While the advent of “new museology” has seen a shift from imagining museum visitors as uninformed, passive consumers of didactic exhibits to agents involved in content and meaning making, a gap remains between participatory ideals and their practice in contemporary museums — especially when it comes to difficult knowledge. The overall goal of our project is to position ourselves within this gap, creating concrete networks and resources to collectively respond to the challenges inherent in confronting traumatic histories and legacies of violence.
We are working to build research capacity by fostering our new academic partnership, finding potential future partners, and testing and developing research activities and transferrable tools that partners, collaborators, and participants can use to generate ideas to engage with difficult knowledge in museums. These include:
- an online web-based portal for communications and knowledge mobilization
- prototype technologies and shareable tools, materials, and applications for public engagement with museums
- adaptable models for three-way academic-museum-community collaborations
- curriculum development strategies that can be mobilized in educational contexts including museums, galleries, community learning centres, schools, and universities