C o m m o n w e a l t h
A s s o c i a t i o n o f
M u s e u m s
CAM Bulletin Number 7 - Nov. 2001
The The President's Column
Welcome to the Presidents Column!
As we begin the Third Millennium, it becomes increasingly necessary for CAM to begin to re examine itself and its mandate with a view to refocusing and repositioning itself to enable it meet the challenges of a fast changing world as such changes affect museums very significantly. In the last five years, we have tried to move CAM forward by implementing programmes that cut across the Commonwealth. Among such programmes is the Distance Learning Program which currently has students in eight Commonwealth countries. Determined to improve on the content, quality and standard of the program, we are continuing with a comprehensive and far-reaching review of the entire course after in depth consultation with senior stakeholders. We are confident that at the end of the revision exercise, we will come out with a Distance Learning Program in museum studies that we can all be proud of and will serve our purposes even more effectively.
You will recall that in 1997, we held the first ever workshop on "Children in African Museums: The Undiscovered Audience," in Nairobi, Kenya. One of the key achievements of this workshop was the inauguration of the Group for Children in African Museums (GCAM) and the adoption of the CAM Nairobi Declaration on Children in African Museums. We are impressed with the results of the activities of GCAM in most museums in Africa. From the reports that we have received so far, we have circulated two full reports on GCAM activities.
To enable us evaluate and consolidate GCAM as a full fledged African initiative, we decided to hold the GCAM 2 workshop again in Nairobi, Kenya. The theme for GCAM 2 was: "The Friendly Museum: Managing Children's Programmes in African Museums" and it ran between September 2 9, 2001. It was an exciting workshop and a rewarding experience for giving children a voice of relevance in our museums. This workshop demonstrated the continuing enthusiasm and progress of participants who had attended the first one in 1997 and added the fresh ideas and voices of new participants as well as once again involving children, teachers and parents in the workshop program. We believe the workshop has application for the wider Commonwealth and we intend to produce a manual that can be used separately and with the Distance Learning Program.
We are also engaged in two special programmes which are fall outs from our conference on "Museums, Peace, Democracy and Governance" which we held in Barbados in 1999. Recent world events beginning on September 11 and continuing now have heightened our awareness of this critical topic to all of us. The programmes are:
- A Children for Peace exhibition on the theme: What Peace Means to Me
- A bigger Peace exhibition, 2002 2004 which will involve adults, children, communities and museums.
It is our plan to make these exhibitions available to travel the Commonwealth countries in the year 2002 and beyond. I hope that many of our museums will be able to host the exhibition.
Our internship program has continued to record encouraging success as our interns have proven to be great assets to museums where they have served. So far, interns have been sent to Kenya, Botswana, South Africa, Barbados, Mozambique and the Program for Museum Development in Mombasa, Kenya. During this year, we will send an intern to the Bahamas to work with Kim Outten Stubbs in the National Museum of the Bahamas, while a second intern will be sent again to PMDA in Mombasa. Museums have been requested to indicate their interest in having an intern posted to them. The offer is still open!
You would have observed that we have been very busy since our last Bulletin was published. As I have always requested, news reports from your museums will help in creating the desired information that will enhance and enrich our profession throughout the Commonwealth. So write us today and tell us what you are doing and what is happening in your museum. I wish you well.
Emmanuel Nnakenyi Arinze