Ndeenda Shivute, the curatorial coordinator at the National Art Gallery of Namibia (L); Ernestine White-Mifetu, the curator of contemporary art at the Iziko South African National Gallery

Explore how museums can be transformed at Belfast 2018

Simon Stephens, 26.09.2018
Speakers from southern Africa and the Balkans at MA conference
Museums that are emerging from difficult pasts and reinventing themselves to face new challenges will be discussed at this year’s Museums Association (MA) Conference & Exhibition, which is taking place in Belfast on 8-10 November.

A session called Winds of Change will look at how museums in southern Africa are transforming themselves and appealing to new audiences. The speakers are Ernestine White-Mifetu, the curator of contemporary art at the Iziko South African National Gallery in Cape Town, South Africa, and Ndeenda Shivute, the curatorial coordinator at the National Art Gallery of Namibia in Windhoek, Namibia.

This session will discuss the impact of their colonial past and the changes being made to create museums that are more accessible to the public.

Delegates in Belfast can also hear how the Balkan Museum Network is repairing and rebuilding relationships by creating spaces of dialogue, debate and disagreement in a region where heritage is often weaponised. Activities are often done off the radar and sometimes at personal risk. Speakers from Kosovo, Serbia and Bosnia Herzegovina will discuss their experiences of museums in conflict, presenting a model of international cooperation that taps into resilience, dissent and creativity.

The speakers are Skender Boshtrakaj, the director of the National Museum of Kosovo; Milena Milošević Micić, senior curator art history at the Homeland Museum of Knjaževac, Serbia; and Aida Vezić, the deputy director of Cultural Heritage without Borders, Bosnia Herzegovina.

The MA Conference & Exhibition 2018 runs 8-10 November at the Belfast Waterfront.

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