• Tomislav Šola

Whose Side Do We Take?

In the accessible professional education, future curators are rarely posed the simplest and human questions. It will always be crucial to build the sound mind-set as the usable departure point in their career: Whose side do we take? It sounds rude and so terribly unscientific but life is not science and, alas, science is more often than not far from life. This photo was taken from the local newspaper in Zagreb and it shows people in the local tramway on the way to their jobs. It is five o’clock in the morning and that makes the question more justified. Indeed, what book on „museology” (whatever that may mean, anyhow) or institutional practice is telling anything usable or inspirational on servicing these potential users. It is unlikely that many of these think of visiting museums. They KNOW museums are not meant for them. They are not a minority group or disadvantaged community but just the citizens with less chances and little care. Indeed, how can we get them to museums? With difficulty if at all. But, if we would try to derive the themes from their scope of worries and projections, maybe they would: The Faces of Exploitation, or Debt – Modern Slavery, Poverty and Profligacy Today, Myths and Realities…… Expect that many of them would turn against you: the citizens have been already lobotomized by the media and politicians, but majority that retains inclination to common sense will recognize whose side you take. Well, I am not advising you to do that. You may lose your job and put your family in jeopardy. The Machine (Mumford) will react like a fierce snake. Doors will close in front of you, invitations will become rare and you will be disregarded by all that may help your career. But, on the other hand, maintaining the knowledge and wisdom may become usable one day.

#users #socialsensitivity #museology #engagedmuseums