What is it about?
How are (im)migrants and receiving populations constantly making new forms of urbanism? The continued influx of migrants brings new challenges for cities. Migrants settle in an existing context, which can lead to polarisation and exclusion, or to enrichment and the creation of new cultural resources which can contribute to the vitality and diversity of today’s global cities.How are cities and citizens adjusting to this increasing diversity?
By reflecting this diversity, museums can engage with contemporary urban life, seeking direct contact with different communities in the city, and looking for ways of helping cities to work better and become more resilient. These urban dynamics require thoughtful engagement to allow museums to act as mediators of dialogues and places for a new kind of world citizenship.
The International Committee for the Collections and Activities of Museums of Cities (CAMOC) in partnership with the Commonwealth Association of Museums (CAM) and the International Committee for Regional Museums (ICR) and with support from the International Council of Museums (ICOM) set out to explore the roles museums can have in collecting, presenting and collaborating in these processes through their joint project Migration:Cities | (im)migration and arrival cities.
The overall aim of the project is to:
- Create a web platform for city museums (and migration museums as well as other museums dealing with this issue) and museum professionals to find relevant experiences, share knowledge and discuss ethical and meaningful ways to engage with new urban dynamics and the diverse realities of ‘Arrival Cities’. The platform will:
- Become a resource for museum professionals and a hub to discuss the preservation and representation of contemporary urban life in museums, offer different insights from various types of research practical tools and museums’ and migrants’ own experiences.
- It will also facilitate exchange and mentoring opportunities between professionals, act as a think-tank and contact zone between professionals and institutions alike.
- Organise annual workshops about museums and migration that will bring colleagues together to discuss these issues and share best practices
Today more than 50% of the world’s population lives in urban environments, and the number is expected to increase to 65% by 2050. The continued influx of migrants brings new challenges for contemporary cities. Migrants settle in an existing context, which can lead to polarisation, exclusion, enrichment and creation of new cultural resources. Migrants contribute to the vitality and diversity of today’s global cities.
How are cities and citizens adjusting to this increasing diversity? What cultural, political and economic processes and transformations arise from these dynamics and what is their impact on the identities of the different groups affected? By representing these processes and transformations through their activities and functions, museums are engaging with contemporary urban life, seeking direct contact with different communities in the city, looking for everyday ways of adapting, transforming and making cities work better and become more resilient.
These urban dynamics require thoughtful engagement to allow museums to act as mediators of dialogues and places for a renewed kind of world citizenship.
Geographical Impact: Global – for museums in arrival cities around the globe
To help museums:
- Ethically and courageously engage the theme of migration in museum-making, play a socially meaningful role through participation and inclusion of migrant populations in the construction of ‘Arrival City’ narratives
- Connect people and foster dialogue between diverse peoples within ever transforming urban environments
Short and medium-term objectives
- Share experiences, ethical approaches, best practices, and discussions in order to support the work of professionals engaging with the nuanced theme of migration in museums.
- Support museums and professionals in creating participatory projects aimed at representing migrant populations and new urban dynamics.
- Help museums interpret new urban narratives and propose themes for social debate based on their knowledge of historic urban processes, stories of diverse urban groups and their various themes of interest.
- Help museums play an important role in the dynamic processes of city-making, acting as moderators and connectors.
- Help museums acknowledge that migration touches humanity as a whole, and that unpacking this rich process, past and especially present, is essential to rebalance diverse voices in our societies as we move forward.
- Strengthen relationships with UNESCO.
- Arrival cities of any size
- Different types of migration with emphasis on present/current migrant and refugee experiences.
- Museums/Newcomers/Refugees/Local people/Authorities
a. Main: museum professionals linked to (im)migration museums, city museums, immigrant/settlement services organizations and institutions dealing with (im)migration contexts.
b. Secondary: (im)migrants, concerned citizens, artists, activists and students
Initial Website structure – areas of content
Migrant Experiences: voices from migrant groups represented in different projects will be accessible online through videos and interviews.
Practical Ideas: tool-kits and frameworks drawing from our museums and professionals experiences offering practical guidelines on how to create and conduct effective participatory projects for migration in museums.
Web-shops: workshops to be organised online around relevant themes.
Contact Zone: a list of professionals available to offer mentoring on an availability basis, and their contacts.
Library Resources: a library of relevant papers, scientific and academic materials on various aspects related to migration and migration in museums. This may be based on sociology, history, ethics policy and a range of other themes.