Museums and Migration: A New Approach in Building Communities

Jasper Visser, an international change agent, published the transcript of his speech at the 2016 European Registrars Conference. During the event, he claimed that museums and heritage professionals can, in times of increasing migration, become a driving force for building a stronger society.

In his speech, Jasper Visser defined three types of interaction between museums and immigrants. The first one is a traditional approach when the theme of migration exists within objects and collections. The second generation of museums reflects on a process of migration as a subject. This type is often represented by Migration museums that share awareness about difficulties that migrants face and become the platform for exhibitions, discussions and festivals. The third generation is the model of participation by migrant communities in museum projects.

All these types of museum representations are useful for understanding the phenomena. But the third model is, in Jasper’s view, the one that contributes to social change and strengthens the relations between migrants and host communities. He believes that museums can become hubs for social innovation, and heritage workers have unique opportunities and responsibilities whilst working with real issues. Engaging migrants in producing content, workshops and social innovation events in museums is an act of peace-building and shows different perceptions of the problem through arts.

Look for examples of such projects in Jasper Visser’s inspiring speech




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