SoMus is my most recent project in the area of Social Museology.
I´m developing it with the support of several academic and museological partners located in different European countries, but also with the cooperation of local societies connected to the SoMus museums.
Therefore, the main SoMus team is composed by:
1 Researcher in Social Museology
2 Universities representing both southern and northern academic perspectives on the social role of museums: Coimbra and Jyväskylä
4 Local museums based in Spain, Portugal, Finland and Sweden, together with their teams, users and audiences
Different collectives, inhabitants and researchers related to each museum's daily life
A group of Critical Friends, volunteering to the broadening of the reflection through their experiences and inspiring ideas
A group of Specialised Volunteers, helping SoMus build its diverse working tools
An emerging group of PhD Students wanting to search other dimensions of Participatory Museology at SoMus Museums
The principle of participative work methodology derives from some fundamental premises based on the respect for the local cultural precepts, particularly aspirations regarding quality of life, according to the understanding of its inhabitants with a view to reinforcing their identity. The dialogic relation and the promotion of autonomy are also among the precepts of participative methodology, since work is not carried out by groups that are foreign to their conception, but rather by individuals privy to the foundational concepts of the project, which is methodologically inspired in critical pedagogy, with a view to social transformation
(Brasil, MÃ¡rio Chagas, Eneida B. Rocha, Marcelle Pereira, ClÃ¡udia Rose, InÃªs Gouveia & WÃ©lcio de Toledo, 2010. Inspired in Juan Bordenave work, Paraguay 1983)
The community museum is a process, rather than a product. It integrates complex processes of constitution of the collective community subject through reflection, self-knowledge and creativity; processes that consolidate community identity by legitimizing its own histories and values; processes that improve the quality of community life, through multiple projects for the future; and processes that strengthen the communityâs capacity for action through the creation of networks with similar communities
(MÃ©xico, Teresa Morales, 2010)
Museums need to find answers to what it means to be part of a participative culture, a culture in which members believe that their contributions matter and feel some degree of social connection with one another. In documenting contemporary culture, participative projects add new perspectives to collections. At the same time they provide participants with a better understanding of the specificity of museum work. This better understanding fosters peopleÂ´s sense of ownership in a museumâ¦
(The Netherlands, Meijer-van Mensch & Tietmeyer, 2013)
As an ecology of knowledges, post-abyssal thinking is premised upon the idea of the epistemological diversity of the world, the recognition of the existence of a plurality of knowledges beyond scientific knowledge. This implies renouncing any general epistemology. Throughout the world, not only are there very diverse forms of knowledge of matter, society, life and spirit, but also many and very diverse concepts of what counts as knowledge and the criteria that may be used to validate it.
(Portugal, Boaventura de Sousa Santos, 2007)
I define a community museum as one which grows from below, rather than being imposed from above. It arises in response to the needs and wishes of people living and working in the area and it actively involves them at every stage while it is being planned and created and afterwards when it is open and functioning. It makes use of experts, but it is essentially a co-operative venture, in which professionals are no more than partners in a total community effort
(France, Hugues de Varine, 1993)
NÃ£o existem patrimÃ³nios inÃ³cuos nem âestÃ³riasâ de um sÃ³ sentido, todo este campo da memÃ³ria social e do PatrimÃ³nio Imaterial Ã© fluÃdo e assumidamente polissÃ©mico, na maior parte das vezes conflituante, daÃ que sÃ³ faÃ§a sentido trabalhar a noÃ§Ã£o de patrimÃ³nio em rede e a vÃ¡rias vozes, na lÃ³gica de uma construÃ§Ã£o permanente, onde o contraditÃ³rio ressalte, pois Ã© aÃ que reside a vitalidade do sistema e do seu fulcro criador
(Portugal, Isabel Victor, 2010)
The value concept is central in understanding human behaviour. A value is something that has to be recognized as valuable, so it has to become explicit, that is: consciously recognized as a value and termed as such. Values have been the subject of theoretical consideration in many disciplines and areas of study including âeducation, political science, economics, anthropology [â¦] When we think of values, we think of what is important to us in our lives, e.g. security, freedom, wisdom, pleasure, independence
(The Netherlands, Lugmina Horlings, 2015)
â¦it is a museology devoid of financial resources or sophisticated knowledge, often also featuring out-of-date ideologies and paradigms [â¦] it is also a museology that expresses the cultures of our time, the culture of the mix, the expression of a society in transformation.
Such museums and museological processes are, in our understanding, the deep expression of Portugalâs contemporary museology.
And, in this sense, this museology of daily life turns out to be an essential component of change itself.
It is, thus, neither rupture nor a marginal phenomenon, but instead it is the fruit and seed of a more democratic society, of a more free associativism, of a municipalism that are more aware of a new development model that favours decentralisation and the consequent valorisation of local resources - both human and natural
(Portugal, MÃ¡rio Moutinho, 1996)
Cultural mapping, counter-mapping, community-based mapping, participatory mapping â a broad range of cartographic practices have emerged over the last three and a half decades to bring alternative indigenous and local perspectives to the attention of those who hold power and who control what usually appears on official maps
(UNESCO, âThe role of participatory cultural mappingâ, 2008)
Estamos hartos de museos que intentan armar narraciones histÃ³ricas de una sociedad, comunidad, equipo, naciÃ³n, pueblo, empresa o especie. Todos sabemos que las historias cotidianas y ordinarias de los individuos son mÃ¡s ricas, mÃ¡s humanas y mucho mÃ¡s gozosas que las historias de culturas colosales
(Turkey, Orhan Pamuk, 2012)
â¦ museums are places of remembering and forgetting, just as they are places of power, of fight, of conflict, of silence, of resistance; in certain instances, they may even be non-places. Every attempt to reduce museums to a single aspect runs the risk of not accounting for the complexity of the museum setting in the contemporary world.
(Brazil, Mario Chagas, 2010, English version)
La hegemonÃa cultural trae como consecuencia el predominio de ciertas creencias, valores y la estructuraciÃ³n patriarcal de la cultura que excluye cualquier otra concepciÃ³n de la misma creando la idea de que sÃ³lo existe una corriente de interpretaciÃ³n de la historia, la cual estÃ¡ siempre escrita por los ganadores. Estos discursos culturales hegemÃ³nicos son los que se reproducen tanto en colegios, institutos, medios de comunicaciÃ³n como en museos, que es la instituciÃ³n que aquÃ nos ataÃ±e
(Spain, MarÃa Acaso & Andrea de Pascual, 2014)