers in Heritage Program of the Department of Canadian Heritage. Interns are young, recent university graduates who are placed in museums throughout the Commonwealth for six months, from October 1-March 31. These interns could work in any country on any type of museum project. If you are interested in hosting an intern at your museum, please contact the Secretariat as soon as possible.
Second, calls for proposals for the International Youth Internship Program (IYIP) and the International Aboriginal Youth Internships (IAYI) have been announced by the Office of the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie. These programmes provide opportunities for Canadian post-secondary graduates to gain professional experience through international development work. CAM is planning to submit a proposal and is looking for partner organizations in the developing world. These internships are for six-months or more, are specifically for projects in developing countries working on issues such as equality between women and men, the environment, health, education, small business development, and agriculture.
Introducing CAM’s 2016-2017 Intern
Keely McCavitt in front of Slave Lodge, one of the Iziko Museums
I’m Keely McCavitt and I have been given the exciting opportunity to participate in CAM’s internship programme this year, working with Izikio Museums of South Africa in Cape Town. I graduated with an MA in Art History with a focus on museum studies and collections management from the University of Western Ontario and have been volunteering and interning in galleries and museums including the Museum of Ontario Archaeology and the McIntosh Gallery. I spent this summer as a collections management intern at the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. My interests lie in the places where museum policy, politics and justice collide with the everyday realities of collections management practice. The research focus of my MA was an exploration of new technologies such as 3D printing and their potential in repatriation of cultural objects.
The issues of repatriation and social justice are concerns of great importance, especially for CAM to engage with considering that the Commonwealth was built upon colonial conquest and exploit; a troubling inheritance and contemporary reality which is visible in many of our institutions. For the next few months I will be helping with the conservation and organisation of human remains, researching the unethically acquired parts of the collection, and helping to coordinate a workshop around ancestral remains policy and practices in southern Africa as South Africa, Botswana and Namibia share similar concerns. I look forward to this exciting opportunity to participate in the conversation around ancestral/human remains in southern Africa and internationally.
CAM DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAMME
Congratulations to the most recent graduate of the CAM Distance Learning Programme – Mxolisi Sboniso Mdluli who works for Aba Qulusi Municipality at the Nieuwe Republiek Museum in Vryheid, South Africa. New students are welcome on an ongoing basis. We have a new student in Mozambique. If you need training in basic museum studies, review the information on our website and contact the Secretariat http://www.maltwood.uvic.ca/cam/programs/distance_learning.html.
Maldives’ withdrawal from the Commonwealth
Maldives has withdrawn from the Commonwealth effective 13 October. Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland stated, “…the Commonwealth Charter reflects the commitment of our member states on behalf of their citizens to democracy and human rights, development and growth, and diversity. We will continue to champion these values and to support member states, especially small and developing states, in upholding and advancing these values and principles as expressed in the Charter.” CAM hopes that this is a temporary withdrawal and wishes our colleagues in museums in Maldives all the best.
COMMONWEALTH MUSEUM NEWS
Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum: Fortifying traditions by stimulating young minds
By Siddhant Shah, Heritage Architect & Access Consultant firstname.lastname@example.org
Courtesy: Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum
Curious kids and young adults participate in Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum’s outreach activities in large numbers and fill the grounds of Lakshmi Villas Palace in Vadodara, India. The museum was established in 1961 in a building originally constructed as a school for the Maharaja’s children. It houses a large collection belonging to the Royal family, including works of art acquired by Maharaja Sir Sayajirao Gaekwad III during his numerous trips abroad, and one of the largest collections of paintings by the Indian artist Raja Ravi Varma, commissioned by the then Maharaja of Baroda. The collection includes portraits of the Royal family as well as the paintings based on Hindu mythology and Sanskrit classics for which he is known today and has attracted national and international scholars. Maharaja of Baroda also commissioned the Italian artist Fellicci, whose works adorn not only the museum but also the Lakshmi Villas Palace.
Courtesy: Dr Hemant Sant
Young adults and students from architecture colleges make forts from clay, bricks and sand during a two-day long event which resonates with the fort-making activities seen in the villages during the Diwali festive season. Fort making is a tradition in Marathi speaking parts of India, including Maharashtra and Gaekwad ruled parts of Gujarat-Vadodara. The forts have everything right from fortification walls, soldiers and doors to moats and lakes thus inculcating the architectural knowledge, space planning methods and strategic analysis.
The museum has opened its doors for the kids from pre-primary section to allow them a holistic learning experience. “The unique feature of this museum is its outreach program through which they aim to revive the traditional games and activities associated with the many native festivals along with bring in the historical awareness through creative instincts,” says the museum’s Curator and Secretary Mrs. Manda Hingurao.
Ontario Museum Targets Accessibility for Visitors with Autism
By Erin Sobat email@example.com
More and more museums are exploring innovative avenues to engage with a wider diversity of visitors. In June, the Royal Ontario Museum announced the launch of a new mobile service designed specifically to facilitate access for people with autism—a spectrum of conditions usually characterized by difficulties with communication and social interaction.
The project provides free interactive guides through “MagnusCards,” a mobile app by MagnusMode that aims to develop life skills for people with cognitive special needs. The illustrated guides follow a recognizable avatar character, Magnus, who assists users with navigating new environments through step-by-step instructions and interactive game elements. Visitors can access two guides: one preparing them for their experience when entering the ROM, the other offering an educational scavenger hunt through the museum’s Dinosaur Gallery.
Launched during Canadian National Awareness Week, the ROM initiative adds to a suite of accessibility services at the museum seeking to reduce isolation for people with disabilities. Currently, blind and vision-impaired visitors can receive tactile tours and mobile-friendly audio descriptions, while deaf and hearing-impaired patrons can select from assisted listening devices, video podcasts, or American Sign Language tours. The museum also organizes tours for visitors with Alzheimer’s and offers a free admissions program for companions to those with accessibility needs.
While the ROM is the first institution to participate in the project, MagnusMode soon hopes to expand their model throughout Canada and beyond. Museums clearly have an opportunity to develop visitor engagement by enhancing services for people with disabilities.
RENEW YOUR CAM MEMBERSHIP OR JOIN NOW!
CAM’s 2017 Membership Campaign is on now! You should receive an invoice in the coming weeks. Please update your membership information on the form as required and renew as soon as possible. CAM needs your ongoing support. New members are welcome! Members receive the CAM Bulletin, may participate in the distance learning programme, host an intern at your museum, receive a discount and are eligible for travel bursaries for CAM events. As part of the international museum community CAM members have a voice – and votes – at ICOM and contribute to Commonwealth deliberations. Pay by PayPal, electronic bank transfer or bank draft. Please complete the membership form: http://www.maltwood.uvic.ca/cam/about/membership_info.html.
Welcome New Members
Winani Kgwatalala, Chief Curator/HOD Ethnology Division, National Museum & Monuments; National Museums Liverpool; Eusébio Augusto Sanjane, Technician, Bank of Mozambique.