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  • Writer's pictureTomislav S. Šola

Public Memory in a Deluded Society – notes of a lecturer

After fifteen years spent in the museum sector (curator, director, PhD in Museology), I have accepted the offer to continue my career as a university lecturer. I remember that my ideals were so vivid that I consciously opted for the opportunity to change museums, as I thought at the time, - "from within", - by creating new curators. As decades later would demonstrate, it was a youthful dream. As the Chair founded by Prof. Maroević at Zagreb University was getting better it was also being perceived as being too progressive for the slow, conservative sector, - itself too small and too local to take the chance.

Founding The Best in Heritage conference was a sort of compensation and personal fulfilment. From the beginning (2002), it was conceived as a global, annual survey of the best, awarded practices, - a sort of demonstration that theory can conceive practice-oriented event and derive further arguments from it. Luckily, ICOM joined the initiative as a patron, becoming finally the main partner.

As with the conference I claim also in my lecturing and writings that the museums should lead the united potential of memory institutions being the most communicative and attractive among them. All my activities were part of the same vision of creating eventually an autonomous and morally responsible profession around the powerful concept of heritage as a transfer of collective experience. So, again, in my new book Public Memory in a Deluded Society, bearing the subtitle “notes of the lecturer", the central ambition of advancing, or, rather, finally making the profession, stays the same. The public memory created in that complex, certainly creative and often poetical transfer, - should become a decisive contributor to the development and improved human condition in the tottering world. I am grateful that ICOFOM/ICOM joined my ideas by publishing this rather unconventional book that reads easily.

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