CAM Bulletin No. 32 January/February 2016
FROM THE PRESIDENT
Rooksana Omar, CEO Iziko Museums of South Africa
Happy new year!
CAM is a valuable network of colleagues throughout the Commonwealth – indeed, friends in many cases. We wish you all the best in 2016; 2015 was a very busy year for CAM. Here are just a few of the highlights:
- Presentation on Participatory Governance and Museums at the Canadian Museums Association Conference in Banff, Alberta (April)
- Release of the CAM report on Participatory Governance and Museums (May)
- Participation in the ICOM General Assembly in Paris (June)
- Regional workshop on Museum Education in the Caribbean and AGM in Barbados (June)
- 17 graduates in the Distance Learning Programme from Namibia, South Africa, India, and Brazil
- Intern placed at the Maharaja Sawai Jal Singh II Museum, City Palace, Jaipur, India (Oct 2015-Mar 2016)
- Contributions to deliberations at the Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers in The Bahamas (June) and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Malta (November)
2016 promises to also be busy with the workshop on Access in Museums in South Asia in Jaipur in March, ICOM in Milan in July, and planning towards the next triennial symposium in 2017. Please advise the Secretariat if you plan to attend ICOM so we can decide whether or not to hold a meeting there.
CAM Membership Campaign – Now On!
It’s time for CAM members to renew your membership for 2016 – and for those of you who have not yet joined to consider becoming a part of CAM. As a member you will become a part of the international museum community; have a voice at ICOM and in Commonwealth deliberations; and benefit from CAM services such as: receive the CAM Bulletin six times a year and be eligible to participate in the distance learning programme apply to host a Canadian intern at your museum and participate in workshops and symposia. If you would like to become active within CAM contact the Secretariat.
CAM is no longer financially supported by the Commonwealth and needs your membership fees to survive. Payment is accepted by PayPal, electronic bank transfer or bank draft. For those of you for whom none of those options works, if you or a colleague plans to attend ICOM in July, you may make arrangements to pay in cash at that time but please let me know in advance and consider paying for three years to avoid having your membership lapse between meetings. If you require an invoice, rather than simply the membership form in order to make a payment, please let me know and I will issue one. Whether yours is a new membership or a renewal, to ensure our information is up to date, please complete the membership form at: maltwood.uvic.ca/cam/about/membership_info.html
Workshop: Access in Museums in South Asia
Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum
City Palace, Jaipur, India
March 25-28, 2016
The Commonwealth Association of Museums (CAM), the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum (MSMS II M), and ICOMOS India present Access in Museums in South Asia, a workshop on making buildings and collections physically and intellectually accessible with a special focus on historic properties and collections. The workshop will sensitise museum professionals to the needs of differently abled audiences, help them acquire the knowledge necessary to facilitate better access, and use activity-based workshops to develop a set of practical suggestions as a reference tool. It will include visits to sites in and around Jaipur, such as: Jaigarh Fort, Jal Mahal, Anokhi Museum, Government Central Museum (Albert Hall), and General Amar Singh Kanota Library & Museum. An optional post-workshop tour is being offered by historian Dr Giles Tillotson at an additional cost. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to register. Fees: INR 5,000/CDN$100 by January 15, 2016; or INR 7,000/ CDN$140 after January 16, 2016. Limited funding may be available for current ICOMOS India members. Supported by the International Institute for the Inclusive Museum and Eka Archiving Services.
CAM'S INTERNSHIP PROGRAMME
By Bess Forrestall
It’s hard to believe I’ve been at the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum in India for two months! I’ve focussed on developing educational content linked to the museum’s painting and photography gallery which opened in September 2015. The gallery surveys the royal family’s collection and explores how outside influences have impacted visual representation in Jaipur. Learn more from this NDTV segment: ndtv.com/video/player/news/exhibition-at-jaipur-court-reveals-first-pictures-of-royal-zenanna/391784. I’ve written and designed activity booklets for three age groups and two groups of students have tried them out. I’ve learned a lot from this process and am very happy with the results. I’ve gotten excellent feedback from students and am now working on implementing the students’ feedback and writing content for an adult guidebook. While working on these activities I have also been helping with CAM’s upcoming workshop, Access in Museums in South Asia, drafting the budget, meeting with facilitators, and helping write a call for proposals. It is the first time I’ve had people closely mentoring me, and this guidance is why I am so thankful to be working here. This is an amazing internship programme, and I hope it continues for many years to come.
2016-2017 Internship Positions
CAM will be submitting applications to the Canadian Museums Association (CMA) which administers the Internship Programme on behalf of the Canadian government. Applications for the international graduate internship component must be submitted to the CMA by February 16, 2016 so if you’re interested in hosting a CAM intern, please contact the Secretariat as soon as possible to discuss possible internship projects.
CAM DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAMME
We now have new four students in the programme from South Africa. We welcome new students on an ongoing basis. If you need training in basic museum studies, and would be interesting in participating in the distance learning programme, review the information on our website and contact the Secretariat.
Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Malta, November 27-29 As an accredited Commonwealth Organisation, CAM is invited to observe CHOGM and to participate in the various forums leading up to the meetings. These meetings provide an important opportunity to increase the awareness of our political leaders and our colleagues in other civil society organisations of the role museums can and do play in development. To see the final statement go to the Commonwealth Secretariat website thecommonwealth.org/chogm.
CAM Secretary-General attended the Stakeholders’ Forum and the Commonwealth Roundtable, and spoke about Museums and the Blue Economy at the Youth Forum, where she focused on how museums can use their resources to encourage debate about sustainable use of oceans.
Joseph Muscat, Prime Minister of Malta opening the People’s Forum at CHOGM
While in Malta she also visited exhibitions and met with museum colleagues at Fort St. Elmo and the National Gallery. Curator Alexander Debano and his colleagues provided a preview of an exhibition titled The Commonwealth and its People: Diasporas, Identities, Memories, at the House of Representatives, a timely reflection on Maltese emigration post-WWII.
CAM Secretary-General Catherine C. Cole with Martin Spitzeri, in an exhibition about Malta during WWII at Fort St. Elmo, Valletta
New Secretary-General of the Commonwealth
Baroness Scotland was selected as the Commonwealth Secretary-General at the Commonwealth summit in Malta. Born in Dominica in 1955, Baroness Patricia Scotland moved with her family to Britain where she obtained her LLB, was called to the Bar and appointed Queen’s Counsel. She will be the sixth Commonwealth Secretary-General and the first woman.
Civil Society and the Commonwealth
The report Civil Society and the Commonwealth: Reaching for Partnership that was launched by the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative at Canada House last month, is now available from their website here.
COMMONWEALTH DAY 2016
The theme for 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.
Commonwealth Disaster Management Agency: The Small States Insurance Programme
By Robert Lyle, Director
The Commonwealth Disaster Management Agency Limited (CDMA) was launched in 2000 as a direct response to the Commonwealth Secretariat/World Bank's joint taskforce entitled Small States: Meeting Challenges in the Global Economy (April 2000).
In the course of consultations for the preparation of the report, ministers, officials, and economists from the Small States repeatedly highlighted the risks their countries faced. In answer to their problems, CDMA created a Small States insurance programme with the help of the London and global insurance markets. Our mantra, Rescue, Recovery, and Rebuild, was born as a result. Our technology and intellectual property was akin to the policy wordings that the International insurance market created to protect overseas investments from both trade and political risk, including violence and acts of terrorism.
Robert Lyle, director of CDMA, was also a founding director of Berry Palmer and Lyle, an independent Lloyds broker that has helped determine the most relevant insurance policies for this market. It would appear that CDMA is already in possession of much of the insurance wording and private and public markets required to assist CAM’s members to achieve their aim of protecting historic sites in the future. CDMA is linked into an international panel of investors who are also prepared to consider current difficulties faced by those whose role it is to protect the cultural heritage of all nations. CDMA remains confident that it can help CAM, ICCROM, and all cultural agencies that represent the ideals of both the Commonwealth and the United Nations. We look forward to a dialogue to achieve this end in the very near future.
NEWS FROM COMMONWEALTH MUSEUMS
By Erin Sobat, McGill University email@example.com
Canadian Museums Partner on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Initiatives
Many Canadian museums continue to seek new ways to work with local and national indigenous communities on key issues. In October 2015 Montreal’s McCord Museum hosted a free event entitled, ‘Still Dancing: In Support of a National Inquiry Into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’ in collaboration with Concordia University. The evening included a screening of the film Highway of Tears accompanied by a panel discussion and audience conversation.
The film addresses the abduction and murder of indigenous women and girls along British Columbia’s infamous Highway 16, part of a systemic national disappearance of more than 1000 women over the past 30 years. Panellists included relatives of murdered women along with members of the Native Women’s Association of Canada and National Indigenous Young Women’s Council. Topics included the roots of inter-generational violence, the impact of media sensationalisation and prospects for political change.
Collaboration between heritage institutions and indigenous communities on this issue is not entirely new. The interactive Walking with Our Sisters exhibition, which incorporates unfinished moccasins representing the lost lives, has toured numerous galleries across Canada and the United States walkingwithoursisters.ca. The May 2015 CAM report on Museums and Participatory Governance likewise highlights some examples and approaches for successful partnerships.
In December 2015 the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada released its final report on the legacies of the Canadian residential schools for indigenous peoples. This assimilative system separated generations of children from their families and has been described as a ‘cultural genocide.’ The TRC ‘Calls to Action’ include a public inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women. However, they also recommend a national review of museum policies and practices to ensure compliance with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; national funding for commemorative reconciliation projects; accessible public records on residential schools; and increased educational programming on indigenous issues. Still Dancing and Walking with our Sisters suggest that Canadian museums can respond.
International Museum Day May 18, 2016
International Museum Day (IMD) is celebrated to improve public awareness of the role of museums in the development of society. Nearly 35,000 museums in 145 countries participated in the event in 2015. Next year’s theme Museums and Cultural Landscapes highlights the responsibility of museums not only to their collections, but also to their environment, including the cities, villages and communities to which they belong, and calls on them to promote and communicate about both their own collections and the cultural and natural heritage around them, to celebrate the complex link between people and their environment. Visit the IMD website at network.icom.museum/international-museum-day for more information.
ICOM Triennial General Assembly, Milan July 3-9, 2016
The theme of the upcoming conference is Museums and Cultural Landscapes Building up a Cultural Heritage. CAM does not normally organize a conference at ICOM as the International Committees do, so as not to conflict with participation in ICOM meetings. But please advise the Secretariat if you are planning to attend the conference; if there’s sufficient interest we will plan to meet and discuss CAM initiatives.
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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.