Belfast Waterfront

Programme around theme of dissent revealed for Belfast 2018

Patrick Steel, 31.07.2018
MA announces sessions, keynote speakers, and practical seminars
The Museums Association (MA) has revealed the programme for the MA Annual Conference and Exhibition 2018 in Belfast.

Keynote speakers at the event include Irish poet and playwright Rita Anne Higgins and US based writer and art worker Laura Raicovich, who will be introduced by senior lecturer in history at Teesside University and expert in Irish history Roisin Higgins.

The conference theme is dissent, and many of the sessions will focus on how museums are presenting, reacting to and engaging with dissent.

On Thursday 8 November delegates will hear from museum consultant Elaine Gurian, who has previously worked at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the National Museum of the American Indian, both in Washington, DC; Paddy Gilmore, who is head of programmes at National Museums Northern Ireland; and Sara Wajid, the head of engagement at Museum of London and founder of Museum Detox network for black and Asian minority ethnic museum workers.

And on Friday 9 November, delegates can attend the panel session From Dissent to Transformation, looking at how museums have responded to political shocks and social movements, where they will hear from Chris Garrard, the co-director of Culture Unstained; Imani Jacqueline Brown, the director of programs at Antenna; Gavin Grindon, a curator and lecturer in Contemporary Art at the University of Essex; and Clara Paillard, the president of the PCS Culture Group.

And both delegates and exhibition visitors can attend free practical seminars run by the MA’s professional development officer Tamsin Russell, including How to Network Naturally, How to Write a Successful CV, How to Win at Interviews, and Career Crossroads.

Delegates and visitors can also take advantage of on-stand demonstrations and special offers from a range of companies at the exhibition, while MA staff, regional and national reps, and board members will be on hand at the Museums Association hub to talk about policy and advocacy, the MA’s funding programmes, professional development, and membership.

Belfast 2018 will also feature the Festival of Change, which embodies the mission of Transformers, the MA’s initiative to encourage radical change in museums, creating spaces at the conference to be challenged, engage in debate, explore your creativity, and make change happen.

“The dissent theme gives a great platform for the radical, innovative and ambitious ideas that are changing the face of museums across the world,” says Simon Stephens, the MA’s head of publications and events. “We are looking forward to delivering this packed programme of talks, social events and tours that will inspire people to move museums and their own practice to the next level.”

The MA Annual Conference and Exhibition 2018 will take place at the Belfast Waterfront from 8-10 November.

Links and downloads

Belfast 2018 programme

Belfast 2018: book now