Currently, museums are part of an ambiguous and conflicting framework that extends between a desire to embrace emancipatory and solidarity processes, and to consolidate their civilizational and disciplinary legacy. At the international level, academic research explores the educational processes in cultural institutions, in their collaborative relationships with artistic and curatorial practices, and, in the extended field, their relationships and engagement with their contexts, local communities and social justice movements. Emergent practical processes of collective agency with external museum contexts, expressed as potentially horizontal strategies, are commonly seen as a sign of institutional ‘openness’. However, it is important to question those processes that simply convey the museum as an open and accessible space whilst perpetuating unilateral power mechanisms; to explore possibilities that allow us to break institutional hierarchical and elitist barriers by incorporating analyses of emerging alternative relational and collaborative processes within an emancipatory, deconstructive and transformative vision. It is therefore necessary to reflect on and explore the conflicting points in the current institutional educational narratives and to understand how arts education within a critical and collaborative reflexive approach can challenge the still dominant hegemonic and colonialist narratives, building from there ramifications of possible transformative continuities and new institutional realities.
In this first edition of the meeting, the aim is to rethink museums by questioning educational and research practices, seeking to address the relational processes and real audience involvement, as well as to explore dissident and transformative pedagogical possibilities in tune with more democratic and socially engaged values.
i2ADS - Research Institute in Art, Design and Society / Faculdade de Belas Artes, Universidade do Porto (FBAUP)
Fundação Museu do Douro
Catarina Martins (i2ADS/FBAUP)
Marta Coelho Valente (i2ADS/FBAUP)