Categorias
Billets

XXVI – Question museums or story museums?


Ondem, May 18th, was the International Museum Day, in Portugal coinciding with its reopening to the public. In itself, it is good to reopen this type of equipment, which are places of culture. Culture is a relevant nutrient for human beings. As relevant as the food you eat, which are also elements of culture, such as forms of leisure and forms of sociability and relationship. This is a relevant recognition of your need.

As we have been emphasizing, in these international days there is a set of proclamations that seek to align principles. I may be mistaken more often than not, it is clear that there is a disagreement between the proclamations these days and the practices of museums.

In basic terms, the issues raised, proclamations correspond to issue issues, launched at museums. They must be approached critically. We rarely see museums problematizing these issues. Few museums that pose questions pose challenges, and many museums tell stories. As a rule, the story is already consolidated and corresponds to visions of the world and to the convictions of the aristocracies and elites of each territory.

But if this is an inherited reality with which the different institutions have been consolidated over the different times of these museums, it will be important to think about how their professionals can start thinking about a museology of questions. In short, a critical and autonomous museology!

Categorias
Museus e Cidade

Museums and Reality


Museums will be reading the reality of the world. This is about the societies in which they operate, the territories where they are located, the communities of which they are part. Looking over the various initiatives produced for this day, in the case of Portuguese museums, we find a little bit of everything.

In the catalog of Pporto de Museums (Portugal DIM 2020= we can have an overview of the different proposals, in this YEAR MARKED FOR THE “REOPENING” OF DOORS, after the forced confinement caused by COVID19.

Among the cases of museums that take advantage of the theme to publicize their collections, even those who sought to approach the theme by developing the “spoils” of their collections, or looking for new readings and narratives according to this theme, we find a portrait of this reality that it consists of Portuguese museums. This is a reality.
An issue that has been debated, under the great thematic hat, is the role that museums can play in reducing social inequalities. For example, in this two months of confinement, museums have strongly developed digital and virtual access proposals. One of the results that is already known of this “new reality” as a response to the pandemic, is that the availability of collections online is far from being used extensively by society.

From what we are getting to know, from the data of the “forced” to the digital transition, it is that this process accentuated the inequalities and reinforced the predominantly elitist access of the cultural. Museum professionals used a narrative and processes that were aimed primarily at themselves. This mirror effect of the digitization processes of museums is a result of their practices. Are the Portuguese museums, in this DIM2020, contributing to the promotion of equity in inclusion and diversity in all its dimensions?

Categorias
economia solidaria

Poetics of autonomy XVI – A Chinese world

There is no doubt that this 21st century is being a Chinese world. I remember with nostalgia a volume from the collection “Rumos do Mundo, edited by Cosmos, under the direction of Vitorino Magalhães Godinho, which made available in Portuguese the French homonymous collection, with the title The Chinese World. Published in 2 volumes, the first even before 1974. Mi father was a “subscriber” to the work, and as such he received the different volumes at home, in exchange for a monthly payment. The work was thus more important. I remember that at that time I leafed through the first volume with astonishment (the second vol., published in 1975, gave little attention to it), where it spoke of the rise of the formation of the Middle Empire, as China later became known.

I’ve never been an enthusiast for Asian issues. I did not sympathize, neither near nor far with the Maoist drifts. Still young, through reading Marco Polo, I followed the adventures of the great silk route, which then connected the east to the west. Then I followed the Chinese cultural revolution from afar, the death of the great helmsman, the rise and fall of the “gang of four”, the consolidation of politics a two-system regime, with which Deng Chiaoping deftly hits the “paths of Chinese time”. But I remember that on these pages I was dazzled by the porcelain and the history of this china, which is largely exotic.
Later, in adolescence, the Chinese restaurants in Lisbon were cheap and exotic, suitable for friends’ gatherings, which allowed, with their small dishes, the inevitable sharing, which allowed them to enjoy flavors, which at the time we thought exotic. I also ventured into adventuring with xau-xau and shop-suei rice dishes in the maternal kitchen, without much success.

Even then, the Orient was seducing a generation, either because of its Taoist philosophy (the meeting of the forces of Yng and Yang), or because of its openness to business, with which part of the new entrepreneurs tried to invest the meager capital accumulated in the then joining the EEC.

In the mid-neinteens, the Middle Kingdom renews its lost splendor and imposes itself in international relations with a way of doing politics that is very unique. Thus the predictions that this century would be a Chinese century were fulfilled. It already is, and we are still going through the 1920s. Chinese influence extends to the whole world. We know the Chinese intentions to make the “new silk route”. The famous Chinese surplus buys debt and companies (tying states and positioning itself in business).

Some writings on the threats of China, of its pretensions to an influential role in the current world, are piling up. We know, for example, that in this pandemic, China has insinuated itself, whether in an insidious way or not, in the various European governments, offering help here, over there. An agile diplomacy, in the face of the faltering steps of Europe that failed the first collective response. And the signs of danger of dissolution, the warnings do not stop.

If we need to reinvent humanity, we have to reinvent the place of Europe and the place of culture.

Categorias
educação patrimonial

Poetics of autonomy XII –Lusophone Day

Poetics of autonomy XII –Dia da Lusofonia
With the relief of the co-ordination measures, greater mobility is possible in Portuguese territory. The State that grants itself the right to limit the freedom of movement of its citizens, in the name of an alleged public health benefit, now recognizes that the risk of spreading contagious disease is under control. That is, if preventive measures were taken, instead of being at home, in social isolation, it becomes possible to move more freely, even though these movements are supposedly justified by work actions or family visits.
The well-being necessary for physical and psychological balance, which implied, for example, a walk in a garden near the residence, was not under coercion or restriction measures. But these tours were not supposed to translate into long walks on the beaches or in natural parks, closed or limited in their use.
Therefore, in addition to working on access to the natural space, it was less protected by the hand of the State. In itself, it is good news, even if cultural spaces are found, with the exception of libraries and bookstores, they remain closed, with opening scheduled for the second fortnight.
Access to reading was therefore not conditioned, although I could not walk in a physical bookstore, we had access to virtual bookstores and newspapers throughout the emergency period.
Access to culture was thus divided between readings and tours. Both limited. Now that the limits are widening, we can, in theory, do whatever we want.
One of these things is to celebrate the day of Lusophony, which celebrates the 5th of May. In previous years it was just a given. Now, in the absence of a topic, he has gained more followers on social networks, who everywhere write poems and exalt the virtues of the language immortalized by Camões.
Among the poems is the number of speakers. Proud tugas claim to be the 6th most spoken language in the world. 240,000,000! Two hundred and forty million say proud.
In fact, of those, if we remove the 200 million that are in Brazil, 40 million remain, of which 10 are in Portuguese territory. Of the remaining thirty, among emigrants and inhabitants of African countries, their number is unknown.
For example, in Guinea-Bisau, of its half million inhabitants, 10% less will be Portuguese speakers. There the Portuguese is in clear retrogression, compared to the Creole and the French. In Mozambique, there is controversy over the choice of Portuguese, after independence, as a national language, with those who defend another national language. In Angola, between Quioco and Quinbundo, Cabinda etc.
We then ask what are the results of the strategies for the language, who does it and how it is done, and what results are being obtained. I do not dare to give an opinion but I fear that it may not be encouraging. We therefore have no choice but to continue to live in this illusion of the imperial language and perhaps it would be good for us to celebrate the dialogue of our language with the other languages ​​that make this language grow.

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