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EU-LAC-MUSEUMS: Final General Assembly

27 April 2020

School of Art History and MGCI coordinated project ‘EU-LAC-MUSEUMS’; held its final general assembly online with presentations from across the consortium detailing research from communities across Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. During COVID-19, we have found new and innovative ways to share and learn together bi-regionally. Principal Investigators attended the meeting along with Researchers and Administrators chaired by Project Coordinator, MGCI Director and Senior Lecturer Dr Karen Brown with Project Administrator and Researcher Jamie Allan Brown. 

EU-LAC-MUSEUMS is an international research project funded by Horizon 2020 –  the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever. Our research falls under the Call “Europe as a Global Actor – INT12 (2013-14) – The cultural, scientific and social dimension of EU-LAC relations”, and our aim is to build close connections between Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) in the field of community museology. The project will run from 2016-2020. 

Our international consortium consists of eight partners working in academia, the museum world, and policy in Scotland, Portugal, Spain, France, Chile, Peru, Costa Rica and the Caribbean. For information on each of us, click here: [http://eulacmuseums.net/index.php/partnership-2/partners-2]. The project is coordinated by MGCI in the School of Art History, the University of St Andrews in Scotland, and was conceived and continues to be supported by the networks of ICOM-Europe and ICOM-LAC, whose Presidents serve on our project Steering Committee (http://www.icom.museum)

“Museums are important because they serve to remind us of who we are and what our place is in the world. […] Museum professionals, with reference to their visitors, frequently use the expression ‘museum community’, but can this be defined? We also need to discover how museums interact with their community, and the community with its museums, and place this in historical perspective.”

(Peter Davis, “Place Exploration: museums, identity, community”, in Watson, S. ed., Museums and Their Communities. London and New York: Routledge, 2007, pp.53-75; 53)

Museums hold an unequalled responsibility to communicate the shared history and “cultural, political and economic ties” between Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. Museums have an enormous capacity to reach all levels of community, from towns to remote villages, and can be neutral spaces for building social cohesion and reconciliation in a variety of contexts. Together, our research teams will determine commonalities and share best practice across regions. By focusing on the theme of Museums and Community: Concepts, Experiences, and Sustainability in Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, EU-LAC-MUSEUMS has sought to create a common vision for sustainable, small to medium-sized local and regional museums and their communities and reinforce mutual understanding and cooperation between regions.