Opening of "Pasifika: Island Journeys." Museum of Anthropology, June 2003 Children in African Museums, First GCAM workshop, Nairobi, 1997 (NMK) GCAM delegates at Olorgesaillie Archaeological Site, Rift Valley, Kenya, 1997 Dance Troupe entertaining delegates, GCAM workshop, Nairobi, 1997 Education Officer, Peggy McGeary and CAM intern, Caroline Lanthier. Presentation on Holetown Museum, Barbados, 1999 Delegates in discussion, Liverpool, 2003 Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, 2000 Northwest Coast Totem Pole, Museum of Anthropology
 
Conferences, Workshops, and Other Initiatives
Upcoming
Past

Past Conferences, Workshops, and Other Initiatives

ACCESS IN MUSEUMS IN SOUTH ASIA
Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum, City Palace, Jaipur, India
25-28th March, 2016

The Commonwealth Association of Museums (CAM) and the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum (MSMS II M) present Access in Museums in South Asia, in partnership with ICOMOS India and supported by ICOM Canada, ICTOP, the International Institute for the Inclusive Museum and Eka Archiving Services, a workshop on the challenges of 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, provide the working knowledge necessary to facilitate better access, and develop practical suggestions as a reference tool for further reflection and application. It will draw from a wide range of expertise and a variety of museum roles and present case studies. Facilitators will lead practical sessions to help participants think through real problems and develop solutions, experience that can then be used in their own work. The workshop will be led by experts in the field including:

• Accessibility consultant Shivani Gupta will draw on her personal and professional experience of disability to reflect on why universal access should concern the cultural heritage sector
• Deepak Kalra, Head of UMANG School for the Disabled, Jaipur will begin the workshop by sensitizing participants to the needs of physically disabled visitors
• Partho Bhowmick, Founder of Blind With Camera, Mumbai will conduct a blindfolded photography workshop
• Dr Asma Ibrahim, Director, State Bank Museum & Art Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan will present a regional case study on an accessible museum
• Charlotte Spink, Access and Community Engagement Officer, Oriental Museum, Durham University, UK will facilitate facilitate planning access statements and action plans
• Rachna Khare, Head of the Architecture Department at School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal, will present as case study for an accessible heritage museum in Udaipur
• Siddhant Shah, Heritage Architect, Jaipur, and Meenakshi Srivastava, Inclusive Education Specialist, Jaipur will teach participants how to perform an access audit
• Siddhartha Chatterjee, Exhibition Designer, New Delhi, will use universal design principals to bring attention the museum environment, and how design can facilitate wider access

The workshop will use the historic museum complex, its collections as resources and include visits to museums and heritage sites in and around Jaipur, including: Jaigarh Fort, Jal Mahal, Anokhi Museum, Government Central Museum (Albert Hall), and General Amar Singh Kanota Library & Museum. An optional post-workshop, offered by historian Dr Giles Tillotson will go to Nagaur and Jodhpur with mini-workshops at each location March 29-31. Details and additional costs to be confirmed.

Student rates available. Deadline for early registration 20th February. For more information contact camworkshop2016@gmail.com. To register, click here. To find out more about CAM, click here.

Taking it to the Streets
May 14-16, 2014
Commonwealth Association of Museums (CAM) and Glasgow Museums
Scotland Street School Museum, Glasgow

Post-symposium workshop (May 17, 2014, invitational)
Post-Symposium Tour (May 18-20): Taking Heritage Practice into Contested Places, Northern Ireland (optional)

May 14 & 15: Keynotes and Plenary Sessions
- Keynote: Mel Young, Executive Director, Homeless World Cup
- Reengaging with Zimbabwe through Arts and Culture
- Engaging Communities in Difficult Subjects
- The Community Development Role of Museums
- Engaging Communities in the Development of Exhibitions and Programs
- Taking the Museum to the Community
- The Our Museum Program in the United Kingdom

CAM Triennial General Assembly
- Highlights included: CAM's Strategic Plan; Bylaw Revisions; and Elections for CAM Executive Council

May 16: Site Visits
- Hosted by Glasgow Museums Open Museum, delegates spent half the day visiting community sites around the city to learn more about the Open Museum's diverse outreach programme. The rest of the day was spent visiting Glasgow Museums.
- Transport and site visits were organized by the Open Museum, and delegates were able to sign up for the site visit of their choice on the first day of the conference. Lunch was available for purchase at one of Glasgow Museums' cafes.

May 17: Participatory Governance Workshop
- Explored how museums can use their collections, exhibitions and programmes to provoke citizens to become more involved in creating their own future
- Participatory governance is proactive and inclusive with museums encouraging citizen participation in civic debate, policy making and community development. It has affinities with community engagement but is more committed to sustained civic involvement.
- The workshop featured examples of participatory governance initiatives by museums; participants contributed to the planning of regional workshops on issues including climate change and sustainability, museum education, cultural heritage planning, and urbanization, migration and diaspora in the post-2015 development context and a travelling exhibition demonstration project on fish and fishing in fishing dependent communities

Receptions
- May 14: Glasgow City Chambers, hosted by the Lord Provost
- May 15: Hunterian Museum, hosted by the University of Glasgow
- May 16: CAM's 40th anniversary Commonwealth Ceilidh: Celebrated with an evening of Scottish and Commonwealth cultures; appetizers, cash bar, and entertainment.

May 18-20: Post-Symposium Tour: Taking Heritage Practice into Contested Places
This participatory event explored transferable best practice in addressing both overt conflict and implicit societal tensions, including place, gender and belief to name but a few. Hosted by the Causeway Museum Service(1), the University of Ulster and MINOM(2). Activity ranged across a beautiful landscape running from mountains to sea. Whilst specifically offered to CAM members, engagement included a range of people.

The event drew from innovative exemplars developed by museums and universities in Northern Ireland, where the conflict often centres on interpretations of heritage and ownership of place as well as the better known sectarian elements. While not usually named as such, a lot of these issues can be seen in colonial, post-colonial and conflict and post-conflict contexts. A focus on creative, hands-on methodologies brought opportunities to engage in reflective practice and capture learning for individuals, organisations and funders. Working with communities which are increasingly in numerical and status balance, but which self-describe in oppositional ways, poses particular problems which test practice and professional roles.

Participants explored innovative methodologies for using landscapes to challenge narratives of place and belonging, among which archaeology has proved particularly useful. A creative mapping session demonstrated one mechanism by which to engage in constructive dialogue about contested places. Another case study was the use of the South American arpilleras tradition within local peace-building initiatives.

Throughout all of these activities, participants were encouraged to critically reflect on the following principles.
1. How do we embody and demonstrate respect to everyone involved with what we do?
2. How can we make the engagement of participants in transformative experience central to our philosophy and practice?
3. How do we use, recognise and name all the expertise in the room, in equitable partnership that includes all participants?
4. Above all the other questions, how do we make sure that the motivation and outcome of our work is to do good with the widest section of society?

(1) The Causeway Museum Service is an innovative collaboration between local authorities to deliver professional museum services across a large area of Northern Ireland. Much of its work is outside conventional museum infrastructure and has an exceptionally strong focus on community. www.colerainebc.gov.uk/show.php?id=253
(2) MINOM is an ICOM affiliate specialising in socio-museology. It has strong representation in the Portuguese-speaking world, in Europe, South America and Africa. http://www.minom-icom.net

Commonwealth Association of Museums
Commonwealth Association of Museums (CAM) was established in 1974 as a Commonwealth professional association and an international non-governmental organization (NGO) working towards the betterment of museums and their societies in the Commonwealth family of nations and globally. For 40 years CAM has worked with museums and museum workers throughout the Commonwealth who share a common history and perspective on the role of museums as places for civic engagement and participatory governance rather than simply places of passive learning. CAM members create dialogue and action on a variety of contemporary issues including human rights, peace, the environment, issues affecting women, education, literacy and poverty. With more than 300 members in 40 countries, CAM creates thematic and regional networks to support innovative projects encouraging action and increasing the impact of museums throughout the Commonwealth.

Glasgow Museums
Glasgow Museums is charged with the interpretation and care of the City of Glasgow's extensive museum collection, considered to be among the largest civic collections in Europe and recognized by the Scottish Government as 'nationally significant.' Glasgow is known internationally for its outreach service, the Open Museum, based at Glasgow Museums Resource Centre, which for more than 20 years has taken Glasgow's museum collections beyond the museum walls and out into the community. The Open Museum program includes reminiscence and handling kits containing artifacts, photographs and interpretive materials, and displays and exhibitions available for loan to community groups. There are more than 40 reminiscence kits that may be used to trigger memories for educational, recreational, or therapeutic purposes. The more than 30 handling kits are geared toward different age groups and interests. The program offers both free-standing displays and table top exhibits. Many of these projects have been developed in partnership with community groups. In 2014 Glasgow is hosting the Commonwealth Games, providing a unique focus on the Commonwealth.

Disaster Risk Management for Caribbean Museums, Bahamas, September 24-27, 2013

CAM is partnering with the National Museum of the Bahamas to organize a disaster risk management workshop for Caribbean museums. The program will include: identifying and mitigating risks; first aid for heritage buildings and artifacts; visits to local heritage sites, museums, and the national gallery to assess risks; role-playing solutions; and discussion of whether there is a need for a regional response network. CAM has secured funding to support the travel costs of a number of participants from Caribbean Commonwealth nations. Delegates from other Caribbean nations are welcome at your own expense. If you are interested in participating, or for further information contact the Secretary-General CatherineC.Cole@telus.net or Kim Outten-Stubbs CAM Board Member and Curator, National Museum of the Bahamas kouttenstubbs@ammcbahamas.com

 

Zimbabwe Project

Timothy Mason represents CAM on the Commonwealth Organizations Committee (COCZ) on Zimbabwe, which was established some four years ago to examine ways of engaging with this country in areas such as health, education and local government (and more recently culture) and to identify needs which may be met with the aid of organisations in mmonwealth countries.

Together with Geoffrey Davis of the Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies (ACLALS) and the Zimbabwean actor Chipo Chung (Britain Zimbabwe Society), Tim visited Zimbabwe in May 2012. The trip, which was made possible by a special grant from the Commonwealth Foundation, was hectic, exhilarating and exhausting, but very well worthwhile.

During their visit they held some thirty meetings with about 100 people, attended numerous theatre and music performances and visited cultural institutions such as the National Museum Service, the National Gallery and the Harare City Library as well as the University of Zimbabwe Theatre Department and a youth project in the high-density area of Chitungwiza.

The team found a great many people working in extraordinary and often difficult circumstances and managing to produce good work especially in literature, the visual arts and music. They greatly admired the activities of those institutions which have survived through economic downturn and political repression such as the Book Cafˇ, Gallery Delta, the Dance Trust of Zimbabwe and Weaver Press.

In spite of many difficulties Zimbabwe continues to have a very lively cultural scene. Cultural practitioners are nevertheless in desperate need of help of all kinds. After years of international isolation there is a general absence of training in arts management and administration, a lack of contact with comparable institutions in other parts of the world, and widespread ignorance of contemporary developments in the arts elsewhere. Cultural Infrastructure is in a poor state. With eleven different government ministries are involved to some extent in culture, it is not surprising that Zimbabwe suffers from a lack of a cohesive cultural policyÕ.

A report has been submitted to the Commonwealth Foundation and to COCZ, which contains numerous recommendations on ways of re-engaging with the cultural sector in Zimbabwe and of helping to meet its needs.

 

CAM-GCAM WORKSHOP — WEST AFRICA

Making a Difference Together: Workshop on Collaborative Program Planning

May 6–9, 2012
Hosted by the National Museum
Calabar, Nigeria

 

RETHINKING MUSEUMS: Mumbai Regional Conference and Workshops.

June 1–5, 2010

June 1–5, 2010 The five-day conference is intended to foster dialogue and offer practical sessions on ideas that address new thinking on the relevance of museums to communities and their role in today’s world. Museums in India and throughout the Commonwealth represent rich and diverse cultures but struggle to remain pertinent and to engage audiences in the contemporary world. Faced with this dilemma, there is a desire within museums to explore new theory and practices to fulfill their mandate for social service as cultural mediators. Topics to be covered will include audience development and methods of collaboration with diverse communities to create engaging exhibits and innovative educational programmes, in both in-house and outreach format, which tackle important social issues. For more details click here.

 

GCAM 4: The Creative Museum: African Museums Using Culture for the Development of Children and
Youth.

Location: Chief Albert Luthuli Museum, Stanger, South Africa
Dates: October 24-29
For papers please visit the CAM On-Line International Journal here

Commonwealth Museums Association Session at the CANADIAN MUSEUMS ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE

Location: Toronto,CANADA
Dates: March 6,2009
For all the papers and Proceedings please click here.

Museums & Diversity: Museums in Pluralistic Societies

Part 1: Museums in Pluralistic Societies.
Part 2: Museums, Bio-diversity & Conservation (First in a series of one day sessions dealing with World Watch issues and museums)
Location: Georgetown, Guyana and Iwokrama ( www.iwokrama.org ) in the interior.
Dates: April18 to 22, 2008
5 day Seminar plus excursion to IWOKRAMA to follow for limited number of participants, April 23-26.For all the papers and Proceedings please click here.

Slavery, Abolition and Emancipation 1807 - 2007
Resources, Research and Education in Caribbean Museums

Sunday, September 9th – Saturday, September 15th 2007

Organized throught the National Museum of the Bahamas, the Commonwealth Association of Museums, and UNESCO

Museums Matter: A Tribute to Stephen Weil - Canada, 2006

Organized through the Cultural Resource Management Program at the University of Victoria in collaboration with the Getty Leadership Institute. To honour and continue Stephen Weil's important thinking about museums and their roles, the Cultural Resource Management Program at the University of Victoria (where Steve taught on four occasions), in cooperation with the Getty Leadership Institute and a small planning group, convened a tribute to Steve involving approximately 50 participants in September 2006, that focused on the ways that museums and other cultural heritage organizations play meaningful roles in contemporary society. This gathering generated new perspectives on the changing role of museums, provided both senior and emerging professionals with opportunities to reflect on current and future practice, and strengthened international relationships among leaders in the sector.

Pacific Museums & Sustainable Heritage Development - Canberra, 2006

The Australian National University, Research School of Asia Pacific Studies. The workshop brought together representatives from museums in the South Pacific to discuss and learn from each other and experts about the circumstances of South Pacific museums, preserving heritage through digitization, protecting heritage through international legal instruments and ethical practice and reinforcing the Pacific network to nurture the culture and the communities of the Islands. - To be continued

Children in Caribbean Museums - Barbados, 2005

Workshop to review the results of a survey on children and museums in the Caribbean and plan for a larger workshop involving Caribbean museums. The second phase will create a broad strategy and network and provide training in working with and involving children in museums with emphasis on planning and development involving communities. - To be continued

Global Vision, Local Mission: Museums in the Commonwealth - Liverpool, 2003

Program to explore how issues and priorities in the contemporary world are translated into local programs and projects and what museums can do about them - To be continued

Museums, Peace, Democracy and Governance in the 21st Century - Barbados, 1999

A planning seminar to examine the role of museums in the promotion of peace, democracy and good governance and develop a statement and action plan - Has been continued with Children's Art Contest and Exhibit "What Peace Means to Me" . Exhibit will be circulating by early 2007. A list of papers in pdf format presented in the conference are available here.

Children in African Museums

Program to be continued in 2009 in the Seychelles

Realizing the Dream: Reaching Children in African Museums - Blantyre, Malawi, 2005

The Friendly Museum - Nairobi, 2001

The Undiscovered Audience - Nairobi, 1997

three workshops to study the development of programs for children and how to make museums "children-friendly" with emphasis on the full involvement of children and the community. The first one resulted in the development of the African network called Group for Children in African Museums (GCAM) and some of the participants have participated in all three workshops as well as drawing in new members. The 2005 workshop conceptualized and developed plans for an exhibit on poverty and the Malawian child. - Exhibit under development.

Museums and the National Identity - Botswana and South Africa, 1995

A seminar and outreach program on the role of museums in national identity and their ability to influence it through collections, programs and exhibits. A study tour of museums in the Pretoria-Johannesburg area and a seminar and study tour in Gaborone, Botswana drew 36 participants, 24 from Africa & 11 from other parts of the Commonwealth.

Curatorship: Indigenous Perspectives in Post-Colonial Societies - Canada, 1994

Co-sponsored with the University of Victoira, Cultural Resource Management Program, this symposium bringing together indigenous people and other museum professionals from around the Commonwealth to examine the ways in which museums traditionally do or do not represent cultural autonomy and the cultural rights of indigenous peoples and how they can support new methods. Proceedings have been published and are available.

Museums, Ethics and Indigenous Peoples: Taking the Initiative - Belize, 1993

A regional workshop held in conjunction with the Museums Association of the Caribbean meeting to examine how museums should relate to indigenous peoples and resulting in the adoption of 23 points of action.