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ICOM: INTERNA~~NAL OF MUSEUMS

COUNCIL

ICOFOM
INTERNATIONALCOMMITTEE FOR MUSEOLOGY
COMITINTERNATIONAL POUR LA MUSEOLOGIE

Museology and Globalisation


Musologie et mondialisation
Edited by Linda Young

Preprints
ICOFOM Study Series
ISS 29

ICOM 19th General Assembly


Melbourne, Australia
1998

University of Canberra
O The individual authors.
Cover: A visitor ponders the ceIestial globe, Australian National Maritime
Museum, Sydney; photo: Linda Young.

Publislied on behalf of ICOFOM (ICOM InternationaI Cornmittee for


Museology) by the University of Canberra, ACT 260 1, Australia, 1998
ISBN: 0858897326
Contents

Mathilde BelIaigue: Mondialisation et mmoire

Maria Bezzeg: The Influence of Globalizaiion on Museology

NeIly Decarolis: Globalization and Diversis: A Delicate Balance

Andr Dsvalles: Muse et patri~noineintgral: lefu tur du pass

David DoIan: Culrural Franchising,Imperialisrn and Globalisarion :


What 's New?

Su Donghai and An Laishun: China s' Fivst Econr useiim - Soga Miao
Conrmunity,GGuhou: Thefirst test case of the international
ecornuseum concept in China

George Jacob: Presewing and Presen ting Global Hvbridizn f ion:


New responsibiliriesfor nrzrserrnis in the new niillenirim

Nicola Ladkin: M~rseologyand Globalization

Don McMichael: The Globalisation of Ecosystettts and its Irtzpact


air hr,tiiral History Mrrseums

- Lynn Maranda: Museology and Globalization: The Szcpplan ting


Force of tlte Globaliza~ionCtrltiire

- Ivo Maroevic: Vit-flralMirseiii~is:The C/~allelige


of Globalisafion

Baisaklii Mitra: Miceologv and Globalisation

Odalice Miranda Priosti: Archologie d'tlne collection inacheve

1-lildegardK. Vieregg: Museunu:A Vision of Ufopia?

Vanda Vitali and Peter Gale: Reriretiibering tlte People: Uniiy and
Diiw-sity ivitlrin [Ire Global Cottiiiiuniry

Linda Yoiing: Globalisation, Czilture and Mirseilnls


Mondialisation et mmoire

Mathilde Bellaigue
Paris - France

Abstract: Globalisation and Memory


We are expecting the year 2000. But it is the 2000th year only for a smali
community of people: the Christian5 whose omnipotent occidentalism has
dominated the world since the beginning of their era. One might hope in the utopia
that the next millennium be the end of a terrible century (wars, genocides...) and
the beginning of a united and happy humanity ... Taking as a basis Paul Virilio's
ideas and words, we note our living the 'era of disparition'. We lose o u marks:
time is worldly, instantaneous, speed provides ubiquity and both are
overpowerful. That modifies the perception of space too: everything can be at the
same place in the same time; places tend to standardise, megapolis are al1 the same.
The virtual is everywhere in use (and in fashion). Though it allows segregated
comrnunities to make their problems known to the world, it aIso pervades and
compts human relations... Medias simpIify everything and finally nothing real is
said. Communities are baffied (wars, ethnocides, emigration...). In the midst of all
that, collective memory still fights for its existence, persists among difficulties
(anonymity, negation or falsification of memory,official celebrations...). The
rnotto of museums couId be 'searching for signs rematerialising the worIdY(as
Virilio says). 'To be here and now': The importance of one's territory, of one's
history, has to be confronted with scientific history to make sense. Museums have
to translate, not to restitute.
'The nearest and the distant': ecomuseums, for instance, are based on the
study of what is next and belonging to the community, but it is with the airn of
allowing it to perceive what is distant, for one should not get cIosed up on one's
identity, In confronting other communities and their memory, the museurn
becoines the social pIace it shouId always be, where here and there, now and then
can be compared and elucidated. The museum object itself both belongs to faraway
tiine and space, and is quite next to us: it so makes us conscious of the enormous
distance separating us from it: in that gap lie questions, imaginary and dream...
Today, exact sciences provide new important information about the rnatter, the
artefacts and the works of art - their material and its origin, their making, the
adventures they went through...Al1 that is a new opening to further knowledge
and imagination. What is the role of museology in the middle of present
glabalisation? Let us Say it involves not only a duty of memory, but rather a
iileinory at work, implying both remembrance and oblivion, for it is a duty of
tntth, of waking an acute consciousness: consciousness of our temporality, of our
territoriality, even if pIanetary, consciousness of diversity. Consciousness of our
universa1 community: mankind. For museums exist to bring testimony of man's
dignity, ingenuity, whatever local community each man belongs to.
Bellaigue: Mondialisution et mmoire

Comment, au milieu de la dramatisation )> mondiale qui en est faite,


relativiser le proche avnement de l'anne 2000?
Car pour qui s'agit-iI rellement de l'an 2000? Assurment pour une
minorit de population du globe: une poigne de chrtiens qui ont impos au
monde leur propre dcompte des annes depuis la naissance du Christ. Mais tous
les autres? - les musulmans (les plus nombreux), les bouddhistes, les animistes... et
tous ceux qui ne partagent pas cette religion, en vertu de quoi voqueraient-ils cette
date B laquelle on semble ath-ibuer une importance fatidique ...?
Les marchands du temple tentent de la promouvoir pour en tirer des
profits commerciaux, comme ils le font des anniversaires culturels ou religieux.
Tout cela ne tient-il pas de notre prsomption, de notre omniprsence
d'occidentaux qui avons tent de rpandre sur le monde notre culture: croisades,
Conqute, esclavage, colonies, missions, tragiquement chelonns depuis I'an 1 de
l're chrtienne. Aujourd'hui cette puissance de conqute s'tend l'espace,
dtruit I'environnement, les petites communauts, met en danger la plante entire.
Le regard du pays le plus puissant du monde s'exerce partout, les satellites voient
dans votre jardin, au prtexte de scurit...
Pourtant, et i l'oppos, au nom d'une utopie bienfaisante, on pourrait se
prendre rver que cette chance deux millime )>voit le terme de ce trs ancien
mouvement d'usurpation et de domination du monde ... On pourrait se rjouir de
quitter le XXe sicle qui a vu s'amorcer l'autodestruction de l'humanit par deux
guerres mondiales, plusieurs gnocides, dont le plus grand de tous les temps, des
conflits interethniques et interreligieux. Le XXIe sicle deviendrait alors pour tous
un sicle d'espoir dans le changement, un sicle qui fonderait la communaut
humaine.
CeIa supposerait que les mots communaut >), identit , mmoire
retrouvent un sens, nouveau peut-tre afin de ne pas figer ces valeurs, un sens fort
au milieu du changement gigantesque de civilisation.

1 L're de la disparition '


1, Pcrfc ries repres
Gens de muse, nous sommes habitus priodiser le temps (les
civilisations, l'histoire) et la gense des changements. Or Ie temps aujourd'hui est
iiiondial, instantan. C'est la vitesse qui prime car c'est elle qui confre le pouvoir.
C'est l'iibiquit qui rend puissant. Comme le dit Virilio, le milieu est celui de la
vitesse. L'a homo economicus est celui de l'instantanit et de ses instniments =
Concorde, Internet, Fedex, tlconfrences, tlphone portable.
Habiter Ie temps >}, selon la belle formule du Kanak Jean-Marie Tjibaou,
est un art que nous avons perdu.
Cette nouvelle perception du temps entrane une nouvelle perception de
l'espace. L'espace est en quelque sorte ni puisque l'information et la dcision
peuvent tre instantanment partout en mme temps. Je n'oublie pas avoir vu, lors
de l'exposition inaugurale de la Bibliotheque de France un manuscrit du De Imago
Mirrrdi ayant appartenu Christophe Colomb (et conserv Sville). Sur cet
exeinplaire, annot de fa main de Colomb, il avait crit en marge (citation
approxi~native)que finalement la terre n'tait pas si grande ...

'LCS titres 1 et Il, ainsi que 11 1, 2 , 3 , 4 , sont emprunts Paul Virilio, Cybernionde, la politique
r i 1 1 pire.Ed. Textuel, diff. Le Seuil, 1996.
Bellaigue: Mondialisation el mmoire

Les guerres de voisinage ont pour mfait principal la destruction des


communauts ethniques, ou reIigieuses (conflits de Bosnie, du Rwanda, des
Kurdes, etc.). Chez nous en France, la monte de l'extrme-droite, son hostilit aux
immigrs, les problmes des ghettos suburbains, additionns au chmage,
accentuent souvent l'attitude de refus de l'autre, la ngation de toute culture
trangre dans nos m m .
Ailleurs on voit massacrer, pour des convoitises conomiques, de petits
groupes humains jusqu'alors quiIibrs dans leur environnement, avec leurs modes
de vie, leurs ressources Iocales (ex. les Yanomamis de l'Amazonie, les Indiens des
rserves d'Amrique du Nord). Comme Ie dit Edgar Morin (1997), ...les petites
civilisations sont en cours de destruction et on ne sait pas comment Ies prserver...
On ne va pas Ies enfermer comme dans des zoos, pour les protger, et si on les
ouvre, on risque de les dsintgrer en les intgrant [...]. On s'est cm propritaire de
la raison parce qu'on croyait argumenter de faon logique mais totalement
abstraite, parce qu'on croyait que la seule vrit tait dans la science. On ignorait
par exemple qu'il y avait des connaissances profondes acquises par des peuples de
tous les pays .... Ce sont donc I non seulement des populations qu'on dcime,
des territoires qu'on dtruit, mais ce sont aussi de trs anciennes et prcieuses
sagesses qui disparaissent jamais.

3. Identit et rtzmoire
Or il semble que plus on tente de noyer dans la masse, <( d'intgrer les
communauts, plus se renforce chez elles un sentiment d'appartenance: dans les
grandes villes se reconstituent des communauts trangres qui entretiennent
vivement des traditions, des rites, une langue, tout en adoptant certains modes de
vie locaux. Cette attitude active est probabIement nourrie en partie d'une mmoire
coIlective. Comment cette dernire se constitue-t-elle d'ailleurs lorsque c'est par
vagues successives que Ies immigrs se sont amasss un rivage tranger? Faite
d'une somme de mmoires individuelles dont Ies racines sont communes dans la
diversit des objets que la vie a scrts, des Iieux et des expriences de vie, des
interprtations travers un fond commun de connaissances, de croyances, ainsi se
forge une ininoire collective.
Mais iI faut aussi reIever le cas des sans-mmoire , des hritiers du
<( non inrnorable >>, du honteux, de l'indigne. Cette anne en France o l'on clbre

l e cent-cinquantenaire de l'abolition de l'esclavage, certains ont relev que la


reinmoration tait parfois fausse: selon eux, on mettait davantage en vidence la
loi d'abolition que les circonstances pouvantables de la traite des noirs et la
rsistance des esclaves qui avait suscit finalement leur libration. On n'avait
jamais jiisqu' ce jour oficiellement reconnu ce crime contre l'humanit que fut
l'esclavage. Ce mme non-dit existait dans les muses jusque dans les annes
1 9 9 0 ~Parfois
. on semble croire aussi que la mmoire des descendants d'esclaves
est celle de la lointaine Afrique origineHe. Or, comme le dit (et l'prouve) Patrick
Chainoiseau, pote inartiniquais lui-mme descendant d'esclaves, le point de
dpart de l'identit crole, ce n'est pas l'Afrique originelle, mais la cale du
bateau, un lieu d'effondrement majeur. En descendant dans la cale, on ne
descendait pas dans un autre monde, mais dans une autre vie o il fallait rinventer
les dieux, les certitudes, tout refaire H. Il appelle ce changement de la mmoire la
mort gnsique, la fois syinbolique et concrte . On dirait qu'une mmoire nat

' C.A. Celius, ISS 27, Mrrsologie et Mhtoire, pp. 182- 189. Paris, 1997.
Bellaigue: MondiaIisation et mmoire

sur les ruines d'une mmoire prcdente. On observe la mme raction chez Primo
Levi son retour d'Auschwitz.
Ainsi, lorsqu'on croit honorer dignement les hritiers d'un pass par Ia
commmoration, par un mmorial et un <( devoir de mmoire officieIs, certes on
le fait dans l'Histoire, certes cela veille une prise de conscience, mais c'est dans
l'anonymat o les visages se fondent, o les noms disparaissent. C'est pourquoi
certains travaux d'artistes nous paraissent exemplaires dans leur volont de rejet de
l'anonymat officiel, comme le travail de Jochen Gerz dans le petit village
prigourdin de Biron (o il inscrit sur le monument aux morts de la guerre les
tmoignages individuels des habitants), ou celui - obsessionneI - de Christian
Boltanski sur les enfants d'une ancienne mine belge (dans une exposition, il aligne
leurs pauvres photos et Ieurs noms du haut en bas de murs souterrains faiblement
clairs). A les regarder, on ne peut se dfendre d'tre mu, ni mme d'une certaine
tendresse pour ceux-l qui, dans leur malheur, portent un nom.

II Chercher les signes d'une rematrialisation du monde

Cette phrase de Paul Viriiio pourrait tre la devise des muses du IIIe
millnaire.
Face la dispersion, la dilution, aux identits bouscules, aux mmoires
travesties ou nies, contre la disparition , que peuvent Ies muses leur
modeste mesure, sinon tout faire pour retrouver Ies signes et leur donner une
forme sensible afin qu'on en peroive le sens? N'est-ce pas l exactement la
vocation des muses?

feriarit
1. (c Eire p~setiiici et nrair~
Aux antipodes de ce qui est constat plus haut, c'est l'un des atouts de
l'comuse que de prendre prioritairement en compte un territoire dans ses limites,
la population qui l'habite, avec sa culture matrielle. (( Les traces de l'histoire, les
choses visibles qu'il faut conserver font tellement partie du paysage physique et
mental qu'elles en sont insparables. L'important est de les clairer sur place, d'un
coup de lumire rvlateur et qui fait voir ce que l'habitude et la routine
dissiinulaient. >> Cette attention 1' ici et au maintenant est une ducation
du regard sur I'objet, mme dans sa banalit quotidienne, sur les traces que portent
par exemple un paysage, une ville. Ce regard sur l'espace, sur l'organisation de
l'environnement, sur ce qui lie les personnes dans la socit, se traduit au muse
par l'explication d'un territoire, de son systme cologique et social, dans une
totalit organique et non dans un universel anonyme. Cela se fait de faon
interdisciplinaire (sciences de la terre et sciences de l'homme sont concernes).
Oeuvres d'art, objets, archives, sites sont Ies indices proposs par le muse.
Tout muse communautaire s'appuie sur deux histoires: d'une part celle
d'un pass peru par des personnes, mmoire des temps forts de ce qu'on a vcu,
et reposant sur les aide-mmoire sensibles que sont des lieux de vie, des objets, des
habitudes et des traditions; d'autre part la recherche historique qui exerce une
fonction corrective et met en lumire le sens de ce qui s'est vcu; car il ne s'agit
pas de restituer, inais de traduire. Cela n'est pas toujours ais et il faut reconnatre
que l'claircisseinent de l'histoire peut parfois blesser le souvenir dans ce qu'iI a de
BeIlaigue: Mondialisation et mmoire

subjectif et d'affectif. J'ai voqu ailleurs5 la volont des lus du Creusot de faire
disparatre Ie maximum de traces de l'ancienne usine Schneider, lieu de labeur et
d'assenlssement (mais pourtant lieu de mmoire des Iuttes ouvrires aussi).
C'est la hantise d'un pass qui ne passe pas.

2. Le prochain et le lointain
((

Si Ia dmarche cornusale s'appuie sur le cr prochain de la communaut,


c'est aussi pour lui permettre de mieux apprhender le lointain , l'trange.
Car en aucun cas il ne doit s'agir d'un renfermement sur une identit (ce
qu'Alfred Grosser appeIle les identits abusives et qui sont les pires ferments
de nationalisme, de racisme etc.), mais au contraire d'ouvrir toutes les possibilits
de comparaison avec des situations similaires: au Creusot, A l'comuse, par
exemple, travers des activits de formation par la recherche impliquant la
participation de syndicalistes, s'tait mis en place une rflexion en rseau avec les
communauts d'autres bassins ouvriers fianais (le Nord, la Lorraine, la rgion
lyonnaise etc.) et aussi au niveau international 6.
Le muse devient ainsi un lieu social par excellence, pour la rencontre, les
confrontations d'expriences, I'lucidation en commun et ensuite I'exposition. Se
souvenir ensemble au muse, est-ce un facteur de mmoire collective? ou n'est-ce
qu'un mouvement de compagnonnage, avec les risques dj signals de repliement,
d'enfermement? - [...] librer sans dsinsrer, c'est--dire prendre une distance
critique l'gard des groupes d'appartenance mme privilgis, sans pour autant
supprimer les insertions sans Iesquelles l'individu est asocial et inutiIe aux
autres , c'est la pdagogie que recommande Alfred Grosser (1994).
Il y a, de l'objet regard au muse au sujet qui le regarde, un cart
considrable: - soit parce que Ie muse prsente de la communaut une vision
qu'elle ne ressent pas comme sienne, et l'on se souvient peut-Etre de la
cornmunication de Poka Laenui (Hawai') au symposium Musologie et identit
(Buenos-Aires, 1986) propos de l'exposition du Bishop Museum, The
Hawaians , dans laquelle I'histoire de Hawa commenait avec la conqute de l'le
par Cook; cela, Laenui rplique, non sans humour: Cook did not discover us.
We knew, Iong before he was conceived, who and where we were >); - soit parce
que l'objet est une chose du pass que nous n'avons peut-tre jamais vue et qui ne
sera plus jamais semblable elle-mme: il y a une distance immense du
remmorant au reinmor.
Le muse a donc (non sans risque) cet trange et double pouvoir: celui de
nous rapprocher d'un temps ou d'un espace parfois oublis, ou inconnus, et aussi
de nous faire prendre conscience de la distance qui nous en spare. C'est cet cart
qui suscite l'interrogation, l'imaginaire, le rve, et qui ouvre la conscience.

3. De IR ttreiii oire ci I 'irrtentporel


L'objet ainsi peru sort du temps et de l'espace. Il tait le signe d'une
ralit, voil qu'il s'lve au symbole de vrit universelle. Peut-tre n'est-il plus le
gage d'aucune mmoire. Cela doit nous rendre d'autant plus attentifs au traitement
de chaque objet: il ne s'agit pas de les accumuler mais de domer la plus grande
attention leur rle d'indices afin d'viter des contresens, parfois choquants. Ainsi

"SS 27, Mttsologie et Mit~ioire,p. 178. Paris, 1997.


ColIoque M)~ioirccoll~ctiveorrvrire. Ecomuse du Creusot, 1977.
' ISS 10, Miisologie et idetitit, pp. 163- 168.
BeIlaigue: Mondialisation er mmoire

je ne saurais passer sous silence un exemple << a contrario pris rcemment dans le
dpartement des antiquits gyptiennes, ramnag au muse du Louvre: 18 le
conservateur a plac au milieu d'autres objets, dans une vitrine, le cadavre momifi
d'un homme allong, nu. Une semaine aprs l'inauguration du dpartement, on
avait d'ailleurs jet sur lui un pagne. Peut-tre avait-on reconnu cet objet son
humanit? Pourtant cela seul ne rsout pas le problkme, qui est bien plus dans la
lgret du traitement de cet {{ objet , la drision de la mort, l'indiffrence a ce que
l'on est sens voquer, savoir Ies rites gyptiens de l'embaumement et de la
spulture qui, dans Ieur mystre, respectaient et cachaient dfinitivement aux yeux
des hommes I'enveIoppe charnelle de ceIui qui les avait quitts. Ainsi l'homme
aIlong I sous nos yeux, parmi des objets divers (qui n'appartiennent mme pas
sa spulture) ne nous signifie rien de sa vie, de son temps, de sa mort. Il est sans
identit, sans histoire, sans mmoire. Plus scandaleusement encore, par I'obscnit
de la prsentation, il est sans importance...
Aujourd'hui, l'apport des sciences exactes la connaissance des objets et
des oeuvres est une dimension relativement nouvelle qui se dveloppera
certainement dans les muses venir. La science des matriaux, telle que nous
l'appliquons au Laboratoire de recherche des muses de France, en pntrant au
coeur de la matire, l'identifie, nous livre son origine, les circuits d'change des
objets d'une sacit l'autre; ces mmes sciences clairent les techniques des
artistes, leurs repentirs, le geste de la cration. Si on le mentionne ici c'est que
s'ajoute ainsi une plus vaste dimension d'espace et de temps la mmoire ouverte
par les muses et que ce si loin, si proche devant lequel nous nous trouvons est
une nouvelle part de rve propose.
Etrange alchimie du muse dans lequel l'objet, tmoin d'un moment et d'un
lieu prcis, prend en mme temps une dimension intemporelle, universelle, par
laquelle nous accdons au monde car la mesure du monde est notre Iibert. Savoir
que le monde autour de nous est vaste, en avoir conscience, mme si on ne pratique
pas ce monde, est un dment de la libert et de la grandeur de l'homme xg

Conclusion
Ce quoi le muse doit engager la communaut, c'est moins un devoir de
iiiinoire qu' un travail de mmoire, qui implique tout autant l'oubli car le travaiI
de mmoire est un cr devoir de vrit >> (Pau1 Ricoeur, 1996). La fonction du muse
est d 'veiller la conscience.
Conscience du temps: savoir ce qui nous rattache nos origines, notre
tcinporaIit, c'est--dire i Ia dure. Se pencher sur le pass n'est pas du
passisme, c'est lui reconnatre ce sens nourricier qui est la base de la mmoire. La
lion-conscience du temps nous rend incapables d'imaginer le futur. fi9
Conscience de la diversit: refuser l'homognisation mais reconnaitre les
diffrences, c'est donner ses vraies dimensions au monde et l'humanit. C'est
ouvrir le dialogue.
Dans la mondiaIisation actueIIe, Ies communauts ont de plus en plus de
~iial subsister, cornine l'exprime la dclaration du chef indien Seatle au prsident
des Etats Unis en 1894: << Cette destine est mystrieuse pour nous, car nous ne
coinprenons pas quand les bisons sont tous massacrs, Ies chevaux sauvages
domestiqus, les lieux secrets de la fort lourds de l'odeur de tant d'hommes, et la

K
P. Virilio. op. cit.
" M.Evrard, 1983
Bellaigue: Mondialisation et mmoire

vue des belles collines souille par des fils qui parlent. O sont les fourrs
profonds? Disparus. O est l'aigle? Disparu. C'est la fin de la vie et le
commencement de la survivance >).
Conscience de la communaut de toujours: l'humanit.
Car c'est l'chelle de l'humanit que se pose le problhme de survie:
Nos histoires sont dsormais totales et en grande partie communes,et nos
responsabilits, de ce fait mme, diffuses. [...] A nous de penser les potiques de
cette mondialisation. Je parle de potique au sens o a toucherait le fond des
choses et non pas la forme. Tant que les hommes n'auront pas intbgr une
conception nouvelIe de leur identit, les drames de l'esclavage, des gnocides,
seront sans rponse. 11faut que les cultures, les peuples du monde se persuadent
intimement qu'ils peuvent changer avec l'Autre et, par l'imaginaire et la
sensibilit qu'ils proposent, changer l'Autre sans se dnaturer. Sans risquer la
dilution. [...] Nous avons un travail: contribuer ce remuement de l'imaginaire et
de la sensibilit du monde qui nous permettrait de commencer travailler
rellement ensemble. 'O
Afin que {( la fin de la vie et le commencement de la survivance >>
n'apparaisse pas comme une caricature du muse, notre travail de musologues
sera de montrer que l'humanit possde son identit, sa mmoire, ses possibilits
de survie. Car si les muses ont pour vocation de parler de mmoire, c'est afin de
tmoigner des progrs et des checs des hommes, de les clairer, de dmontrer leur
ingniosit subsister malgr tout, inventer, crer. En un mot, le muse parie de
la dignit de l'homme, quelles que soient les petites communauts laquelle chacun
appartient.

Je renierciepour*son aide Michel Menu, du Laboratoire de recherche des muses


de France, et rnentbre de I'ICOFOM.

Io Edouard Glissant, i n Le Motide, 1998. E.Glissant est un philosophe et poete crole.


The Influence of Globalization on Museology

Maria Bezzeg
Museum of Military History, 1250 Budapest, Pf. 7,Rungary

Globalization is one of the distinctive processes of our age. Globalization'


can be seen in the economy, in politics, as well as in culture. Globalization - the
unification of the world - permeates almost every aspect of our lives.
Many interpretations and evaIuations of this process have been offered.
One possible approach has merely touched the surface of the process. Csaba Vass,
a Hungarian sociologist, considers globalization to be a form of expIoitation which
affects al1 societies, a process perfomed by the globalized world society.
According to Vass, 'gIoba1ization has changed modern spatiaI organization, the
modem economy, modern politics, modern society, modern culture and the
distinctive foms of world interaction, in other words, its mood of being changed'.
Still, Vass agrees with David Korten that globalization is an 'evolutional dead-
end'. Others have revealed the difference between the neutrality of the word
'globalization' and the actual reality of globalization.
TO avoid al1 misunderstandings, it would pcrhaps be bettcr to distinguish between real
economic and cultural globalization - namcly the diverse foms in which cconomic and
cultural ties bctween various regions and countries are strengthened - from the
intensification of global economic and cultural dominance. The intensification of global
cconomic and cultural dominance is perhaps more suitable as a description of late 20th
century trends than the mislcadingly ncutwl concept of globalization.

According to Victor Segesviry, a sociologist working in New York:


globalization is nothing elsc than the extension of the principles of late modemist
civilization to thc entire world, the globalization of a cultural phenornenon whosc intcrnal
-
contradictions have becoinc al1 too obvious and whosc intcrnal interrelations between
-
rationality, thc logic of a market economy and a democratic political establishment have
vanished, and testify to the collapse of this 'civilizational world'.

As a consequence, globalization is nothing ele than the incorporation of the entire


world into the crisis of the late modernity of western civilization, in other words,
the 'world revolution of westemization', as Theodore von Laue, professor at Yale
Uiiiversity, has noted. In this sense, gIobalization refers to the inevitable concept

1
III Anthoriy Giddens' vicw, globalization is one of ihc most decisive processes of our age.
Giddcns, Szocioliigia [Sociology].Budapest: Osiris, 1995, p.522.
2
'A society characterizcd by the fact that it was geared to dominate thc world appeared with
globalization'. Csaba Vass, A globaliziciiis viligrendszervhlths es ltmbdviitis [Globaliza~iotial
clinilgc iti !lie IVOI-Id
sysretu and tlie cltatige in the tiiood of being]. ValbsBg 1997: 9, p. 3.
Op. cil.! p.19.
4
Liszlb Arva, A vil5ggazdasBg globalidl6d5sa s Magyarorszjg helye e folyamatban
[Glolializatiorr of tlie ivot-Id econoitly arid Hitngaty's place in this process]. Valosag 1998: 2, p.
23-24.
Bezzeg: The Influence of Globalization on Mweology

part of the world, are most likely to be drawn to museums by their desire to see
the relics of bygone times, to see a slice of the human past.'O
Globalization can heIp in combating an issue that still characterizes
museology in many countries, namely that many museums are still engaged in the
uncritical propagation of the ideology of their country's political establishment.
International.conferences, study trips, etc allows the realization among museum
professionais that a specific issue or theme can be presented in an unbiased,
objective light. Museal documents which are perhaps banned by the political
establishment can be preserved in museum storerooms, even if they cannot be
exhibited at a given moment. Obviously, 1do not believe that the experts' desire to
change things is in itself sufficient to engineer that change. The presence of at least
a certain measure of fieedorn is equally important, as is some kind of financial
independence fiom governing authorities if the funds necessary for the
organization of an exhibition can be raised from various foundations and sponsors.
In this age of globalization we have an unprecedented opportunity for the
spread and dissemination of high professional standards. If the rust-eaten metal
artefacts are seen not only by the given community, but also by the participants
of an international conference, there is a greater likelihood that someone will
broach the subject of ~e negligence of professional standards, the obligation of
conservation and restoration.
We are now able to witness the spread of professional standards of
collecting, conservation, restoration, evaluation, preservation and exhibition -
which a11 require the full protection of museal documents - within the professional
community.And we can hardly Say that some countries are leaders in al1 fieIds, or
that the economicaIIy inost developed countries aIso have the most developed
''
~nuseology. For while some countries excel in the digitization of their
collections, others are experts in restoration, and others are most innovative in
searching for new approaches to the museum exhibition as a genre.
Museum professionals today have a wealth of opporunities to study
exhibition techniques in different countries - at conferences, on study trips and
from Inuseum catalogues and other publications. They can thus compare the
products - the exhibitions - created by the museologists of diffemnt countries. If
they see that exhibitions contain not only three- dimensional objects in the
everyday sense of the word, but that written documents and photos are also
displayed and play at least as important a part as objects, the widespread
disselnination of this practice becornes possibIe.
As far as 1 know, it is most uncornmon that a country's museums should
'*
be staffed by a total of 149 historian-museologists. (This was the statistical

10
Manfred Tripps has noted that in Germany exhibitions based on the 2-D principle (Le. didaction
aiid dcign) are not as successfuf with visitors as wcre the important historical and art historicaI
exhibitions in the 1970s and 198Os,whichwerc organized on the principle of displaying authentic
exliibiis. Manfred Tripps, 'Too much to read, too Iittle to see: Exhibition techniques and the 2-D
Syiidrome: A contribution to current discussions about museology and museums'. ICOFOM
Sttrdy Series No. 23, p. 175- 182.
II
It lias often bcen noted that economic and cultural globalization is a one-way Street. Cf.~ r v a ,
Op.Cit., p.22.
'' According to one of the papers read at the 1992 ICOFOM Conferencc, the 'roos' sustaining the
'tree'of museology do not indude history.
Beueg: The Influence of Globalkation on Museology

figuregiven for 1997 in Hungary.) This number refiects the more or less unique
historical path followed by Hungary during past decades. The tasks 'given' by the
political establishment - the presentation of Hungary's history from the Conquest
period to the modern age, and the presentation of the history of the labour
movernent - created many museum posts for historians. In the course of preparing
various exhibitions for anniversaries, there also emerged a new branch of
museology dealing with historical and socio-historical collections, which developed
its own principles of collection and which created numerous, often excellent,
historical exhibitions. l3 1would here like to mention but two exhibitions fiom
ment years: one, entitled 'Sta-lin! Ra-ko-si!', was staged after the 1989-1990
political changes and offered an overview of the 1950s; the other was organized in
1994 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Holocaust in Hungary.
TheoreticalIy, there is the possibility for making these developmental
achievements known; in practice, however, owing to an inadequate howledge of
languages - one consequence of the relative isolation until 1989 - as well as chronic
lack of funds enabling participation in conferences, this cannot be the case.
Participants at this conference are aware of the fact that museology is a
discipline which is still evolving. Today, any one phenomenon appearing in any
part of the world spreads infinitely more rapidly than ever before. In the age of
globalization it is possible for museologists working in one country to adopt
certain practices, which are not the result of social development in their own
country. ICOM plays a prominent role in this process through its international
and national cornmittees. The conferences organized by ICOM,as weIl as its
publications offer an exceptional forum for the exchange of new ideas and
experiences.
Following the political changes in the former Socialist countries, there has
been both a quantitative and a qualitative change in the relations between the
eastern and western half of Europe. Not only was the Iron Curtain dismantled, but
the flow of information also speeded up, while opportunities for study trips, for
the exchange of ideas and for CO-operationhave increased. 1 would here like to
iiieiition as an example tlie Dutch-Hungarian museum CO-operationover the past
five years. And even though not everybody concerned in Hungary would be
prepared to admit that we have some things to learn from our Dutch colleagues in
tlie field of museum management, the participants of these one-week workshops
usually gained much-needed and useful knowledge.
While speaking of globalization and museology, we must also mention the
role which inuseums can and should play in preventing the dangers caused by
globalization. 1 am here thinking of global environmental protection, the preventive
action to avoid the exhaustion of various resources, and the protection of various
''
aniinal and plant species. Museums can play an active role in educating young
geilerations and in kindling a sense of responsibility for the future of the Earth
through inuseuin exhibitions and a variety of programmes based on museum
collections.

13
Maria B e u e g , 'Ontlic Relationship of Ideology and a Museum's Mood of Being', ICOFOM
Sliidy Series No. 22, p.42-46.
14
Cf. tlic joint goals of 'green' movcments. A. Gidden, Op.Cir.,p.519.

16
Bezzeg: The Influence of Globaliztztion on Mtueology

economy if they preserve their own culture.IgMuseurns can play an outstanding


role in the preservation of this local culture, in strengthening national and regional
identity by presenting the past and present of the natural and social environment
with museal documents.
Finally, a few words about the opportunities offered by the fact that the
natural and cultural heritage of humankind can now be discovered not only from
books or films. In this age of globalization millions have the opportunity to view
the relics of the Egyptian Pharaohs, the civilizations of ancient Greece and Rome,
of Chinese and Indian civilization, of Maya and Aztec culture. Many millions
have experienced the thri11 of standing face to face with an outstanding or typical
document of humankind's past or present. In addition to strengthening national
identity, museums can also contribute to enhancing the consciousness of humanity
as a species and thereby increase awareness of, and responsibility for, the
catastrophic dangers of our age - some of which have been called to life by
globalization.

1'1
Cf.~ r v a Op.
, Cir., p. 31.
,iodi%*c~4 wI<,UNd s s*kr w W A +A-
- i>bl;br- ut- & G.
Globalkation and Diversity: A Delic* Balmm

Nelly Decarolis
Rodriguez Pefia 1427-1OB,(102 1) Buenos Aires, Argentins

Introduction

According to the definition of the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy,


a civilization is 'a set of ideas, religious beliefs, sciences, techniques, art and habits
inherent to a certain group of human beings'. In this respect, following the
thought of Fernand Braudel, we prefer to consider that 'a civilization is, in the first
place, a space, a cultural area, a lodging.. . The regular grouping and frequency of
certain features in an area constitute the first symptorns of cultural coherence. If to
this coherence in space we add permanency throughout time, we would be talking
about a civilization and a culture.. . The cuImra1 areas have nucIei, fiontiers and
their own margins. They always gather several societies or social groups and are
profoundly Iinked to geography and anthropoIogy. Al1 cultural assets that make
up civilizations are exported or imported by one or the other in an unintempted
circuIation, although not aII interchanges are canied out smoothly. Many times
there is resistance to borrow certain thoughts, beliefs or modes of living in a three-
fold mechanism made up by the culhrral area with its frontiers, culturaI Ioans and
rejections."
But 'civilizations are mortal: they shine and then wither away to fiourish
again under different forrns. But these ruptures ... do not destroy everything
equally. A certain reaIity always appears side-by-side with another and between
thetn there are close and constant relations. The established mode1 will allow
channelling, besides the observed sociaI entourage, other social environments of the
saine nature, tliroughout time and ~ p a c e . ' ~
AI1 social groups participate in a civilization and, in turn, in a series of
overlapping civilizations, mutually reiated and sometimes very unequal, each of
which and the whole of which place us within an immense, long-lasting historical
inovement. This movement is, for each society, the source of an interna1 inherent
logic that, at the same time, brings about countIess contradictions. It is the
fundamental diversity of the world ... A world where early expansion of Western
culture contributed to stnicturing a new order while enabIing the subjective
experience of a society that considered it unique.
When instating hornogeneous controI rnethods for work in the different
regions, 500 years ago a first attempt was made to include the American continent
in a world economy. The conquest of the New World, the extermination of a great
part of the indigenous population, the production of sugar and coffee, the
extraction of gold and silver practically until its depletion, the problems of slavery

1
Braudel, Femand: La historia y las ciencius sociales. Alianza Editorial. Madrid, 1966,
pp. 1741177.
' Opus cit., p. 186.
Decarolis: Globalization and Diversity: A Delicate Balance

between the 1 6 and ~ 1gthcenturies, the changes brought about by the railways,
steamboats and the communications revolution (telegraph, underground cables,
radiotelegraphy) in the 19' century produced an unparalleled impact in the
countries that at the tirne were part of the world order, unifying local production
and cansumption styles which turned inio one of the most noteworthy
homogenization processes hown in the world to that date. As Marc Aug says,
the colonized peoples were the firsf to suffer the planet's globalization. In Latin
America rnany States nowadays share a langage, a religion and historical
backgrounds and the Western civilization is more than ever a civilization without
frontiers. Therefore, we consider that this was the seed of globalization, an
economic, political and sociocultural process that is in force in our society and
currently one of the most debatable issues. The driver of globalization was always
mainly an economic driver: the search for markets to place the manufactured
products also has its cultural facet. The phenornenon of globalization as we
consider it mtoday is not new but instead is part of a very variable historical
development, subject to several contradictions.
We agree with Peter Worsley when he says that 'hunters and the most
primitive collectors were never isolated since civiIization has shifted from one
society to another, has changed, has been aggregated or has been lost ... and the
world was such, Iong before the Spanish anchored in America and the English
reached 1ndia. .,' 3

The global and the local

The same as yesteryear and despite the speed of communications, mankind


is still imprisoned within certain Iimits because the whole of civilization had and
still has an area of action that restrains it. Although the earth may seem smalIer
and smaller each day, and men are more than ever forced to live 'under the same
roof - as Toynbee said - when one talks about growing standardization it is
essential to determine the perinanence of'unity within diversity, the only path that
ensures an honourable future for humanity.
'Ali peoples build their destiny, their present day by day and there is either
confrontation or agreement between old attitudes and new n e e d ~ . ' ~
These cultural mutations and the building of their identities - as well as
their representations and practices - allow us to understand the complex
articulations that exist between what is global and what is local. If we wish to
participate in the transformations set forth by today's reality, it is necessary that
we distinguish within the heterogeneity and diversity of the civilizations what
featiires bring thern together in essence and if they are still in force, in turn,
determining their nuclei, their peripheries and the general and specific
characteristics that CO-existtherein. 'In al1 societies there CO-existdifferent groups
wliose social identities are made up on the basis of several variables such as their
special forms of perception, communication and interaction, social and

3
Worsley, Petcr: El iercer niinido. Siglo XXI. Mxico 1978, p.27.
4
Garcia Canclini, Nstor:Coitsui~iidoresy ciudadanos. Conflictos multiculturales de IU
g/obalizacibii. Ed.Grijalbo. Mxico, 1995.
Decarolis: Globalizationand Diversity: A Delicate Balance

generational ascription, ethnic or cIass origin. "@&efness" is a common condition


although the social and~symbolicdistance that separates us can be greater or lesser
and Vary in its affection and valuation c~ntents.'~
Marjorie Ferguson6 sustains that many aspects of globalization are only myths
devoted precisely to rooting and legitimizing the phenornenon itself, there where
the objects lose fidelity regarding the original territories and culture becornes a
process of multinational articulation of several features that any citizen from any
country rnay understand and use.
With the sudden invasion of techniques and al1 the acceleration cultural
industries provoke, adjustments are required, varying according to the specific
characteristics of each civilization or cuIture. Although no civiIization rejects the
new consumption goods that are offered to them, each one gives them a specific
meaning. Their social and political context marks differences, and progress,
instead of diminishing them, augments them. Wealth is not equitably distributed
throughout the different regions in the world. Only civilizations with economies
capable of sustaining cornpetition rnay participate in a race that will always have
winners and losers; even so, throughout history, societies are capable of living
through the deepest poIitica1, social, econornic and ideological unrest. Therefore,
although the massive transformation of the world is violently pushed towards
unity, the determinant is, in fact, the hurnan factor.
Before identities were territorial, subordinated to regions and ethnicity,
defined in a more or less arbitrary marner within a space called 'nation', based on
oral and written communications that covered personaIized areas. With today's
innovations, the legal and political references of the nations set up in eras in which
their identity was related excIusively to territories, have lost part of their strength.
However, thanks to the continuity of historical rnemory, national cultures have
not been compIetely extinguished, despite the fact that they have become unstable
because they are a mernory that is rebuilt day by day - as Pierre Vilar says - in
interaction with cultural referral points that are alien to it, in atmmition from
what is nath-hatis global, developing many times heterogeneous forms of
belonging.
Nawadays, the quick growth of audiovisual communication technologies
establishes other means of information in new sociocultural scenarios. Settlement
patterns are refomulated as well as those of rural and urban CO-existence; 'the
sense of belonging and identity are redefined and a l that is local and national gives
way to the transnational. ... and internatio~ializntionis the opening of the
geographical fiontiers of each society to incIude material and symbolic assets from
tlie athers ... globalization presupposes a functional interaction of spread out
economic and cultural activities, goods and services generated by a system with
inany cores, in which the speed to travel the world is more important than the
geographical positions from which actions are taken.'?

5
Oliven, Rubcn George: "NaciOn e Identidad en tiempos de globalizaci8n". in GIobalizacidn e
idetiridad cirItiira1. Ed. CICCUS. Buenos Aircs 1997.
"erguson, Marjorie: "La mitologia sobre la globalizaciiin". En European Jottrnai of
Coriiirititiicalioir. Vol. 7, No 1, marzo 1992.
7
Garcia Canclini, Nstor: Opus cit.
to be different. This fact appears mainly in regionalisms or nationalisms that are
part of 'alterity'. Anyhow,it must be stressed that the extreme glorification of
local traditions runs the risk of leading to a fundamentalism that may do away
with al1 transaction spaces and, in turn, be a movement that expresses identity
demands not properly assumed dunng the process of creation of the nations.

Conclusion

It is becoming more and more difficultto handle the differentiation of


meanings and this is directly reflected in individual and collective identity and in
the sense of belonging that is multiplied through specific roles: the family,
ethnicity, gender, profession, diverse associations, political parties, etc. Raynaud
says that to avoid the risk of a tyranny of the majority, people usually end up in
the opposite, that is to Say, a tyranny of the minorlty.
Convergence brings about particularisms and the latter are not necessarily
opposed to the current globalization and hornogenization trends which derive from
a worldwide economic system.
The new systems entai1 a remarkable increase in the complexity of
organizational structures which make it more dificult for individuals and the
different groups to directly control the social. system. This not only has a strong
influence on the societies that have achieved a high level of economic and
technoIogica1 development but also on those that are trying to reach such a level,
as is the case of the Latin American peoples.
Transformation undenvay in the society as a whoIe leads us to a
theoretical and methodological reflection on the specific characteristics of a
development that cannot be linked only to scientific progress and industrial and
technological organization.
Thelfact-ofsolving the diIemma of development in a global world is based
inostly on the capacity to act that each country has: the dimension of its territory,
the characteristics of its population, the cultural, social and politicaI traditions, the
cohesion of its society and the greater or lesser incidence of its leaders.
Development encompasses not only access ta gods and senices but also the
opportunity of the individuals for seiectinga satifactory collective mode of living in
w hi& t heir existence may floukh in al1 its forms and mtegrity . Developmait and
theeconomy are part ofthe peoplesfcultureand the latter cannot be ~legatedto the
subsidiary functbn of k i n g a simp le promoter of economk growth. The role of
culture is not merely a aneans to reacfi a target but is the social base of the targets
themeIves. Tt's a s o m e of progress and ueativity . It p Iays a constructive role and,
the~fore,real developmnt cannot exist without imluding cultural growth.
At the advent of the 21S'century the foundations of civilization are
disturbed and museoIogy, fulfilling its role of a scientific and theoretical discipline,
~nustbe aware of these conceptual changes br~ughtabout by the globalization and
regionalization processes,,based on respect for al1 cultur within the essential
noms of global ethics.
On-its part the mjseum,wnicn is immersed rn tne p r o ~ i e m ~ ny -
e a
globalization vis-&vis cultural diversity has the necessary elements to become
Decarolis: Globalitation and Diversiry: A Delicate Balance

respfiosible for dit delicatesquilibrium demanded.by the-newmulticuItura1


aenariosm&cannotignore thehre~uirements~demanded by sociew,as a whole:
'The rnuseum, guardian of the authentic vaIues that have made up
marikind's universe and human beings reality throughout time and space; the place
to lodge memory, integrating it into its own dynamic; linked to the identification of
the past and the acknowledgment of the testimonial and docurnentary value of its
traces; a means for recovering a threatened identity"' is tkmightinstitution tob
imorporate and disseminate the contents of a new system thaildoes not entail the
non-existence.ofdifferencegbut onlytheix xeaccommociation accomlin~to the new .
challenges-ofiglobalizationand diversity in today's warld.

Bibliography

Aug, Marc: Hacia una antropologia de los mundos contempordneos. Gedisa.


Barcelona 1995
Bayardo, R. y Lacarrieu, M. cornpiladores: Globrrlizacicjn e idenfidad cultural.
Ediciones CICCUS. Buenos Aires 1997
Braudel, Fernand: La historia y las ciencias sociales. Alianza Editorial. Madrid
1986
Cassirer, Ernst: Las ciencias de la c~rltura.Fondo de Cultura Economica. Mxico
1993
Castoriadis, Cornelius: El avance de la insign$cancia. EUDEBA. Buenos Aires
1997
Chomsky, Noam: Politica y culturu afinales del siglo X: Un panoraina de las
acbrales tendencias. Citedra Ferrater Mora del Pensamiento
Contemporhneo. Espaa-Calpe Argentina. Buenos Aires 1996
Chomsky, Noam - Henz Dieterich: La sociedad global. Educacibn, niercado y
det~iocracia.Oficina de Publicaciones del CBC.Universidad de Buenos
Aires. Argentina 1997
Eagieton, Terry :Las ililsiones delposinodernisrno.Editorial Paidii. Buenos A i m
1997

in
Decarolis, Nelly: "Mernories for tlie future". Symposium Museology and Meniory. Paris,
Grenoble, Aiinecy. 19129 June 1997.

24
Muse et patrimoine intgral: le futur du pass

Andr Dsvalles
Conservateur gnral honoraire du Patrimoine - France
Vice-Prsident du Comit international pour la Musologie de I'IcoM.

Une conception large et universelIe du patrimoine

C'est l'occasion dela rencontre de Santiago-du-ChiIi, que l'on a commenc


i parler de patrimoine intgral, en laborant, le 30 mai en 1972, les 'Principes de
base du muse intgral', et c'est aussi de Mexico, avec f'intervention de Pedro
Ramirez-Vasquez, alors Ministre mexicain des ktablissements humains et des
Travaux publics, qu'a t donne, lors de la sance d'ouverture de la 12me
Confrence gnkrale de l'lcom, la definition, pour l'poque la plus large du
patrimoine, inchant donc non seulement la nature, Ia culture matrielle, mais aussi
la culture immatrielle. Je le cite, un peu dans le dsordre:
Etymologiquement. le mol patrimoine signifie l'hritage qu'un pre lgue son fils; dans
le domaine social, il s'agit de l'hritage que transmet une gnration une autre. [...] Le
patrimoine est constitu par le monde physique, i'environnement qu'une gnration lguc
une autre. [...] On peut dire dans ce sens que le patrimoine comprend I'histoirc d'un
peuple, le langage, expression vivante d'une rkaIii, les coutumes et les traditions, la
littrature crite et orale. il inclut de mme les connaissances techniques et i'exprience
que les hommes ont accumule et dont ils ont'fait preuve, dans tous les pays, afin de
survivre; mais il implique galement la connaissance des erreurs et des checs de tous ces
hommes. Le patrimoine, c'est I'enscmble des principes et des valeurs spiritueIIes qui
cimentent la vie en commun au sein d'un pcuple et donnent un sens a sa vie quotidienne.
[...] Le soin que cctte gnration apporte la conservation dc l'quilibre et des ressources
de son univers reprsente un hritage incstimable, qui permettra la gnration suivantc
de mieux vivre, en harrnonic avec la crkation, et dc progresser dans la mme direction.

Avec une telle dfinition, on est loin de la vision traditionnelle qui limitait
le patrimoine aux somptueux monuments de l'histoire, de llarchoIogieou aux
chefs-d'oeuvre des Beaux-arts.
Nous allons y revenir, mais je vais d'abord faire quelques rappels
sinantiques. Le concept de patrimoine (qui est connot par la possession de ce qui
appartient au pre et qui est transmis, mais se distingue du terme hritage par le
fait qu'il ne se limite pas ce qui provient d'avant, mais comprend aussi l'acquis
conteinporain), lepafrinioipie donc s'est d'abord constitu en rapport la fois avec
le pass et le futur, autour du concept de mtiioire, certes, par extension du
concept de nionurnent (de ~iiplmos= souvenir), lequel signifie d'abord 'objet de
ininoire', et s'est tendu de l'objet lld@ce,puis au lieu, ( le 'lieu de mmoire') -
inais dans un sens beaucoup plus large. Le lieu est ressenti vraiment comme
patrimoine lorsqu'il est un lieu habit, lorsque ses visiteurs ressentent la prsence
de ceux qui y ont vcu (ou qui y sont morts), lorsqu'ils peuvent s'identifier eux.
Le patrimoine se rfre donc ii la fois a la mmoire - gnralement la mmoire
coIIecfive - et l'identit.Mais le problme du patrimoine, c'est qu'il est
polysmique, coinme la mmoire. Aristote notait dj que la mmoire fonde la
prudence par un triple rapport au temps: 'la mmoire du pass, l'intelligence du
prsent, la prvoyance du futur'. Comme certains l'ont bien fait remarquer au
Decarotis: Globalization and Diversity: A Delicate Balance

responsible for the delicate equilibrium dernanded by the aew multicultursl


scenarias and cannot ignore the requirements demanded by society as a whole.
'The museum, guardian of the authentic values that have made up
mankind's universe and human beings reality throughout time and space; the place
to lodge memory, integrating it into its own dynamic; linked to the identification of
the past and the acknowledgment of the testimonial and documentary value of its
traces; a means for recovering a threatened identity'1 is thrright institution to
incorporate and disseminate the contents of a new system that does not entai1 the
non-existence of differences but only their mccommodation according to the new
challenges of globalization and diver~ityin tody's worId. a

Bibliography

Aug, Marc: Hacia una antropologia de los mufidos contemporbneos. Gedisa.


BarceIona 1995
Bayardo, R. y Lacarrieu, M.compiladores: Globalizacibn e identidad cultural.
Ediciones CICCUS.Buenos Aires 1997
Braudel, Fernand: La historia y las ciencias sociales. Alianza Editorial. Madrid
1986
Cassirer, Ernst: Las ciencias de la culrura. Fondo de Cultura Econbmica. Mxico
1993
Castoriadis, Cornelius: El avance de la insignifcancia. EUDEBA. Buenos Aires
1997
Chomsky, Noam: Polificay cuIfura ajinales del siglo n. Un punouania de las
actrrales tendencias. Cbtedra Ferrater Mora del Pensamiento
Contemporineo. Espaa-Calpe Argentina. Buenos Aires 1996
Cliornsky, Noam - Henz Dieterich: La sociedad global. Educacidn, mercado y
dc~iiocracia.Oficina de Publicaciones del CBC. Universidad de Buenos
Aires. Argentins 1997
Eagkton, Terry: Las iliisioncs delpos~dernistnu.EditorialPaidb. Buenos Aires
1997

10
Decarolis, Nelly: "Meinories for tlie future". Symposium Museoiogy and Meniov. Paris,
Grciioblc, Annecy. 19/29 June 1997.

24
Cultural Franchising, Imperialism and Globalisation:
What's New?

David Dolan
Research Institute for Cultural Heritage, Curtin University, Western Australia
D-Dolan@spectnim.curtin.edu.au

The late 1997 opening of Frank Gehry's spectacular new Guggenheim in .


Bilbao has been widely promoted as the international museurn event of the decade.
The British art magazine Tate asked on its cover '1s the Guggenheim Bilbao the
building of the century?' In the context of oher developments, the Guggenheim
Bilbao has also been seen as evidence of Guggenheim director Thomas Krens's
'tireless efforts to build the world's first global museum brand.' (Deyan Sudjic,
'Reflective GIory', Tate 13, Winter 1997, p.57)
In this post-colonial era and in counnies such as Australia we know that
museums have often been inextncably involved in imperial and international as
well as national cultural power struggles. In this paper the 'global brand' view of
the Guggenheim and the very idea of global branding of museums is examined in an
attempt to clarify whether this is just more of the same (old wine in a new bottIe),
or whether it is evidence that museums may indeed be entering a new era of
gIobalisation - and if so what may be some of the consequences for professional
education and other aspects of museum practice.
Tittie of 3.1 1.97 had a feature story by Robert Hughes on the Bilbao
Guggenheim and the Getty Centre, flagged on the front cover by a corner banner
'A pair of hot museums'. Within a few months of its opening the Bilbao
Guggenheim was discussed and depicted in al1 marner of media and quickly
became one of the most recognisable museums (and indeed buildings or institutions
of any kind) in the world.
One frequent theme is that its new Guggenheim has put Bilbao 'on the
map' which of course means brought it to international (ie, foreign,English-
speaking, American?) attention. As intended by the local government which
corninissioned it, it instantly became, for the rest of the world and perhaps for the
Iocals too, the symbol and sign of Bilbao. A typical recent Australian example of
this is a letter 'Basque inspiration can help a basket case' in the Sydney Morning
Het-ald (25.7.98) from architect-educator Neville Gruzman who joins the chorus
deinanding the removal of an ugly and absurdly ill-placed building on Circular
Quay jiist south of the Sydney Opera House (another 'building of the century').
In terms of museology, there are good reasons to take note of what is
written in Tiilie, Tate, and indeed the Sydney Morning Herald, chief arnong which
is that they are not 'refereed journals' which means that they actually have a
readership, and in fact a readership which includes crucial decision-makers - not
only politicians and professionals but also generally voters, taxpayers, tourists,
and those inost important of a11 decision-makers: members of the public who
DoIan: Cultural Franchising. Imperialism and Globalkation: What's New?

decide which countries, cities and museums if any they will visit and support.
Time is obviousIy at the top end with its estimated twenty million readers of
whom over one miIlion are beiieved to read Hughes's art column (Robert Dessaix,
Speaking their minds, 1998, p.56-7).
At first glance the celebnty of the Bilbao Guggenheim seems largely and
intentionalIy due to its spectacular architecture, and it has fed architect Frank
Gehry's persona1 and professional farne as well as drawing upon it. In the context
of this inquiry we must ask whether it could have achieved the same degree of
attention had it not been branded as a 'Guggenheim'. It rnay also be relevant to
speculate whether sa daring a building would have been commissioned and
cornpleted without the authority of the Guggenheim name*It was a huge
investment for the Bilbao authorities: and the start-up costs of about $US170m
included the Guggenheim's $20m advisory fee which looks like insurance rnoney
for the success of the venture.
An anecdote may illustrate perceptions of the significance of big bmnd
names. My first glance at KaIgoorIie was at about seven o'clock one cool morning
in 1992. As the east-bound Indian-Pacific train pulled in, the sleepy passengers
were advised that there was a one-hour stopover and that a minibus tour of the
town was available. The friendly local lady who drove the minibus amazed us by
providing a commentary which barely touched on the exuberant gold-msh
architecture but highlighted supermarkets and fast food outlets and even vacant
sites designated for them.
There is a lesson in her apparent naivete in imagining that interstate and
overseas rail travellers who have chosen an early-morning tour of the goldfields
capital would be interested in noticing a Colesworths or a Hungry Macs. It relates,
inter alia, to differences between local and visitor perceptions. Visitors who are
staying in town and wilI be looking for food might find this useful information; to
the daybreak-tour train travellers these shops will be utterly uninteresting except
perhaps if they are cleverly adapted old buildings or bizarrely iocated new ones;
but to (sorne) locals they are symbols of progress, modernity and the urbanity of
their provincial city. Why? Not because they are just supermarkets and take-away
food outlets, but because they are brand names: part of big chains, in some cases
-
national or even better - international global brands. A new locally owned and
styIed fish or pizza shop would not rate a mention on the minibus tour but KFC
does. Does the BiIbao Guggenheim similarly benefit fiorn its famiIy name, or could
it have been just as instantly famous-- or even more so-- if the amazing building
had been built and opened as simply the 'Bilbao Art Museum'?
Part of the answer rnight be thought to lie in the supposed quality
guarantee provided by a major brand name, in which case the word Guggenheim is
presumably a guarantee of quality. Interestingly, though, the parent institution is
inore fainous for its Frank Lloyd Wright architecture than for its collection, and
while that may not matter once its fame is established, it may alternatively point
to the characteristics or promise of the emerging brand: 'good art in a unique
building'.
The Wright and G e l q buildings are briefly contrasted by Deyan Sudjic
wlio articulates Guggenheim director Thomas Cens's 'tireless efforts to build the
Dolan: Cutiural Franchising. Imperialism and G/obalkath: What's New?

world's fmt global museum brand'. There are now two Guggenheims in New
York,the Venice building has been reopened, and Bilbao is the first franchise, with
negotiations underway for more in France and Austria [and Japan although Sudjic
does not Say sol. Clearly, controIIing a chain of rnuseums simplifies the politics
and economics of organising touring exhibitions and permits greater use of
collections. Local authorities eager for cultural tourism are encouraged to fund
landmark buildings and enter into franchise-type management contracts with head
office in USA. (Sudjic, Op.CIt.,p.54-58).
Sudjic gives a very interesting, provocative and perceptive analysis, but we
may question his summation, that this represents 'the paradoxical spectacle of a
small nation asserting its cultural identity by importing culture [art collections and
architecture] wholesale...(Ibid,p.57) 1 would put a different spin on what the
Bilbao authorities have done. Perhaps, like the minibus driver in Kalgoorlie, they
are underselling their own cultural identity while trying to boost their own
confidence and appeal to tourists by asserting their modernity, internationalism
and maturity.
International culturai power politics is the sub-theme of Robert Hughes's
Tit~iearticle about the Bilbao Guggenheim and the Getty Centre in which he claims
they 'climax the age of American museum expansion' ('Bravo! Bravo?', T h e ,
3.1 1.97, p.66-7). In the sixties we used to talk about 'Coca-colonisation' to
suggest that ever-increasing US economic power conveniently symbolised by the
dominance of world brands was analogous to the political imperialism of previous
centuries. It is reasonable to ask to what extent the new global museum branding
phenornenon identified by Sudjic is comparable to coloniaVimperial arrangements
which created rnany still-existing museums al1 over the world.
In the days of Empire, the Churches like the A m y and the vice-regal
network, provided colonial career circuits for bishops, military officers, and
governors who moved between India, Canada, Australia and Afi-ica. This was not
Iilnited to the British Einpire; for example the early twentieth century religious
artist Father Lesmes Lopez had an international career entirely within the
Benedictine Order painting mural frescos in churches and monasteries in Spain,
Australia and the Philippines.
The old European-based imperial systems were driven by mercantile and
religious interests which created imperial and in sorne cases tnily global brands
both in material products and in services. Colonial universities (and, to a Iesser
extent, dite schools) were not directly controlled or administered h m Oxbridge
but tliey were staffed by Oxbridge graduates, imitated Oxbridge dress, architecture
and curricula, and although locally funded they promoted imperial rather than
regional or coionial values (see Ian Reid, Higker Educarion or Education for Hire?,
CQU Press, 1996; particularly the chapter on teaching English literature). It is not
being facetious to say that the growth of the British Empire allowed the Church of
England to develop from an isolated national denomination into a fhnchised global
brand of religion with centra1 control and a guarantee of doctrinal and ritualistic
quality and consistency. Often, this extended to architecture with favoured British
architects providing off-the-shelf plans for churches in the colonies. To what
degree did the same thing happen in inuseums?
Dolan: Cultural Franchising, Imperialism and Glob~lisafian:mat's New?

h t~rmsof architecture, mmy colonial niuseums are reflections of thuse in


Europe. AU araund the world, nineteenth century rn museums are as similar
looking as McDonalds restaurants, with their classical poricos evocative of the
NationaI Gallery in London or many Gerrnan institutions. There are stylistic
echoes of the Victoria and Albert Museum in Bombay, in Sydney, and saindry
other colonia1 capitals. Sy~te.msof collection development and specimen-
swapping in colonial science museums hava been extensively documented.
Colonial collectom and scientists soId specimens (including ethriogaphic matesial)
and supplied data to the theory-builders in the metropolitan institutions (see
Susan Sheets-Pyenson, Cathedrals of Science, McGill-Queen's UP,1988; and
Roy Macleod [ed.], Tke Commonwealth of Science, OUP, 1988). With
institutional art collecting the trade went the other way, as the imperial centres
found a market in the colonies, so it is a standard lament that in the nineteenth
cenhiry Australian art museums spent their money on then fashianable English
academic and salon artists rather than on ald masters or earIy modernists.
Because of the location of the major art markets and the dominant Euro-
centric view of art, caloninl museums often delegated their acquisition decisions to
European-based advisers. In Australia, this practice continued well into the
twentieth century, as did the preference for recruiting museum directors and senior
staff fiorn oveseas. Now,in the 1990s, Australian and other regional companies,
especially if in trouble, increasing opt to recruit an Amencan chief executive, as the
current conventional wisdom is that only someone qerienced in the US
marketplace can cope in the em of economic glohalisation. It was not so very
different a century aga. Then, whether we needed a chief executive, a professor, a
government department head, a bishop or a museum director, the cal1 was uszially
to 'bring out a top mari from England'. The recruitment process commonly
involued deIegating the selection, which meant that the purported 'top man' [never
a woman in those days] often turned out, too late, to be a mediocrity or self-
promoting professional pest whose peers had contemptuously nominated him
because, as in one famous but possibly apocryphal 1950s reference 'his colleagues
here in England wouId al1 be delighted and crinsider it most appropriate if he were
appointed to a permanent position in the Antipodes.'
This amounted to a systern of patronage which along with other factors
rnentioned above allowed cliques of senior museum staff and trustees in imperial
centres to exercise considerabIe influence over colonial cultural institutions they
genernlly never saw.Al1 the 'National Galleries' as they were then called, around
the world, or within a specific imperial system such as the British, cm be seen as a
sort of chsiin, each locally fnded, but with a decidedly similar feel as they w r e al1
looking to the same models. Thus 'National Gallery' was Iike a global brand, in
that you could find one almost anywhere and go in with sin expectation (not
aIways met) of a degree of quality contra1 enfarced thmugh goverment and
professional ambition. However, the imperial centre exercised influence rather than
strict control, and exercised its influence far more Ioosely and hegemanicdly than
in a tme contractual franchise operation. There is a parallel #O this today at the
national level in geographically large cauntnes, with touring organisations and
professional bodies exercising considerable influence, and major international
Dolan: Cultural Franchising, Imperialism and Globalisafion:What S New?

shows generaIIy only affordable if they go to several similarly equipped venues


chosen for non-competitive locations (eg, the same blockbuster is never seen in
both Sydney and Canberra). It seems reasonable to regard the kind of operation
which Sudjic describes in the Guggenheim group as an extension and intensification
of the colonial-imperial scenario: similar in some respects but far more
corporatised, managerial and market-driven.
There will of course be new and unpredictable consequences of museum
franchising and gIobalisation, especialIy if rather than being the climax as Time
suggests what we are now seeing is instead the beginning of a trend. Finally, we
must ask what may be some of the predictable consequences for practice, careers
and professional education if franchising and globalisation of museums goes on
apace. We can try to do this by extrapolating from the colonial experience while
taking a sideways glance at corporate histories of globalisation.
A now-standard account of the rise and fa11 of modernism in art has it that
Paris was the undisputed centre of the avant-garde until Hitler whose taste in art
was linked to his politics created the school of New York by encouraging a mass
emigration of the degenerate rnodernists, but then in the 1970s and 1980s the US
art hegemony collapsed and centres fiagmented and multiplied as Europe, Japan
and elsewhere developed strong regional art practices which were not seen as a
provincial reflection of any monoculture. Tension between the supposed centres
and peripheries has been a feature of many elements of twentieth century culture
and at century's end it has been heightened by the politics of control of mass
media, multimedia and ever-developing information technologies. The increase in
the number of museums in the 1980s and 1990s has been linked to both the
economics of tourism and the politics of regional identity and it is generally
unnecessary to choose between these as both obviously apply in many cases.
Nor is it necessary to decide whether the predominant swing in recent
years has been towards or away from regionalism or monoculture. What is clear is
that any growth in museum franchising or global branding will create a museum job
market sector (large or srnaII) where standardisation will require a less regional and
more global view. Even if the global style allows for a degree of regionalism it is
likely to take the f o m of commodified difference. Corporate loyalty will be
expected, and just as in the bigger museums today this will be a perceived by some
as a challenge to an ideal of curatonal autonomy. We might think that excessive
demands for confonnity will be bad for museums and bad for art, but as educators
we will have to at least be aware of the demands of the employers, and it will not
be al1 bad if this means insisting on a less romantic and self-indulgent approach to
ciirating and other tasks. Above al1 staff will have to be good at what they do and
good at coinmunicating to a mass audience, but worthwhile museum education
already Ilas that focus.
Wliether there wili be a bigger cake to share, in the sense of more jobs and
career opporhinities, will depend partly on the tmth or otherwise of the marketing
dictur~ithat choice stimulates sales. The presumed eficiencies generated through a
ciiain of inuseurns may result in fewer staff being required for the same result, but
equally inight be articulated to permit the same or a slightly larger staff to deliver a
Iiigher level of activity as demanded by a museum visiting public growing and
Dolan: Cultural Franchising, Imperialisni and Globalisation: Whaf's New?

made hungry by guaranteed good experiences. It is estimated that the annual


operating budget of the Bilbao Guggenheim will be about $US12m, which is
comparable to the biggest Australian museums but not huge by world standards.
Two points: firstly, until it is proven otherwise we rnay assume that this is
additional to present t m o v e r in the sector, as new ventures are more likely to
expand the total museum market than to acquire market share at someone else's
expense; and secondly, just imagine the Bilbao Guggenheim investment multiplied
ten or a hundred times.
ObviousIy the resolution of some of these issues, in particuIar the question
of vibrant regionalism versus monocultural imperialism, will depend on how
museum franchising or globaI branding works out in practice, and if the initial
administrative and curatorial policies are modified. Although the Guggenheim
collection includes European modemism, the Bilbao Guggenheim has opened with
a dispIay consisting mostly of American art of recent decades drawn from the
central (New York) Guggenheim collection. Hughes sneers that this represents
Krens's taste, and Sudjic describes it as presenting 'a view of the world from the
perspective of the Upper East Side' [of New York]. (p.57) It is a stark contrast to
the situation nearby in fiercely regionalist Barcelona where the major collecting
institutions concentrate almost exclusiveIy on locaI Catalan art (except perhaps
Richard Meier's 1996 Museum of Contemporary Art, which anyway is more
focused on loan exhibitions than on collecting).
The Guggenheim bas a program to acquire, at local expense, some Spanish
art for Bilbao. In view of some of the assumed efficiencies and other rationales for
a franchising policy, this raises an interesting scenario which does not appear to
have occurred to Hughes or Sudjic. What if:
The 'global brand' chain goes ahead and there are Guggenheims in Paris,
Vienna, and perhaps in several Asian cities;
Regional collections are acquired in connection with each of these;
Sustaining interest and visitor nuinbers requires offering a wide range of art and
exhibitions (more than just a mix of US and local art in each venue); and
The politics and economics of organising touring exhibitions and other
Guggedieiin group activities means that the whole Guggenheim collection is to
some degree centrally curated and managed as one collection?
Will the whoIe group and specificalIy the head office become more
international througli a process of reverse colonisation, diluting the 'Iate-imperial
American' culture which for Hughes initially characterises the Bilbao exercise?
Will the Guggenheim group's senior staff be recruited only in and from the US? If
'the world's first global museum brand' represents multinationalism, then the next
stage (drawing on patterns of corporate globalisation) may be transnationalism.
Another coinparison might be the (predominantly performing) arts festivaIs whose
directors scour the world for soinething different, and in whose programs the once-
dominant European classics are now greatly outnurnbered by acts from countries
whose location on the inap is only vagueiy known to most of the audience.
Can we i~naginea real object-based global museum group entity answerable
to no national cultural agenda, and alinost as dispersed as a so-caIled virtual
inuseum which is everywhere and nowhere in cyberspace? It could be interesting
DoIan: CulfuralFranchising, Imperialism and Globalkation: Whar 's New?

tu work for, but would be a dernanding employer, and a challenge to the educators
of professional staff. While pondering this we might take note that the
management gurus are aheady saying that globalism as a concept is now a bit
dated, and are talking instead about 'globality': a world in which everybody cm be
connected a l the time and authorities do not have as much leverage. Perhaps
museums will bypass globalism or pass rapidly through that phase altogether, and
at the next ICOM conference we will be trying to corne to grips with globality
instead!

Bibliography

Dessaix, Robert, Speaking their minds, 1998


Gruzman, Neville, 'Basque inspiration can help a basket case' (letter to the Editcir)
Sydney Murnittg Herald, 25 -7.98
Hughes, Robert, 'Bravo! Bravo!', T h e , 3.1 1.97
Sudjic, Deyan, 'Reflective Glory', Tate 13, Winter 1997
Reid, Jan, Higher Education or Edtrcation for Hire?, Central Queensland
University Press, 1996
Sheets-Pyenson, Susan, Cuthedrals of Science, McGill-Queen's University Press,
1988
Roy MacLeod, Roy [ed.], The Commonwealth of Science, OUP, 1988
China's First Ecomuseum - Soga Miao Community,
Guizhou: The fmst test case of the international
ecomuseum concept in China

Su Donghai and An Laishun


Chinese Society o f MuswmsI 29 May 4th Beijing 100009 CWNA

1 Background
The initiativeetu develq .Chha's first ecomusem in Soga cammuinty d
Miao NatiariaIity, in Guizhou Province, China, was &.ken by the Chinese Sa&v
of Museurns is September 1994 in comtion with ICOFOM annual lawting in
Bai~ing,with the particip&on of musedogist Mr, John Aage Gjestrrim from
N o m y and the support from the Nmwgian Agency for Development
Cooperation (N0lUb)for pan of pmject nuidhg
The Can~eptfr fheSoga Eccrrnuwarn provides the museurn sactor in
China with a n0w a m ofdevdopment. T b fdiowhg aspects should h
partieularly empkssi-zed :
The project is a specif~activity Iocat'ed at the Soga, facusing on the clmter of
ethnic Miao villages commudties witir in a r a OF Saga fowq
* The project will be the firsta~tnuseumto he eaablished in Chinsr;
The pr~jectwill be a test case for the iniernationally developing concept of the
ecumuaeurn. It may Iead tu related pxoiects and actriviies in Guizhou Fravihce
and elsewhme in China.
These objectives ad practicai measiiies relate to cuIhual heritage, natuml
l a n h p e s and the dvelspment oflocal commuaities in transition, So the projets
concept cm be regarded as atramdinarily chalhgirrg and valuaue.

XI International ecornuseurn concept


Intmduced by ~ rGjntnim,
, some baaic pinciples of the intaniaiional
eomuxcurn concept have been refemd to in the prscess of he devstoprnent ofthe
Soga ececomuseurn priject, They are as foIlows:
The m c e p t 00 the momusem was introduced in France 193 1, Since then
it has becorne an importnt part of &a total msew situatirin in mm9 ctintries
in Europe, LatinAnerica and Canach
The-main themetical starting gaint of the ecomuSr:um is rhat peopIe shll
not be divickd f r ~ mtlreir cultmaI Ireritage. Tbey shall have the apporhmity b
create their future based>upani t Fmm this pasiti0d the praetical action s
develqwd. This makes the ecomweum different fiom the traditional museum. Far
scientifir:and many aiher masons the traditional rnuseum as we know it is rzeeded -
the e c o m u s m is therefore not a subsijtute hr gther museums. Tnstead it e x t d s
the museum concept IO new social hctians.
-
The heritage Iandscape*buildings, rnovabh objects, #ditions - in factt,
th6 content of the euhr'e in this speclfic oommunity - ia givm value by the
ccomuseurn. At the same timt t i i s ecomrisiseum is an instrument for the
safeguarding and future preservation ofwltzualhwitage iWf. The ecarnuseum
Donghai & Laishun: China's First Ecomuseum

must be seen as a long-term working rnethod in preservation and understanding the


specific material and intangible culture of the group.
This increased understanding will strengthen the cuItural identity. It is
based upon the participation and controlled by the group itself, guided by
museoIogica1 and scientific experts and supported frnancially by authorities. Basic
keywords in the ecomuseum concept are therefore:
Territory
Heritage
Population
Memory
Popular education
Participation
Ecology
Identity
The ecomuseum as a working mode1 in the field of heritage and cultural
values in a community will strengthen the cultural identity of the group. This can
be a major contribution to the future survival of this culture. The ecomuseum
therefore very clearly has a social function. The ecomuseum in this way also is a
link between the past, the present and the future.
The 25 years of ecomuseum experiences have given many examples on
how these principles and ideas have been adapted to practicaI situations. In theory
al1 cultural and natuml heritage within the specific territory is considered as part of
the ecomuseum. However, this is a theoretical position: everything is possible
documentation of the history and present culture of this group. In praxis the
ecornuseums have been organized in very practical ways. One of the most
important parts is a documentation centre. This is at the same time:
1. A data bank for the documentation of the specific culture, done with tape
recordings of oral history (language and traditions), photos, written sources,
specific valuable objects, inventories with registration of objects, buildings and
other parts of the heritage in the territory. The data bank is a wide source of
knowledge that shall be safely preserved and studied by the population itself and
by outside researchers.
2. A visitor centre giving an introduction (a small exhibition) to visitors coming
froin outside on the specific culture and people they are visiting, on how they as
visitors (guests) shall behave, and on what they can see and experience during their
visit, also presented by audio-visual media.
3. Working facilities and technical equipment for the museum staff and voIunteers
working on documentation, research and interpretation.
4. Also usually included are some areas for social functions like a srnaIl restaurant
and meeting rooms.
The other main part of the ecomuseum structure is what the French cal1 the
rintennae of the ecomuseum. That is parts of the heritage preserved in situ that is
chosen to be given a specific interpretation and open to visitors. Each one of these
visiting points is normally very small and covers only one or some aspects of the
heritage. However, with a very high quality in the field of authenticity in these
selected sites, the total experience of the visitor will be very wide.
In every country and in every museum project the ecomuseum is realised
differently, based upon the specific cultural situation and resources of personnel
Donghai & Laishun: China's First Ecomuseum

and economy. Some projects are mostly directed towards the needs of the local
population, others more towards visitors fiom outside.
Zn al1 cases work on the preservation of heritage and museum work are
integrated and seen as a whole, strongiy emphasizing the participation of the locaI
popuIation in the work and giving weight to the social fbnction of the museum.
Sorne results of the ecomuseum can be to uicrease:
the importance of heritage;
the self-confidence of different communities;
the capacity for an ecologicaIly responsible/sustainable future;
the sense of social responsibility;
the longterm survival of scientific resources;
the museum role in popular education;
the knowledge of other cultural groups, leading to tolerance, respect and
mutual trust.

III. The Special Significance of Establishing an Ecomuseum in Soga


Community
A scientific research project called 'Investigation and Study on the
Flexibility of Setting up Ecomuseum in Guizhou' was put forward in April 1995.
After negotiation with the related authorities, the project team was fomally
initiated. The vice director of the Guizhou Culture Office was named as the team's
consultant; Mr. Su Donghai, the editor-in-chief of CHINESE MSEUM, and Mr
Gjestrurn are the perons in charge; Mr. Hu Chaoxiang, the vice director of
Guizhou Cultural Heritage Office, and Mr. An Laishun, the editor from the
Chinese Society of Museums have been acting respectively as an organizer and a
coordinator of the academic investigation.
From April 19 to 28 in 1995, the project team investigated Zhenshan
Village in Huaxi District of Guiyang City, Soga Village in Liuzhi Special Zone of
Liupanshui City and nearly ten other villages in Rongjiang, Congjiang, Liping and
Jinping counties where Buyi, Miao, Dong and Han nationalities Iive in compact
coinmunities. After thorough expositions and fierce arguments, the project team
combined the basic theory of the international ecomuseum with the actual
conditions of Guizhou, especiaIIy the situations of Soga Comrnunity. The team
suggested setting up the country's first ecomuseum in Soga community. The team
also put fonvard the initial plan of the Soga Community Ecomuseum. The Study
Report praduced the following results: special significance and flexibility of the
Soga Ecomuseum; construction of facilities and preservation of the original
outlook;, organizational structure; financial arrangement; perspective of the
establishment of ecomuseum group in Guizhou.
The Soga Community accommodates a rare branch of Miao nationality
witli a specific cuItural identity. This branch, with a population over 4,000, is
distributed over twelve villages within Soga community. By the end of 1997, the
population was 4069, 996 families, Living in the remote mountains al1 the year
round, the people here had little contact with the outside until the late 1980s,
when a new road was built. The community has a unique old Miao culture,
syilibolized by a iiead ornament made of long ox horns. This culture is of primitive
siinplicity. It includes a quite equal primitive democracy, opulent rites in marriage,
fiineral and sacrificial ceremonies, amazing music and dances, and excellent
Donghai & Laishun: China's Firsr Ecomuseum

embroidered arts. The people here are living in a natural economic circumstances -
men cultivate land and women weave cotton cfoth. The project team made an
initial investigation of the Longga, one of the representatives of the twelve Miao
villages. The basic situations are as follows:
Na tural Landscape
The whole Longga village takes cover in the high mountains fiom 1,400 to
2,200mabove sea Ievel. It is four kilometers away from the nearest road and is
completely invisible from the outside. Behind the village is a primitive forest. On
the top of the opposite hi11 stands a stone barracks. Obviously, Miao people
chose this place for the village site out of war considerations, since the place is
easy to defend and hard to attack.
The other eIeven villages are also located in the remote mountains. This branch of
the Miao might have corne here and settled down in the early 17th centwy. A
road, paved in 1989, stretches up the mountain, the only route linking the village
with the outside world.

His tory
Mr Song Zhenqing, the Elder in the village, was told by his grandfather
that the village had a history of more than 200 years. In the early 17th century,
this branch of Miao came here to avoid wars (historically called Shuixi Incidence)
or other catastrophes. According to him, his ancestors were chased here and
settled down. At that time there were only five families. Mr. Song is the 10th
generation. Up to now, the Longga village has 97 households with a population of
490. According to the oral-told history by the elder people and consulting the locaI
chronicles, we can roughly outline the village's history in the past 200 years.
Econon~y

Longga Village is still in the state of natural economy. Due to the high
no un tains and shortage of water, the residents here reclaim arid wasteland and
harvest a srnaII amount of grain. In nearly three months of the year, they have to
go down the mountain to carry water up, so life is very hard. The people raise
poultry, cattle, pigs and ducks. Oxen are the main tool of agricultural production,
so they are highly respected by the residents. Ox horn is also used as a sacred head
ornainent. The people here plant cotton, weave and dye cloth, embroider and sew
the garments for themselves. So we can Say that the Longga Village is in the state
of natural economy - men cultivate land and women weave cloth.

ClilLure
Unique music and dances: Music from the long three-hole xiao (a vertical
bainboo flute) is low and deep as if it is telling people about the sufferings caused
by wars; the lively melody from bamboo sheng (a reed pipe wind instrument) and
ba~nbooleaves is nat as loud and sonorous as the tunes of other Miao nationality
branches.
Prodigal rites: A rnarriage offerhg ceremony usually lasts one to two days;
funeral ceremony is very solemn and representatives from al1 the twelve villages
coine with gifts and pay their respects to the dead. The Elder in the village will cut
a inark on a bamboo pole to note down the quantity of the presents so that the
village will pay back in the future.
Donghai & Laishun: China's First Ecomuseum

Wax printing and embroidery: With natural plants as dye, the wax printing
here is of high quality. Every household has its own dye vats. A girl starts to learn
embroidery at a very young age. An embroidered product is an embodiment of the
intelligence and wisdom of a girl. So the coloufil embroideries are precious
treasures of the Longga Village.
Education: There is a simple school in the village, teaching the Miao and
Mandarin languages. It is said that some people in the vilIage have reached a
cultural level of junior middle school. i n 1998, the village has had one college
student of their own. In recent years, more and more children can go to school to
have prirnary education instead of taking embroidery and housekeeping which
were their main tasks in the past. Only the Elder and a few persons in the village
can recognize the old characiers on the barnboo.
Architecture: Al1 the houses in the village have straw roofs and clay walls.
There is no modern building. Each family lives in a 3-xoom house. In the left room
is a stove with fire al1 the year round, a symbol telling that life in this farnily is
prosperous. The stove is used for cooking, heating and wax boiling. Al1 the farnily
rnembers take good care of the stove.

Religion
The Miao nationality believes in polytheism. Longga Village worships the
God of Mountain, holding a ceremony once a year to pay its respect to this god.
The Shaman is the religious and spiritual Ieader in the village. He tells fortunes,
cures diseases, practices geomancy, presides over mernorial ceremonies and gets
rid of ghosts for the residents. The Shaman enjoys a high reputation.

Managenient of Social Life


Longga Village is governed by three leaders called Chief, Elder and Shaman.
The Chief is the administrative commander; the Elder is the moral master and the
Shainan is the religious head. The three leaders are not elected by the residents but
corne to the power naturally during the long course of life. Such management is
very primitive, but very equal too. They need not to campaign for office or be
norninated. The local goverment has appointed a man as the village's director. The
noininated man is the Chief, so the appointment is easily accepted by the
residents. But, the people here do not cal1 him director, they still consider him as
the Chief.
In line with the rough analysis of the above situations, the project team
discovered that the natural landscape, social structure, economic condition and
spiritual life of the Longga ViIIage preserve the state of a comparatively primitive
culture - a rare but lively culture. The most invaluabIe point is that the community
accoinmodates all the population (over 4,000) of the long-horn Miao nationality in
tlie world. Therefore, the community has become a part of the world cultural
lieritage with a high preservation vaIue. The idea of setting up an ecomuseum to
protect this precious national culture and allow it to continue is widely welcomed
by the Miao people as well as by scientific workers in the fields of ethnology,
anthropoIogy, sociology, culture and folk custom. The ecomuseum will contribute
for the social and economic development of Soga Community. It will do its bit to
preserve the culturaI heritage of Miao nationality, Guizhou, China and even the
whok huinankind.
Donghai & Laishun: China's First Ecomuseum

III. Construction, Rehabilitation and Restoration


The project team has suggested building the documentation centre in
Longga village. The centre will be a cultural facility and tourist attraction in Soga
Community. The establishment of the LonggdSoga ecomuseurn will in the field of
physical realization be divided in two parts:
1. The construction of the ecomuseum documentation centre
2. The preservation and rehabilitation of the Longga Village
The documentation centre building will consist of an archive room, some
working rooms, an introductory exhibition with audiovisuals and some other
facilities.
The exterior design makes associations to the Miao-architecture of the
Longga Village. Cxafismen from the village therefore are engaged in parts of the
construction work.

The preservation and rehabilitation of the Longga Village


One starting point in the preservation and rehabilitation of the Longga
Village is that most of the houses still shall be used by their owners according to
their original function. This means that some improvements of standards must be
allowed. At the same time, it is important to preserve as much as possible of the
cultural and historical documentation included in the buildings, as well as the
architectural values of the village as a whole. Many buildings suffer from lack of
maintenance, To restore the original construction with the original techniques will
therefore in many cases in itself mean great improvement to the buildings. The
craftsmen in the village are skilIed carpenters, and are familiar with the traditional
actual techniques.
Of the about 100 living houses four or five should be preserved for the
future as scientific documentation showing both the original interior and exterior.
These houses would be a part of the ecomuseum interpretation. For the other
inore than 90 houses, each family should be requested to preserve one of the
rooiiis in the house, and at the same time it shauld be accepted that other parts of
tlie interior can be changed. Further inventories of the village are necessary in order
to have enough detailed information to suggest priorities from the heritage point of
view.
The rehabilitation has been planned to take place in a period of
five-eight years (or even longer). This will mean that maybe ten houses could be
repaired every year. The priority of which houses to choose each year must be
done by the ecomuseum and the village leaders together. The correct traditional
building materials should be provided, and the group of craftsmen in the village
engaged 6 months a year for this work, especially in the beginning, should they be
given training in understanding the principle ideas of preservation.
It is important also to preserve secondary buildings such as cowhouses,
storage houses and so on. These can probably function for many years without
ileed for specific improvements. They should however be restored in order to be
preserved as part of the complete village.

IV. Organizational Structure


The organizational structure of the Soga Comrnunity Ecomuseum will
follow the common principles of ecomuseums, strengthen the Miao cultural
identity, respect its automatic governing tradition and direct it with necessary
Donghai & Laishun: China's Firsl Ecomuseum

Iaws, regulations and policies. Its organizational stnrcture can be divided into two
stages: constructional stage and open stage.

1. Consrvuction Stage
There will be three organizations in the constructional stage.
1 . The Construction Leading Group will mainly exercise leadership in the fieIds
of law, regulation and policy, raise the construction funds, inspect and check
the construction quality of the facilities. The leading group will consist of
representatives fiom the culture and relic administrative departments at the
provincial, municipal and district levels.
2. The Scientific Consultative Group will mainly offer academic consultation and
direction to the constniction of the Soga Community Ecomuseum,coordinate
the publicity at home and abroad, promote the publishing activities, and
evaluate the academic quality of the project. This group is consists of experts
from the Chinese Society of Museums and Nonvay.
3. The Planning and Construction Group wilI mainly map out the detail plans,
cany out the construction of the documentation centre, preside over the
rehabilitation and restoration of the structures in Longga and organize the
scientific investigation, arrangement and research of the (Long-Horn) Miao
Nationality. The group will consist of representatives from the culture and
relics administrative departments at municipaI and district levels, proxies from
the twelve Miao villages, constructional engineers and technicians,
administrative persons and financial workers.

2. Open Stage
With the completion of constmction, the organizational structure centre
and the manageria1 rights of the ecomuseum wiIl graduaIly shift to the Soga
Coinmunity. A management cammittee will be established during this stage and
the Scientific Consultative Group should be kept after readjustment.
1. The Management Committee will be in charge of the daily operation and
management of the documentation centre, coordinate the preservation of the
original outlaok of Longga Village and exhibition activities. The committee will
consists of representatives frum the cuIture and relics administrative
departments at district level, proxies from the twelve Miao villages,
administrative persons and financial workers. The Miao representatives shall
be the majority of the committee.
2. The Scientific Consultative Group is mainly provide academic consultation
and guideIines in the field of museum and museology, coordinate the pubIicity
at home and abroad and promote the publishing activities. The group will
consist of experts from the Chinese Society of Museum, Guizhou Province
and Norway. After a period of opening ta the public, experts from the
Guizhou Provincial Museum will shouIder most of the scientific consultative
work.
By now, the construction of the Documentation Centre will have been
finished, and it will open to the public in October 1998. Longga village has started
the preservation and rehabilitation work.
The project lias received great support and help from the Guizhou
Government and other reIated departments. The Chinese Society of Museums has
given its academic support to the project. As a scientiftc advisor, Mr. John Aage
Donghai & Laishun: China's First Ecomuseum

Gjestrum's support is greatly significant. 1997 and 1998, NORAD contributed


great financial support with up to NOK 7000.000 for the construction and
preservation and rehabilitation.
Preseming and Presenting Global Hybndization:
New responsibilities for museums in the new
rnillennium

George Jacob
Consultant & Manager, Asia-Pacific,
LORD CulturaI Resources - Planning & Management Inc.
7 Amoy Street #02-02, Canada House, Far East Square, Singapore 049949
LORD_SINGAPORE@COMPUSERVE.COM -

Dr Easaw Thomas is a widely travelIed medicd professiona1- a third


generation Singaporean who has managed to keep his Indian roots dive. Born into
the Marthoma Syrian Orthodox (one of the oldest church traditions in the world
dating back to 52 AD) family, he is a collecter and lover of Art and his house is
dotted with pieces from countries that he has visited including Itaiy, France,
Canada, Japan, Australia and of course, India. His wife, Dr. Anjala, is from a
Hindu famiIy originalIy from Rajasihan who moved to Calcutta a generation ago.
Their private collection of some incredible works of Art, numismatics and philately
from CoIonid India fias inspired them to redesign their massive circa 1928 coloniai
villa to accommodate a 'BengdCalcutta Room', a 'Keralflravancore Room' and a
'RajasthadJaipur Room' for a more stmctured thematic experience. More than
being rnarveIlous pieces of conversation, there is something very interesting taking
place here. While their collections celebrate their uniqueIy diverse heritage and
transmigration of cultures, it also acknowledges their global outlook of appreciating
different forms of art. Their three children draw strength from their ancient roots,
feel blessed by their rich and mixed ancestry at the same time feei inspired by their
present reality of appreciating the gIobal flavour reflected in the wider collections
acquired through recent travels.
In 1965 Si Wai Lai swam from her hometown in Guangzhou in China to
escape Mao's CulturaI Revolution to Hong Kong in search of freedom and decades
later, eventualiy immigrated to Canada in 1981, In less than three years she spent
over $5 1 miIIion acquiring three of Niagara's best hotels (including the Prince of
Wales Hotel where Queen Elizabeth once stayed), downtown properties, retail
complexes, finest homes and several restaurants. The township of Niagara-on-the-
Lake symbolizes the architectural style of the early British settlement in the region
and was recentiy voted the prettiest town in Canada. Ber efforts to renovate some
of these long standing time-pieces have met with resistance and resentment from
1ocaI residents who are wary of this new wave of Asian real-estate investors.
Indeed, powered by individuals like Si Wai Lai, a cultural assimilation of sorts is
here to stay in this small town.
A third level in the hybridizatian process is in the larger sociallcommunity
context be it the Sikhs in Brampton, the Chinese in Vancouver, Jains in New York,
Tamils in Singapore or the British in Hong Kong. Countless references to post-
colonial societies and influences abound the history of nations. WhiIe some of these
communities zealousIy guard their roots and traditions, they are finding it
increasingly hard not to adapt and change with the ambient forces of their
sociallbusiness milieu.
Parallel to these three levels of assimilation is the functional and ecanomic
interdependence of nations. Imported labour, manpower, finished goods, raw
materials are only a fraction of an equation sa complex in nature that it is virtualiy
impossible for any nation to function in self-sufficient isolation. The fundamentai
economic and functional interdependence is here to stay.
Yet another blanket layer which strengthens the fabric of global
connectedness is the power of air-travel, the internet and telecommunications
Jacob : Presening and Presenting Global Hybridka tion

Against this backdrop, while the traditionai classical role of museums which
guard the future of the past has rernained faidy intact, the last haif a century has
yielded to the blossoming of institutions of popular culture and edutainment.
It is interesting to note that among societies where there has been a cultural
continuity of sorts, the museum movement (as a westem/eurocentric concept
precinct) has always stmggled to find acceptance. In these societies the link with the
past is overwhelmingIy noticeable in virtually dl spheres of life - from paintings,
architecture, music, dance, religions and folk-traditions, festivals, social-matrix,
clothes, cuisine to business ethics. This time-warp and the elongated continuity of
traditions (despite the powerful influences of technology) stretching over centuries
is an enrichingly stirring experience to those who explore this cultural dynamism
seldom offered by 'museums' that are stapled on to this milieu. As their oft sterile
presentations pale against the inherent cultural energy that exudes from their
stakeholders, the very existence of museums cornes under a revisionist eye.
Samuel P. Huntington, a Harvard Professor, in his book Clash of,
Civilizations and the Remaking of the World Order, argues that though the internet
has advanced cross cultural exchange of thought, the most important distinctions
arnong people are not ideological, poIiticaI or economic, but essentially cultural.
Moving to another country need not change or convert one's cultural ethos but
exploration does indeed, sharpen a sense of identity in the larger context of a
pluralistic world.
In this context, museums need to acknowledge these pkmm'is$of cultural
transmigration, dynamics, adaptations and the socio-anthropoIogica1 implications
spurred to some extent by technology, economic inter-dependence and numemus
other factors which nurture the global-village phenomena. Has the museum
community risen ta address these contemporary issues ? Have they focused their
energies into presenting this hybridization? Will comrnunities tolerate an
acknowledgment of 'dilution' in their cultures? How 'Ml1 museums structure this
change into their existing mandates? 1s thema need for:a different level of academic
md professional skills among the museum personnel to faciiitate this change?
These are the five fundamental questions that will need careful consideration as we
heraId the new millennium.

Dallas, Linda & Jean Saint-Cyr, 'Why do we need Children's Museum About the
World?' Museums Where Knowledge is Slinred, edited by Michel Cote &
Annette Veil, ICOM Canada, Musee de la Civilization, 1995
Cameron, Duncan F., 'The Museum, a Temple or the Forum', Curcrtor 14, March
1971
Huntington, Samuel P.,Closh of Civilizations and the Remaking of the World Order
New York, Simon & Schuster, 1996
Morton, Alan, 'Tomorrow's Yesterdays: Science Museums and the Future', The
Museum Tivte Mndiine edited by Robert Lumiey, New York, Routledge,
1988
SchieIe, Bernard, (ed.), When Science Becontes Culture- A world survey of
scierrtific c~ilture,University of Ottawa Press, 1994
Museology and Globalization

Nicola Ladkm
Museum of Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA

Rsum: Musologie et mondialisation

Cette courte prsentation a pour but d'addresser la relation entre la


discipline de musologie et le phnomne de mondialisation. Les questions
souleves lors de cette communication portent sur la dfinition du concept de
mondialisation, sur son influence sur la musologie et sur la manire dont cette
influence peut tre perue d'un point de vue international. Les diffrences entre les
nombreux muses de Ia plante quant aux effets de mondialisation sont abordes,
de mme que les rpercussions causes par ses changements. Ces changements
sont particulirement importants sur la faon dont les musologues peroivent leur
profession et sur les demandes apportes par une clientle de plus en pIus varie.
Cette prsentation finalement suggre que ses changements peuvent tre initis par
les musologues eux-mmes. Une exprience commune, entretenue par la
profession, un standard du code d'thique professionnel et une volont de se
renouveller par l'entremise d'un apprentissage professionnel constant, sont les
raisons pour lesquelles les musoIogues sont les plus aptes h instiguer ces
changements dans le cadre de cette mondialisation.

Weface challenges,problems, and issues fhat are ittcreasingly def ined in a global
copil~t.
Al Gore, Vice-President of the USA, Consetvation 12(3), 1997

Thefact thar so tliany niuseutti professiional have been drawn to ICOMproves


how iiiipovtant our Organisation is, at a tirne when the world situarion is
calling outfur stronger links on a global scale.
Elisabeth des Portes, former Secretary General of ICOM, from a letter to
colIeagues, ICOM News 5 1(l), 1998.

References to globalization and the global village are heard with increasing
frequency. But what does globalization have to do with the field of museology
and how does it influence what museologists do? If museologists aim to help
inuseuin audiences to understand the globalization process with the cultural change
tliat accoinpanies it, giobalization first must be defined, researched, and
understood within the museological profession itself. To begin this process three
very important questions must be asked. What is globalization? What is the
influence of globalization on museology and how wilI it affect how museologists
work? If globalization does affect museology, how can its effects be addressed?
Ladkin: Museology and Globalization

The answers to these questions wiI1 estabIish a common understanding of the


influence of globalization on museology so that future discussions cm be of use in
an international museum context.
The meaning of globaIization must fust be established. Websters Nav
World College Dictionary (1997 edition) defines globalkm as being a policy or
'
outlook, etc., that is worldwide in nature and definm gIobaIize as the process of
making global, especially to organize or establish worIdwide. The same source
defrnes the global village as the world regarded as a single comrnunity as a result of
Jet
,
%','

- '

such things as mass media and rapid travel. GIobal policy, globaI organization, and
global outlook al1 suggest participation in these processes on a world-wide Ievel.
Globalization, then, is a concept and a process of making global that is, by
implication, based on a universally shared experience and equal participation.
Paradoxically, however, the actual effects of globalization are not yet equally
distributed or felt around the world. WhiIe many aspects of modem life such as
telecommunications, pollution control, and world trade and debt, are organized or
Iegislated for on a global level, this is not necessarily apparent to individuals as
they go about their daily lives. The influence of gIobalization is feIt differently by
different individuals and it influences some individuals to a greater degree than
others. To many it has had a dramatic impact on their lives. For many others,
globalizm simply has yet to arrive, at least on the levet of daily experience. This
situation aIso is mirrored at the national level. Some nations of the world are able
to participate fully in global concepts and processes, while others so far have had
limited participation or no participation at all.
Not surprisingly, then, the influence of globalization-on museology also
differs >widelyaround the world: A very important reason for this differing
influence is found in the fact that the technology on which-it is based also is not
yet evenly distributed among museums around the world. -Theprocesses of
globaIization rely on technological advancements that are supported by a well
developed and reliable local and national infrastnicture. Many of the informational
and organizational linkages that characterize globalization are just not possible
without access to new communications technology and many museums do not yet
Iiave this. How rnany times are our coIleagues around the world heard to Say
'Internet? Sorry, we're not yet connected. Fax? No, don't even try. It's not very
reliable and soinetimes it doesn't work at all.' MuseoIogists must be aware that
globalization has differing effects on museology around the world so that a
coinmon experience is not assumed where there is none, either for the purpose of
the discussion here or during interaction with colleagues on an international basis.
Having established that the influence of globalization on museoIogy differs
around the world, it cannot be denied that its effects on mseurns around the
world are becaming generally more common. Global organization is not entirely
new ta rnuseology. ICOM, the international organization with the purpose of
advancing the interests of museology, has been in existence for over fi@ years.
However, it is more recently that new and improved communications technologies
liave allowed for a closer relationship between the secretariat, the international
cornmittees, and individual members. New technoIogies drive the current
Ladkin: Museology and Globalization

globalization process within museology. They make possible the most important
effect of globalization on museology which is that of change.
Changes in museology and museological work are occuning rapidly and in
two particular and related ways. Firstly, the globalization process is changing
many of the practices and procedures of routine museum operations. Seondly, it -
is changing audience expectations of what a museum should provide.
There are many examples of changes to routine museological practice and
procedure that have been experienced by many museums as a resuIt of the
influence of the globalization process. These include such new technologies as-
persona1 cornputers and the internet hat have enabled greater access to and sharing
of information among museums and between museums and other institutions in
ways never before imagined. b a n s of access to information rather than access to
objects are becoming more common. New concerns such as, for example, the
Iicensing of digital images, are being created as a result of technoIogy making
possible more avenues of information sharing. Museums aIso are utiIizifig other
kinds of new technologies for a variety of other collections management purposes
such as for inventory and documentation. New technology has allowed for the
adoption of processes such as bar-coding, digitaI imaging, and data capture that are
changing the ways in which museum collections themselves can be utiIized,
inanaged, and preserved, al1 of which obviously have great impact upon
inuseological operations. Museologists must be trained in these new methods of
undertaking well-established museoIogical practices so that professional standards
continue to be upheld.
Increased accessibility to cultural heritage generalIy through a varie@ of
mechanisms such as travel or internet technology has fostered the developrnent of
increasingly sophisti~atedmuseum audiences. They now expect a high-quality,
ineaningful, easily-accessible museum experience. An important component of
that experience is the provision of reliable and relevant information that can enable
thern to better understand the various changes to the culture around them that is
occurring as a result of the globalization process. Globalization can remove many
of the traditional and historical boundaries between peoples and cultures and allow
a recognition of similarities through, for example, the h e flow and exchange of
infonnation and ideas made possible by the internet. Bonversely, it can iIIustrate
how disparate and.divided the world stiII is, when, for example, it is recognized
tliat many do not have access to this free-flow of information and the technology
tliat supports it. If culture is an adaptive response to an environment for the
purpose of gaining an advantage in that environment and museums are the
intcrpreters of culture, then museologists must help museum audiences to
understand what is happening to them and their culture during tirnes of rapid
change. Because of this, globalization is Iikely to affect the nature and content of
infonnation presented to museum audiences and the ways in which this
infonnation can most effectively be presented. This will necessitate that
i~iuseologistsinvestigate the use of new technologies for interpretation and exhibit
piirposes and utilize theln in the most appropriate way without excluding the
sectors of their audience that do not have such access.
Ladkin: Mirseoloay and Giobalizurion

~ m h r , ~ & g 1 p ~ b l 6 ~ t i l i z ~ n'% f i ~ ~ ~ ~ 8
~~essWi--~~dWitkdr01adim~~~s~k.~
ccess already has been increased is througb the virtual
museum. This new 'museum' format has challenged the definition of what might
be considered to be a museum in the future. In the virtual museum, image,
information, and accessibility take precedence over the actual object, which has
radical philosophical and practical implicatians for the collecting, curatonal, and
preservation processes. T W @ & ~ b ~ & ~ ~ ~ b i l I t i r n . o r w hcm 'dt
b o ~ d ~ i i I ~ i ~ * ~ e"i7IFaf"n~1~"PETi~~s3d!
i W d ~ M c Museum
educational programming can occur in a place entirely removed from the physical
museum environment and be shared across town or across the world. Exhibits can
be explored &rn the clasroom or even from home. These are radical changes to
musetrIogical practices and principles that already have been implemented in
museums who have full access to global communications technologies. Further
changes of this nature seem certain.
So, the influence of glabalization on museolagy, albeit uneven, is important
because of the changes that it is prompting and how it is influencing the ways in
which rnuseologists work. But when museologicaI experiences of the effects of the
globalization process have been so different, how czin these effects be addressed?
T W T Mcm ~ ~ a ~ &mhbw ~ ~ @ m
~ i t a i ~ & a ~ u ~ ~ L p ~ ~ s s i w
e a11 professional actions,
irrespective of the natianality of the museologist or their level of access to
technology. ICOM provides an international professional arena that offers the
opportunity to exchange information and advice across international boundaries
and provides a fouridation for shared professional experiences based on the highest
professional standards, even where these are achieved through localIy differing
ways and means. The basic principles of museology should inform a 'think global,
act local' approach to professional actions and support a locally appropriately
response to change. As a result of this it follows, then, that al1 current and kture
iniiseologists must be willing and able to respond to the development of new
technologies and incorporate them into every appropriate aspect of museum work,
froin colIections management to administration, from research to interpretation,
and beyond, to every aspect of work where the globalization process will
contribute to an enhanced quality of museology in service to society and its
development.
Acquiring the skilIs to adapt to and work effectiveIy in a changing
111riseologica1environment is very necessary as the profession continues to be
influenced and changed by the gIobalizaton process. Suh skills can be acquired
locally, nationally, or internationally through a variety of training programs and
projects, a nuinber of which are initiated and overseen by ICOM.Additionally,
ICTOP has been developing a revised basic syIlabus for museum training on behalf
of ICOM and it members. The basic syllabus provides an international standard
for inuseum training that is sufficiently flexible to be appropriately adapted for
use in locaIly differing situations around the worId. This flexibility is a great
strength of the syilabus as it will allow for the design and implementation of
Ladkin: Museology and Globalimtion

locally appropriate responses to both museoIogica1 and training needs brought


about by the globalization process. A cornmitment to ongoing museological
training will support and enhance the ability of museologists effectively to
respond to changing needs.
Globalization influences museology by causing great change: change in the
daily lives of museologists in a global museum environment, and change in the
daily lives of museum audiences inhabiting the global village. The process of
globalization has made many phenornena worldwide rather than local, regional, and
national as they used to be. Museology is experiencing the effects of this process
in a variety of ways which include how it is practiced and how it meets the needs
of museum audiences. Addressing the effects of changing museologica~practice is
achieved through a responsiveness to change supported by ongoing professional
development and training that is shared internationally, and which will provide a
pIace of commonality for museology in its global future.
The Globalisation of Ecosystems and its Impact on
Natural History Museums
Donald F McMichael
Environment and Heritage Consultant
Canberra, Australia
dfmcrn@netinfo.com.au

The theme of this General Conference is 'Museums and Cultural Diversity'


and it is appropriate that the focus of ICOM's International Committee discussions
should be the impact of the modem world on cultural diversity. ICOFOM has
chosen the topic 'Museology and GIobaIisation' as the framework within which to
refiect on these issues, and no doubt much of our discussion will be concerned with
the impact of gIobal economic, transport, communication and information systerns
on museological theory and practice, especially among those museums which are
concemed with human cultures and creativity.
There is however anotber7dimension to globalisation which has significance
for some of our lwgest and oldest museums and that is the globalisation of
biological systems (ecosystems) which are the source of collections and the objects
of study in naturd history museums. In this short paper, 1 want to remind
museologists that this phenornenon, which has been happening for rnany centuries
but is now accelerating in pace, has profound practicril and theoretical consequences
for the work of natural history museums.
1 have drawn on my background in, and knowledge of, zooIogicaI museums
but I have no doubt that precisely similar considerations apply to botanical museums
(herbaria and botanical gardens). AIthough 'natural history museurns' often include
ethnology, anthropology, mineralogy and palaeontology in their fields of study, 1
am writing here only about those zoological and botanicai museums that are
concerned with Iiving organisms. 1will aIso be relying largely on the Australian
experience, aithough I expect that the situation is sirnilar in most other continents.
Like many other museums, natural history rnuseums have usually had a
gIobaI focus. In generaI they were established to house, study and display the
amazing diversity of animal and plant Iife that becarne accessible to Europeans
during the age of exploration and colonial expansion in the 16th 17th, 18th and 19th
centuries. The publication of the work Systema Naturae by the great Swedish
biologist Linnaeus in 1758 bas been universaIly accepted as the starting point for the
naming and classification of animal and plant species, and even those natural history
muelims which are essentially local or regional in their focus are obliged to deai
with the objects they~collectwithin the global Linnean classificatory framework.
In fact many of the older natural history museums in the western world (and
especially the former colonial powers) have estabIished global collections which
they maintain and are extending to this day. SirniIarly, many of the newer museums
established in the then-colonies also found it expedient to build up collections from
other countriesyfor comparative study, so they too have been able to research their
collections and display them in the context of the wider world of nature.
Furthermore, many groups of animals (certainly at the Family level and
above) are very widely distributed in the world as the result of their long
evolutionary history. While some groups are confined to a single region, most are
not, which means that a curator wishing to study the species of a widespread group
occurring in his or her local region needs dso to be able to study the group
throughout its range, in order to understand the relationships and classification of
the local representatives. Consequently museum bioIogists, who tend to specialise
in the study of one or a few groups of animals or plants, often have expert
knowIedge of them globaily and conduct their studies on a world-wide basis.
McMichael: Globalisation of Ecosystems

In the early days of naturai history museums,a significant problern for their
curators was gaining access to information held in other parts of the world. Because
of the centrai importance of the concept of 'type' specimens in the naming of
animals and plants, access to both the colIections held by others and to the
publications in which the various species were described was critical to the
professional work of museum curators. Much time and effort was consumed in the
exchange of Ietters, specirnens, and published literature to facilitate their studies.
Months would often go by between the sending of a letter and the receiving of a
reply, while inter-institutional visits were rare. Littiehwonder that museurn biologists
have been at the forefront in seizing the new opportunities opened up by global*
transportation and communications systems.
Nevertheless we can imagine how exciting it must have k e n to be a
museum biologist during those early years, when whole new floras and faunas
were being exposed to scientflc study for the first time. Of course these animal and
plant species were alrnost aiways weI1 known to the indigenous people. Many were
used by them in a wide variety of ways and they often had distinctive and
estabIished Iocal names. It is a matter of regret that few of the colonial
scientistlexpIorers had the wisdom to consult with the indigenous peopIe and to
record their special knowledge of the plants and animals that were being so
assiduously colIected.
Yet from the very beginning of the coloniaI expansion, an insidious process
of change has been underway which is leading to the destruction of much of what
was being newly discovered by science. Throughout history, as human beings have
spread throughout the world, they have brought with them their 'baggage' of
domestic and food animals and plants, as weil as their accornpanying parasites and
pests. But as far as we can tell, until a few hundred years ago there were still
significant areas of many ecosystems that remained largely undisturbed by humans
and unaffected by their transported species.
However with the colonial expansion, especially during the 18th and 19th
centuries, a new attitude began to emerge which saw these unaltered ecosystems as
a challenge to be conquered - as needing to be transformed into something more
'productive' in the prevailing economic view of the world. Not onIy were
substantial areas of grasslands and rangelands taken over for the grazing of alien
livestock species, but vast areas of forest were also cIeared and transformed into
cultivated landscapes, often with newly introduced plant species.
Other species were introduced and released into the wild for reasons of
recreation, especially the species commonly hunted or fished for in the colonial
homelands. Australia and New Zealand in particular suffered at the hands of well-
meaning but regrettably short-sighted people who estabIished what were called
'Acclimatisation Societies' with the specific aim of establishing alien species in the
wild, usually for sport. In other cases, species were introduced for aesthetic reasons
- mainiy as grtrden plants - which soon escaped into the wiId and in a few cases
established thriving populations that spread rapidly and came to dorninate if not
displace the plants of the natural ecosystems
At first this probably did not matter very much (in a biological sense) as the
scale of the altered landscapes and land-uses was vastly outweighed by the
reniaining natural ecosysterns. But as the years passed more and more land became
subject to changes in use and the number of aiien species increased and spread,
while the remnant natural ecosystems diminished. Today the baIance has shifted and
in many parts of Australia and New Zeaiand, the natural ecosystems form tiny
reninants in a sea of transformed landscapes.
In the second half of the 19th century a few far-sighted people (often
including museum biologists) recognised what was happening and began to take
measures to protect some natural areas from substantial transformation, for example
by the establishment of reserves of various kinds including National Parks,
permanently set aside for recreation and nature conservation. However they were
few in number and their efforts could only Save relatively small areas from the
worst excesses of change.
h some cases whdc ecosystems (such as the northern New South Wdes
xainforests h o w n ss the Big Scmb) were virtually wiped out (to be replacd by
dien spcies for the most part) before theic vdue as biolagical =sources was h w n
and the Iikelihood of their loss became apparent. In uther cases,naturd ocosystem
w m permanentiy alter& in character through the displacement of native species by
aliens.
b o n %the most insidious transfamtions which took plam in AusMa,
and whih continues to this day, was the s p ~ n dof d e n f ~ species
h into the rivers
and l & s . Tt should corn as no suppnse to anyone that, in a country like Australia
which has k n isolated frum the mst of the world for milleda, the f r e s h w ~
fauna had evoIved into a higImly specialised and distinctive array of species, Arnong
them were som 'living fossils' such as the QueenslandLung Fish, (Neowrarodus)
and the Tasmanian Syncarid S h p s (Amspides) which are of outstanding
biotogicai interest, but the whole fauna was unwuai and woahy of careful
conservation.
However the activities of the acciimatisatim scfcieties in the early yem md
more recently he nggressive spread of angfing specias by bshermen, cairpled with
careless management of aquarium fishes, has ensud that most of the rivers af
southern Australia are naw daminatedby European and North Amricm frshes
(mut, c a p , perch goldtish, and redfin). The situation has b e n made worse by the
&liber& introduction and spread of some species such as the mosquito eating
Gambusia.Fish bialogists helie-ve that a number of Austrdian f~shwaterspecies
have becorne extiircr or wilI do sa in the near future as a result ofthe impact of these
diens, both t h u g h habitat destruction and thmugh direct predation,
In ment pars, despite strenuaus e f f t s by the Auslaiian Q m t i n e and
Customs Setvice t~ conml their introduction, new dien species continue ta reach
Austrdia, and once mived, it is usuaily difficuit if not impossible to caritrd theh
spread. in som cases, extensive campaigns to eradicate them have ken hunched,
&cause oftheh h o w n significance as pests of productive species, but such
campaigns are rarely effective. If the newly mived aIien species is rrot known to be
hadmful ta one of the productive plant or animai species, the chances are that
nothing wiIl be dong abolit it.

iEx1yfb'
Australia you are Iikly to see a lmdscape
,European and Nofi Americm canifers,
willows, blachrries, untann and a thausand other species.. Tt has been estimated
that intraduced species now constitute some 15% of the Australian flom. Nor
should it he thought that this is al1 'one-way traffic'. 1regret to say that Ausudian
EucaIypts, Hdceas and Casisuarinas are among the offenders elsewkere.
Nor is the phenorneraon confined tu tefiestriai and freshwater eeosystems.
The* is an incresing number QE marine species that have spread, either accidentaily
or through deliberate translaatioru into new areas, often with hastating impact m
lhe local native s p i e s . One newly-recognised agent of spread is ship's ballast
water and new reguIations are king developed to try to rivercame this prablem, but
in some cases it is already too hte. The genie ha bbeen let aut of the butfle and it
McMichael: Globalisation of Ecosystems

in the fight for nature conser~atibn.While some museum people have always been
at the forefront of the conservation movement, now virtually al1 of them are active in
pressing for a representative system of well managed nature reserves and for
rigorous control of the introduction and release of alien species.
Another conquence has-benthat the valw of existing biological
collections has received greater recognition, for in rnany cases the only specimens
that we will ever have of some species are those which exist in museums. As a
result, the need to deveIop and apply better conservation techniques to biological
specimens and to protect collections against disasters, to ensure that they survive
into the future, has been recognised.
From a museological perspective, there has been a shift away from a
curatorial focus on collecting, describing and classi@ing species to one which sees
the.paramount task of the museum curat0r.a~being to help ensure that the @&test
possible range of ecosystemsis~included~within a secure resemVsystem, anddthat
where particular ecosystems are known to be under threat, rapid collecting of a wide
range of species is undertaken while it is stilI possible. ~ehowledgelofmuseum
biologists is often of centrd importance in establishing the si@cance of an area
for conservation purposes.
They are no longer content simply to document the decline and loss of
species and do nothing about it. On the contrary, they have decided to fight to
rnaintain natural diversity to the fullest possible extent and in this way, they are
certainly fuIfilling the primary task of museums by being 'in the service of society
and its development'.
Perhaps there is a lesson in al1 of this for those museum workers who are
concerned with the diverse cultures of the worId.
Museology and Globalization
The Supplanting Force of the Globalization Culture

Lynn Maranda
Vancouver Museum,Vancouver, B.C. Canada

The supplanting force of the globalization culture has created a variety of


pressures on traditional methods of museology. This paper will atternpt to
delineate the major issues of globalization and to indicate where sorne of the
pressures for change have surfaced.

The major issues of globalization


1. Economic expansion
The expansion of economic activity throughout the world has accelerated
since the end of the Second World War. This expansion was encouraged by the
rebuilding of many national economies such as those of Japan and Gennany and
the exploitation of new markets by the multinational companies of the United
States, England and France.
A quest to locate the last pockets of mineral, oil, fibre and food has led to
an unprecedented global search for resources and their deveIopment. Expanded
manufacturing has created an insatiabIe need for nahiral resources, aIso required to
feed an expanded population as the human race has multiplied tbree-fold since
1945. With the growth of industrializationthroughout the world, more and more
goods are being made in an accelerated spiral of economic expansion.
Now that industrialization and resource management have become global
enterprises, the marketing of manufactured goods is an inevitable corollary to that
activity. Trade routes and opinion making trend setters have secured advantages
for those companies marketing business with a g1obaI attitude. This, in turn, has
strengthened trading partnerships, international financial institutions and money
markets.
Tlie dollar and gold standards have become internationally recognized units of
cornparison and volumes of monetary values course over the globe daily. The
International Monetary Fund has adopted the role of an overseer regulating and
administering finance to the widest possible global influence. International
financing has become a concern of the smallest pay-cheque style of investor as
well as the largest holders of invesfmentcapital and this scale of gIobalization has
created special organizations that focus attention of world economic issues for the
bencfit of individuals regardless of amounts of money to invest.

2. Technology
The pursuit of resources and the manufacture of cornmodities with their
marketing around the world has been made al1 the more possible with the rapid
develop~nentof technology that has advanced since the end of the Second World
War.
Transportation has been in the early forefront of technical evolution. With
the globalization of commercial jet-air trafic, a l corners of the earth have became
accessible to travel consumers. Helicopters have rendered inhospitable locales
Maranda: Museology and Globalization

the grievance of many causes, such that the smallest issue has the possibility tu
disseminate its principles to the widest possible audience.
The naturalness of 'human rights' is a rising cause clbre and the interest
generated in this subject has placed it on a pan-global basis. Through the strategic
manipulation of the media, this cause has iIIustrated how effective that control can
be felt.
However positive environmental or human rights goab are, their pursuit
through the media has, in fact, altered the way in which museum collecting is
carried out. For example, it is now considered wrong to take live specimens from
the environment in order to build natural history coIIections. The pan-global
environmental movements have decreed that museums,medical organizations,
aquaria and o&e~:.ssientifio~institutions should no f collect living -things.It is still
appropriate, however, to collect dead specimens thmugh 'road-kill', death in zoos
or other wildlife sanctnaries, and so forth.
As such, the field of natural history is having to accommodate that shift in
ethics. Ironically, there still remains a strong public demand for natural histov
exhibitions and this has created a dichatomy: museums are restricted in how and
where to collect natural materials, while having to satisfy an insatiable curiosity to
study animal and plant specimens. This in turn has created a new trend to organize
people to view the earth's bio-diversity on a first hand basis, with the result that a
separate economy to ferry people through various environments has been created
and which is now perceived as the eco-tourism industry. It is also currently
understood that the mass volume of people wanting to take such joumeys to see
'nature on the hoof' is in itself, challenging the viability of the environment. It
could also be viewed that taking the public on tour is rather Iike taking the science
of the environment out-of-doors, rather than studying it indoors.
Pm-global movements have caused museums to look at their collecting
practices, as first nations reassert themselves as cultural entities: How certain
materials are dealt with can be sensitive, as the renaissance of people's nationalisrn
has given First Nations people a sense of ownership over their culture and
sections of the environment. It is a new reaIity that aboriginal people now share
information and are thus proceeding to claim their rights showing a more unified
front. The result is that First Nations no longer view museums as owners of their
cultural property, but as 'custodians' for objects of their patrimony.
The repatriation of objects held in museum collections to aboriginal
peoples has become more demanding, for the flow of dollars suggest that tourists
find it more meaningful to see objects in their pIace of origin. As travei has become
far easier, the arguments against repatriation become more specious, and so there is
inounting pressure to retum objects to their places of origin and to the present day
descendants of their aboriginal creators.
Cultural tourisin is the latest buu-word used for the marketing of art
galleries and museums, and has become the new way of seIling cultural
commodities. Museums traditionally thought of themselves as an institutional
entity aligned with knowledge, but the fact of millions of tourists buying tickets to
visit their halls yearly has encouraged these institutions to market their cultural
properties in beat to the new econornic drurnrner,
AboriginaI peoples are also catching onto the new tourism business.
Cashing in on globalization, these peoples are selling the look of their ancestral
traditional life styles to a public that is searching for just such travel related
experiences. This phenornenon i s a marketing strategy brought on by globalization
Maranda: Museology and Globalkation

and by the aboriginal people who find it irresistibly profitable to sel1 their cultural
origins and where the contemporary market is willing to buy it as a commodity.
As a consequence of the accessibility_of communication, more information
on a wide range of subjects is available, e.g. travelling exhibitions, or new
educational propmming.
Every museum is able to work on its own, there is no longer a need for a 'central
clearinghouse' of ideas, W~~rnputerization now allows a wide degree of
independent action.
For example, the Canadian Heritage Information Network (the centralized
computer bank direct-line linked to Ottawa, the seat of the federaI government)
was once a leading light for the collection of data on museurn holdings, but it has
virtually 'closed up shop' because of the advent of persona1 cornputers and the
accompanying software capabilities, for aII that information can now be entered
and accessed at source without the need of centralization. T,
Glbbalization has created a tendency for museums to become enclaves for
the archiving of cultures, both present and past. There is a rnovement through the
Internet towards an opemess of museum materials, but materials that have been
archived in a particular two dimensional way. The advance to explore this
particular reach of knowledge could, in fact, lead to the creation of 'virtual
museums' that posses no objects but which consist of two dimensional material
referenced for information and observation. The positive aspects of this museum
approach is that objects can be seen world-wide on the Internet through computer
resources and that these objects can be manipulated through software and
observed as if held in a virtual reality sense. In this way, the observer can acquire a
degree of knowIedge which would not be available should the object be observed
on the floor of a museum. The negative side, of course, is that the real physical
object is the final and tme source of knowledge, and that its vital importance can
only be rneasured within the context of a direct confrontation,
The museurn profession itself is under the pressure of globalization as it
ineets to decide world issues such as the establishment of a code of ethical conduct
for museum professionals, to establish an acceptable tenninology for use in such
inuseiim practises as cataloguing, and to conduct discussions leading towards the
resolution of common concerns. An organization such as ICOM functions as an
international umbrella for a consortium of siinilar institutions world-wide where
tliere are, for example, common principles, goals, expectations, and methodologies.
0ne.requirernentof globalization is the necessity to find a commonly
agreed-upon set of expressions to establish a basis for comrnunication.~This
requirement has led to a standardization in the museum professions and the
creation of a code of acceptable practice and its attending nomenclature. On the
obverse side of that coin, it is noted that English is becoming more and more the
world's lingrtafranca, thus creating a reality that dirninishes the necessity for
keeping a diversity of languages, and of course, within those languages which are
being threatened with extinction lie the skeIeta1 frames of cultural meanings.
Western ethic domination is supplanting traditional cultural values that lay
embedded in forgotten linguistic structures.
Tliere is, as well, pressure on existing museums to spend more time
producing coinputer quality information that can be disseminated as required. The
coinputer has allowed inuseuins to exchange information on rnethods, but it has
also placed pressures on existing institutions to rninimize their traditional practices
and to keep Pace with the growing interest in globalization.
Virtual Museums: The Challenge of Globalisation

Ivo Maroevic
University of Zagreb, Croatia

Rsum: Muses virtuels: Un dfi de la giobalisation

La dfinition du terme de muse lance par 1'ICOM ne connat pas le


niveau virtuel, ainsi que Ia thorie musologique ne connat pas 'Ie contexte virtuel'
dans lequel puissent vivr les objets de la musde. C'est un nouveaut de La fin du
Xxe sicle. La ralit virtuelle est celle oii les choses se droulent un niveau
conceptuel et visual, c'est 'a dire en dehors de la ralit oii tous les sens humains
agissent dans Ieur intgralit.
L'impotance du caractre materiel d'un objet de muse met srieusement en
question la possibilit de runir les tennes 'virtuel' et 'muse' dans un nouveau
syntagme, au seuil de ce nouveau millnaire qui approche. L'ide du virtuel
limine d'une certaine manire le caractre materiel d'un objet de muse: elle le
transforme en une rpresentation, en utilisant des manires diverses de sa
projection.
Le processus de la globalisation vise une conception globale du monde. Il
suppose le multiculturalism, l'effacement des frontires, la connaissance du monde
comme un phnomne complexe dans son integrit et sur tous ces points.
Le monde virtuel, cri par action des mdias lectroniques, permet que le
monde rel existe paralllement celui que nous regardons travers l'cran d'un
ordinateur. Peu peu, il commence formuler ses propres rgles d'existence.
Egalement, l'id du mus virtuel ne s'occupe plus des objets de musee, mais leurs
images digitales. II conserve, mais iI ne cre une connaissance du monde matriel
qit' travers des comparaisons au niveau global. Il exclut l'importance sociale d'un
inuse, en ouvrent une page o en divient globalement trangers les uns aux autres.
La ralit virtuelle devient une ralit parallle. Le muse virtuel existe au niveau
du reflet de la ralit. Ce monde des enrigistrements commence ensuite vivre sa
propre vie. L'interpretation divient rgle. Les muses virtuels permettent de faire
diminuer le nombre des collections. Ils deviennent une vision du monde offert sur
la base d'interpretation. Les muses virtuels n'elimeront point la ncessit
d'existence et de fonctionnement des muses classiques.

Tlie ICOM definition of a museum does not recognise the virtual Ievel
(ICOM, 1989:3). Most definitions of the museum as institution made by leading
world ~nuseoIogistshave also failed to include the concept of 'the virtual' in their
colisideration of the idea of the museum. In 1965, however, Andr Malraux, the
welI-known French writer and champion of cultural interests, in his book Muse
Ilnaginaire (Miweuttt Without Walls), brought this non-material component,
tliougli conceived of somewhat differently, into the world of thinking about the
Maroevic: Virtual Mweums

museum. In theoretical considerations of the work of the museum,we only corne


across museal reality, as distinct from real reality (Stransky, 1970:35). Museum
objects or other foms of the material world that constitute the foundation of the
work of the museum do not recognise the virtual context in which they can live
and do their work. MuseologicaI theonsts speak only of the prirnary,
archaeological and museological context (van Mensch, 1992:135). Accordingly,
the virtual definition of the museum is an entirely new, late 20th century,
deparhire, one that needs to be devoted the fullest of attention, so that its
limitations and its range can be detemined, and, accordingly, its effect on
museological science and museological work as a whole can be predicted. Thus 1
do not see virtuality, qua characteristic of the museum, merely as a practical
challenge in the process of globalisation. It is, rather, a problem that is at the heart
of considerations about the museum and its relation to the material world; it is
essentially dependent upon.
If we consider the rneaning of the concept of virtuality, we wilI see that it
means 'possibility, capacity, in opposition to what is really present, what is
reality', while the 'virtual' is what is 'potential, capable of acting, of moving;
sornething that is hidden, that does not occur but that might occur, that might
really be in the future' (ELZ, 1969x525). The Merriam-Webster dictionary
explains the word 'virtual' as 'being such in essence or effect, though not bearing
the name, title or the Iike,' The meaning of the word 'actual' is opposite to it
(Merriam-Webster, 1954: 419). Judging by the attributes signified by the word
virtual, it is clear that it is something that physically does not exist that is at issue
here, something that is beyond reality. Virtual reality, though, is a reality that is
nat physically present, in which things happen at a conceptual and visual level,
that is, outside the reality in which al1 human senses work integrally. It is, put
picturesquely, a window into the world that we cannot open in order to touch,
taste or smell what is on the other side of the barrier. Through the help of images
and sounds, in digital fonn,non-material, that is, in the most Iiteral sense of the
word, we can participate as observers and creators of this kind of virtual reality.
1s the concept of the virtual, then, not a priori in direct opposition to the
concept of the museum that has been being created ever since the Renaissance?
Founded on objects of the material world gathered together in collections, the
inuseum has been a pIace to Iearn about the world and about people that has
entirely depended on the objects that people have preserved so that, through their
features and characteristics, they might talk of the time in which they originated
and had their being. Through the series of their identities, objects have borne
witness to human skills and interests, about life and the events in which they took
part, about the rises and falls, achievements and failures of almost al1 social
groups. People have responded to the features of the objects in various ways at
different times. They have revealed what is concealed in the matenal structure and
fonn of the objects, and in the environment in which the object lived. There was
iiever enough of the knowledge that could be revealed through study of the objects.
AIthougii during tlie development of museological thought we have arrived at the
concept of museality, which is the forenimer of virtuality in the museum world,
nevertlieless the fields of Inuseal definiteness and indefiniteness (Maroevic, 1993:
Maroevic: VirtuaI Museums

our room without standing in Iine before the Louvre (a rnetonym only), without
fatigue or heat, without the costs oftravel or staying abroad, without being
disturbed by refiections of the lights, or the windows,or by other visitors who are
hurrying around with the same aim. The virtual museurn allows us to choose what
we want ourselves, and experience it on the screen in our own house. This
scenano is just an extension of the anecdote that 1have just recounted.
The virhial museum,then, demands no premises for exhibition or
communication with the public, there is no need to take care or the museurn
objects or deal with the basic questions of how they are to be stored. It becomes,
in effect, a laboratory that stores knowledge about the world of objects, covering
the field of museal or monumental definiteness of the world of objects, freezing the
origin of every new piece of knowledge hidden in the material structure of objects
and their forms and previously unknown. It is satisfied with an image of the
object, qua reflection of knowledge, and the series of data of formalised knowledge
that provide back-up for the image and can be found in the medium of words,
written text or some other visual form. The virtual museum wilI not close off the
possibility of creating new knowledge hidden in objects' interrelationships, but
wiII, at the global level, make it possible for cornparisons to be made which, in the
world of the classical museum, were held back by the location of objects in
different places, any cornparisons being impossible except via the mediacy of
photography or some other visual medium.
The virtual museum,alas, excludes human participation in the events of the
museum, in the experience of the atmosphere, in the powerful social significance of
the museum,as either temple or as scene of events. K. Hudson should open a new
page in his consideration of the social history of the museum (Hudson, 1975), a
page of the global alienation that will graduaIly take us back to the period in which
a11 will be able know everything about everything, if they want, while others in the
silence of their studies choose what to allow to circulate the streets and Ianes, in
the closer and more distant neighbourhoods of the global wurId village. They alone
wilI be able to discover new knowledge in the selected objects that, according to
tlieir own criteria, they have allowed to Iive to te11 the tale about past times.
These objects, like items froin the treasure-houses of the Mannerist nilers, or the
studies and cabinets of Renaissance princes, wiIl be kept in ideal cryptoclimatic
conditions, in stores in which they will be hurt neither by light nor polluted air,
neither by inoisture nor teinperature, neither earthquakes nor floods. They will
not be exposed to the danger of vandalism or inappropriate exhibition conditions.
They will be the reference marks of human culture, accessible only ta those who
base upon them the virtual worlds of their own world views (weltanschauutzg).
They will be again a treasure-house in which, in a maximally successful way, the
curiosities of the hurnan race will be guarded. The world of such basic museums,
on wliich the parallel world of virtual rnuseums will be based, will gradualIy corne
to be identified with the world of records and libraries, and their curators will be
able to deal with the production of a virtuaI world, the creation of virtual
tiliiseriins, without being disturbed by the public that came to museums and
believed, almost without any reserve, in what was s h o w as materialised tnith.
Maroevic: Virtual Museums

The pichire that 1 have just presented is in a certain way inhuman, because
it abolishes the democratic right that has been ours since the time of the French
Revolution to corne to museums and take part in the experience of the world
through the mediacy of objects in a museal reality. Virtual reality, at the end of
the millennium, is becoming a parallel reality. For more than half a century, we
have been taking part in events sitting in Our own houses in front of the television
screen. Our view of the world is created through the intermediary of CNN (a
rnetonym again). What does not exist on the screen does not take place. The real
world that turns into a virtuaI world via the electronic media allows us replays of
history. Electronic mail allows synchronie communication among many people,
Writings disappear with technological changes, and memory is lost. In the world
of the global village new things and discussions are disposable, like conversation in
the yard of a village house. It was no accident that McLuhan used the phrase
'global village' for such a world, not global city. A city, in many of its segments,
assumes a materialised mernory. A village is closer to oral tradition.
However, the virtual museum becomes part of virtual reality. It lives at
the level of copies of reality. It reproduces the forms of, and the knowledge about,
the world so far generated that is stored in the objects and in the museum
documentation that, during the development of the museum, has recorded in other
media everything that generations of researchers have discovered whiIe studying
the objects, This is an enormous arnount of knowledge that cm be formatted and
transferred into the world of the image or into the imaginary world of the past seen
at the moment of the origin of a certain electronic record. Later, this world of
records begin to live its own life. Interpretation becomes the rule. Technology
reveals enticing possibilities of interpretation that are not limited by the physical
features of the world of objects. In a virtual world, and so in a virtual museurn, the
weight and fonnat of the object are no hindrance or barrier, the walls of the
premises are no limitation. At the Iowest level of the imagination the virtual
museum is a copy of the reaI museum. Al1 further Ievels grow into a world that
does not know borders, unless the borders are erected by the already imaginary
scholarly truth. Where do the ethics of the virtual museum begin and end? Are
they the same as in a traditional museum? Doesn't the concept of globalisation
soften our attitude toward the inaterial world, irrespective of the fact that it is a
matter of a copy of it? WilI the wealth and technologica1 development of advanced
couniries influence the concept of the virtual museurn? 1s globalisation interaction
or domination, irrespective of the democracy of an approach that does have its
own price?
Nuinerous questions are raised, and there are varying answers, depending
on the technological leveI of the milieu providing the response. 1 would here just
suinii~arisea few things.
TechnologicaI development and the processes of globalisation encourage
the origin and development of virtual museums. Thus the question of the
adequacy of the concept of the museum for this new creation is raised.
Virtual museums enable the beginning of the process of the reduction of the
collective hnds in museums and the selection of objects that really represent a
given environment, sociaI and natural, and time. They will he1p to bring about a
Maroevic: Virtual Museum

change in the communicational role of museums in the classic sense, their adopting
the role of establishments dealing with guarding and studying selected examples of
the material world. They will be producers of virtual museums in workshops and
laboratories that will broadcast procesed information and sets of information to
the virhial world, where, at the level of global communication, the individual
concepts of individual virtual rnuseums wiIl be created.
Virtual museurns wil1, then, be an offered vision of the world on the basis
of an interpretation of documentation about museum objects and the world
surrounding them, which is subject to change. At the same time, virtual rnuseums
wiI1 be barn in the cornputer mernaries of people who, from the available wealth of
the virtual world at a global level, will create their own vision of things and
phenornena. Some peapIe will take what is offered on trust, and others will create
their own world.
The virtual rnuseum will not obviate the need for the existence and working
of rnuseums in the classic sense. These wiII have ro change their appearance, so
that in real reality they do not imitate virtual reality. They will continue to retain
that powerful and necessary social note of the rnuseum. They will meet the needs
of people to mingle in the atmosphere of museal reality. The needs for the
experience of the material world in al1 its dimensions. Globalisation at the level of
the classic muscurn does not need to go in the direction of rnaking rnuseums
uniform, but in the direction of stressing the particuIarity and individuality that
will make you want, in spite of the ability to wander around the world via the
Enternet, ta travel, to visit an actuaI museum with actual objects in it, to meet
people and to experience what can be experienced only within the wa1Is of a
museurn.
The classic museum wilI remain a source of new knowledge for every
virtual museum,but at the saine time the knowledge that wilI be revealed in the
virtuaI world must be reflected in the classic museurn.
The second millennium is at hand. The challenges of globalisation and
virtual reality will show how far they can go, and the human race will manage to
do no inore than epitomise its achievements after the way it has taken. Every kind
of prediction, including this one, is just another form of virtual reality. Thus we
need to ask ourselves where we actuaIIy are now. The answer is, at least,
aii~biguous.

Blbliography
EL2 ( 1969), Enciklopedija Leksikografikag zavoda (Encyclopaedia of the
Lexicographical Institution), Jugoslavenski leksikografski zavod, Zagreb
I-Iudson, K. ( 1 9751, A Social History of Museums, Macmillan, London
Maroevic, 1. ( 1 993), Uvod u Muzeolog~u(Introduction ru Museofogy}, Zavod za
informacijske studije Filozofskog fakulteta u Zagrebu, Zagreb
Malraux, A. (1965), Museziilt Without Wulls, Secker & Warburg, London
van Menscil, P. f 1992), Towards a Methodofugy of Museoligy, MS, Ph.D.
dissertation, University of Zagreb
Stransky, 2. S. (1 970), Te~neIjiopce iizrizeologije (The Foundafions of General),
M~izeologija,15:33 -40
Museology and Globalisation

B a i s a h Mitra
Department of Museology, Calcutta University
124 Hind Rd, New Santoshpur, Caicutta 700075, India

Rsum: Muskologie et mondialisation


La mondialisation des muses est fondamentalement diffrente de la
mondialisation conomique. Alors que la dernikre est un dveloppement du 20e
siecle, la mondialisation culturelle est un procd ancien. Les muses ont deux
apparamment contradictoires mais nanmoins obligatoires rles jouer: 1. Ils
sont les porteurs de la culture locale au-del des frontires politiques, et 2. Ils
doivent assurer le rle de l'ange gardien a la technologie des cultures ethniques.
Une prime majeur pour la mondialisation rapide des muses fut i'etablissment de
I'ICOM en 1948. Pour beaucoup, Ia mondialisation a une signification plus
puissante que celle d'amener la culture a la communaut mondiale. Cela implique
aussi un effort collectif de conservation. Une retombe importante d'une telle
mondialisation sera la cration d'une double identit culturelle, La musologie
permettra au mon to partager ses valeurs parmi les cultures diverse pour ainsi
maintenir une structure mondiale sans violence, sans guerre.

Globalisation of museurns, the uItimate custodians of art and culture, has


an inherent difference with economic globalisation, the buzzword of the post-Co2d
War era. WhiIe the latter is a distinctly twentieth century phenomenon
consciously developed by man to form an open global society, the culture of major
civilisations has never been isolated. Development of various modes of
transportation, trade and commerce established between different civiIisations,
conquests and subsequent assimilation brought along transcultural exchanges in
ancient times.
One of the oldest civilisations in the world, that on the Indian
subcontinent, deveIoped as an amalgam of different cultures. All along the course
of Indian history invaders like the Aryans, the Bactrians, the Greeks, the Huns,
tlie Turks, the Mughals, and finally the British lefi their indelible mark on the local
population.
Trade relations aIso took the resulting amalgam of Indian culture to
countries of the Southeast Asian archipelago and the isIands of the Indian Ocean
and tlie Arabian Sea. India did not only become an osmosis zone of many
cultures, but also a strong influence on neighbouring civilisations.
So, culturally, globalisation, broadly characterised by the free movement of
ideas, is not as novel a phenomenon as we are given to understand. It was taking
place subtly ail through the ages. The modern electronic age has revolutionised the
process of trans-cultural exchange, a phenomenon that helps form an open society
wliich recognises the inherent diversity of the world population and yet provides a
conceptual basis for establishing a collective entity. It is in this respect that
Mi tra: Museoiogy and Globalisarion

museums have two, apparently contradictory but nevertheless cornpulsory, roIes


to play:
1. Museums through exhibitions and discussions have to take local cultures
beyond the man-made political barriers to a global cornrnunity for a greater
understanding of the world we Iive in; and
2. Museums have to act as 'guardian angels' ta the soWethnic technology of
these local cultures so that they do not get wiped out by the onslaught of
cornputer-backed technology. Museums at the local and regional level have to
play a more active role to ensure this in the near future.
The first role has already been reaIised by many Indian museums.
International cooperation in the area of museum exhibition is now the order of the
day. The Victoria Mernorial of Calcutta (India) and the Philadelphia Museum of
Art (USA) recently organised an exhibition of photography ta cornmernorate
India's fiflieth anniversary of Independence. Later, two identical exhibitions titled
'India: A CeIebration of Independence' toured the USA and Europe 'so as to bring
these spectacular photographs to a wider audience'.'
In fact, for many museologists, 'globaIisation' has come to mean more than
just taking cultures beyond political barriers. It now stands for collective global
efforts in every aspect of musealogy, incIuding conservation work. So when
callous maintenance destroyed some of the masterpieces of Indian film maker
Satyajit Ray, including 'Panther PanchaIiY('Song of the Little Road'), an
American, MichaeI Friend, stepped in to restore them in a painstaking
conservation effort with state-of-the-art technology. The creation of the
understanding that cultures and heritage belong not only to local, insular
populations but also in a broader perspective, to a globaI community, and is
therefore a collective responsibility, will be the ultimate achievement of the
globalisation of museology.
Globalisation of museums should follow a conscious effort comprising the
establishment of a national, continental and finally a common global entity. For a
inulti-ethnic, muhi-lingual, multi-cultural country like India, in which numerous
tribal cammunities (Bhils, Gonds, Santals, Savaras etc) have been able to develop
their own distinct identities in spite of extraneous influence, mass awareness of the
country's culture at the national leveI must precede any atternpt to globalise them.
Otherwise the entire attempt to f o m a global community may be self-defeating.
Museums in India have to play an important role in this respect through
inter-state exhibitions. With this precise aim, the Indian Museum,Calcutta,
organised exhibitions in the remote north-eastern part of the country. Exhibitions
Ii ke 'Glory of Himalayan Art' at the State Museum,Nagaland, and 'Manifestation
of Women in Indian Art' at Gangtok, Sikkim, were intended to bring about a
national consciousness about these areas.' More such exhibitions were later
organised throughout the country.
The second stage of the globalisation of museums is equally important.
Many Asians can recall collections at the MOMA and the Louvre with ease; they
can even drop the names of contemporary European and American artists.
1-Iowever, when it cornes to their own continent, ignorance is extreme. The
inuseums and artists of the Asia-Pacific region shauld come together to bridge the
vital gap. Regional bodies like the South Asian Association for Regional

' Brochure, 'india: A Celebration of Independence,1947-1997


' Annual Report, Indian Museum. Calcutta,1991-92.
Mitra: Museology and Globaiisation

Cooperation (SAARC)offer India a platform to promote economic, political and


cultural exchange with its neighbouring countries. Many more such platforms and
vigorous intra-continental cooperation in every aspect of rnuseology will help
create a popular awareness of the Asian identity.
Exhibitions like 'Nomad Mongols', compising two days of folk dance,
music and acrobaties collectively called 'Nine Jewels', was organised by the Indian
Museum in 1994jointly with the Indian CounciI of Cultural Research (ICCR) and
the Ministry of Mongolian C u l t ~ r e .Such
~ programs encourage Indians to know
more about their neighbours.
An important fallout of such globalisation will be the creation of dual
identity, especially among contemporary artists, those most sensitive to the
changing scenario around hem. Cultures will interact with each other with the
realisation that they can never return to the single identities to which they once
belonged. A few years ago a symposium at the Asian Ari Museum in San
Francisco (SA) brought together USA-based foreign artists to examine their duaI
identity by looking at the works of their native countries. In India too,
contemporary artists have begun to expIore the consequences of dual identity.
This year 'Nature Morte', a new gallery at the Indian Habitat Centre, New Delhi,
invited seven women artists of both Indian and American origin, to exchange their
experience.
A major incentive for rapid giobalisation of museums was the
establishment of ICOM in 1948. This organisation, with representatives from al1
countries and from al1 avenues of museum activity, provides the globaI umbrella
that museologists need. With its various bodies on documentation, consemation,
folk art, natural history, public relations etc, ICOM foms the ideal platform to
bring together museum personne1 from al1 over the globe to share experiences and
expertise.
Whatever be the consequences, believing it will be for the better,
globalisation of museums will be the fact for museology in the twenty-first
century. In its ideal form, museologists can hope to find small local museums
benefiting from the technological advancement of their more sophisticated sister
institutions. Better still, rnuseology can help the world find shared values in its
diverse cultures so as to hold together the global fabric sans violence, sans war.

K.P.V. Nair, 'TheMongols are coming'.


Archologie d'une collection inacheve
Collections d'objets, collections d'histoires, collections d'ides, collections de
vies...
Collections d'actions comusologiques: une culture de rsistance contre
l'invasion, l'oubli et l'indiffrence:
Reflexions partir des observations d'un membre de la communaut de Santa Cruz

Odalice Miranda Priosti


Ecomuseu do Quarteiro Cultural do Matadouro
Avenida Felipe Cardoso, 1533, Santa C m - Rio de Janeiro
Brasil CEP:235 15-100
odalice@openlink.com.br

Abstract: Archaeology of an Incomplete Collection


Collection of objects, colIection of stories, collection of ideas coIlection of lives...
Collection of ecomuseological action: the culture of resistance against invasion,
neglect and indifference: Thoughts from firsthand observations by a member of the
Santa Cruz cornmunity.

'Museology and globalization' broaches a core discussion based on


firsthand observation by a participant of the ecomuseological movement within a
community. These remarks and thoughts are directed towards a new assertion of
the role of museums as a result of the failure of traditional answers. Crisis
situations bring about alternative answers to the priorities of a population: its
cultural needs. In+aworld that is inevitably globalized, culture preserves diversity,
drives towards difference, resists tendencies towards standardization, while
museology searches for other possible answrs to the threat of excluding
communities by neglect, indifference, or globalized torpedoing.
The coinmunity museuin, or territory museum, or museum without waIIs,
or 'i~iuseup-na-estrada' shows the way to a sustainable dialogue between the
inuseuin and the comrnunity. The museum becomes its voice, its means of
expression; finally, of the ownership and management of the future. The
experience of the Ecomuseu do Quarteira0 Cultural do Matadouro can contribute
to broadening the concept of museums which provide a concrete answer to the
picture of a population's cultural diversity, and the conflict brought on by
intolerance among different elements. In addition, the museum contributes to a
larger independence of action.
The idea of preservation can also house intercultural dialogue, through the
use of civic rights, respect of others and vitalizing community life. In this context,
it is an operation of solidarity. There is a living museum for a11 who understand
tliat the first heritage to preserve is life itself,
Priosti: Archblogie d'une collection inacheve

Eu desconfiava:
Todas as histbrias em quadrinho so iguais.
Todos osfilmesnorte-americanos sio iguais.
Todos osfilmes de todos os paises sZo iguais,
Todos os best-sellers sijO iguais.
Todos OS campeonatos nacionais e internacionais defutebol so iguais.
Todos os partidos politicos so igtiais.
Todas as mulheres que andam na modo so iguais.
Todas experincias de sexo sGo iguais.
Todos os sonetos, gazis, virelais, satinas e rondos sGo iguais
e todos, todos os poetnas em verso livre sGo enfadon hamente iguais.

Todas as guerras do mupido s&o iguais.


Todas as fomes sao iguais.
Todos os amores, iguais iguais iguais.
Iguais todos os rompini entos.
A niorte igualissima.
Todas as criaoes da naturem sGo iguais.
Todas as a+, cruis, piedosas ou indiferen tes, sGo iguais.
Contudo, O hotizem nzo igual a nenhuiii outro homem, bicho ou coisa.

No igua2 a nada.
Todo O ser humano irm estranho inipar.

Carlos Dmrnmond de Andrade, in A. Paixao Medida, ditora Record, RJ

Le pome IguaI DesiguaI, de CarIos Drummond de Andrade, dans la voix


d'une tudiante brsilienne encadre par les ruines du vieux PaIacete do
Matadouro, Santa Cruz,Rio de Janeiro est une flche juste vers la conscience
citoyenne. Et quelle douleur ce portrait sur le mur de l'oubli! C'est la mme
douleur d'entendre il y a longtemps la sculaire affirmation: "tous sont gaux
devant la loi", quand la vie nous montre qui nous sommes Ioin d'y parvenir.
L'oeuvre inacheve du PaIacete est toujours un couteau pointu sur la
blessiire d'une communaut oublie dans le contexte politique de Rio de Janeiro.
C'est une violence qui nous parle chaque jour d'une exclusion programe par des
administrations centralises qui ne viennent pas la priphrie, qui ne voient que
le centre et les zones plus favorises de la ville, qui n'coutent pas la clameur de
quinze ans sans cho.
Le torpillage de la globalisation, dans tous les moyens de communication,
soit-elle au niveau rgional, national ou mondial, nous fait sentir la saveur am&e de
voir s'vanouir la sve culturelle d'une population. Dans cette voie double qui
nous entrane vers I'homogneisation, il faut rsister, au risque de devenir une
masse amorphe, sans couleur, sans voix, sans expression. Donc, est-ce qu'il faut,
en effet, devenir gaux? Est-ce qu'il faut globaliser la culture, la tlvision, la mdia
et la technologie devenues nos alies? Et quel prix?
Dans la voie contraire de cette route, le muse prend le sens inverse de la
globaIisation. Il pousse la diffrence, il invite le divers lutter par son droit d'tre
Priosti: Archologie d'une collection inacheve

divers. Il oublie la collection d'objets rares et se tourne vers Ia colIection d'tres et


leurs communauts, qui sont maintenant son objet d'tude. II devient un
instrument d'inclusion de ceux qui se sont perdus dans ce torpillage, de la
communaut exclue par une conomie ou une politique globalisantes.
Le nouvel engagement du muse - David contre Golias - cherche, malgr la
suprematie de l'ideologie du march et de la consommation, un administrateur
conscient de sa culture vivante.
La culture globale ne peut pas se perdre dans l'hgmonie des plus favoriss
conomique e technologiquement. II faut que la Musologie dlivre le public de sa
condition de consommateur pour Etre seulement une population qui ne veut que
garder sa culture. Elle doit se rendre le nid o l'on peut assurer la survie de toute
diversit et o I'on peut aprendre et enseigner y voir la plus grande richesse.
La diversit est un mosaque arrang avec tous les petits tessons d'un pot
qui s'est cass, II sera beaucoup plus une oeuvre ouverte et inacheve, avec tant de
formes, de couleurs, d'arrangements qu'on peut lui donner, si l'on a la
proccupation de ne perdre rien.
Santa Cruz Culture Vivante, avec son histoire, sa tradition et par la
pluralit et diversit de son tissus social (l'indien, le portugais, l'africain, les
immigrants de plusieurs nationaiits) a forg son comuse comme instrument
d'expression, de garde de son identit, de construction de sa mmoire et de lutte
par son droit d'xister dans un Rio plural. II est surtout un instrument vecteur de
son dveloppement durable. "On devient forgeron, en forgeant."
La relation de conflit entre la globalisation et Ies actions du muse est un
fort signe de changement de paradigme: la population anonyme qui ne veut pas
consommer la culture, mais seulement prserver la sienne, peut et doit se servir du
inuse dans cette transition. Le muse commence s'nnuyer d'un monologue qui
se suffit de ses vrits, en s'loignant de vrais besoins culturels de la communaut.
Le muse communautaire, l'comuse, le muse sans murs, Ie muse "p-
na- estrada" (que se fait chemin) ne s'inquitent pas aux statistiques de public
qu'ils reoivent. En effet, ce sont des inuses qui appartiennent vraiment aux
cominunauts.
L'Ecomuse du Quarteiriio est un ensemble de valeurs cultureIles
preserves par la co~nmunaut.C'est aussi un territoire qui abrite cette
coinmunaut et sa culture vivante et o se dveloppent les actions pour y
parvenir.
Il est probable que cette pratique naturelle ne soit pas apperue par tous
ses membres. Cependant, il y a des gens qui ont dj compris que nous sommes
tous enfoncs dans un processus culturel de prservation de notre identit, notre
culture vivante qui rsiste I'oubli, la crise et Ia globaIisation.
Tous ces moyens vivants - avec une communaut mobilise vers la
-
prservation de son hritage culturel sont des muses potentiels. Il faut transfrer
cette constatation aux gnrations suivantes dans Ies familles, dans les coles, dans
les associations d'habitants, dans les rues, dans les pIaces, dans les quartiers et
dans les villes. Le muse y rencontrera une contribution significative: la
ci toyennt au profit de Ia vie communautaire.
La Musologie, qui collectionne les actions de protection du "culturel",
doit eiilbrasser ce nouveau tesson - le petit muse communautaire - qui rentre dans
la collection: un inuse cr et administr par la propre communaut.
Priosti: Archologie d'une collection inacheve

Musologie c'est aussi l'art d'apprendre avec l'autre, avec tous les
contrastes qu'il apporte. C'est la possibilit d'arranger et de rarranger sans cesse
les savoirs, de mettre en valeur chaque tesson et de sentir la collection s'enrichir
l'inclusion d'un nouvel lment.
'Il y a quelque chose au dehors de l'ordre, hors de l'ordre mondial', dit
Caetano Veloso, chanteur brsilien. Et pourtant, est-ce que cet ordre mondial est
vraiment essentiel?
S'il faut globaliser, la culture vivante est surtout un mouvement de
rsistance des identits culturelles. ElIe est singulire dans sa pluralit, elle est
unique dans la diversit, elle est l'amalgame entre la communaut et son
patrimoine, dans le processus du dveloppement.
Museums: A Vision of Utopia?

Hildegaard Vieregg
Bayerische S taatsgemaldesarnmlungen/MPZ
Barer Str.29, 80799 Munich, Gemany

,,De optirno rei publicae statu


deque nova insula Utopia"
(Thomas More, Utopia, 1516)

The purpose of this paper is to consider how museology has been affected by increasing
globalisation and the development of international communication technology. This is a
significant aspect of the theme 'Museums and Cultural Diversity', which the International
Council of Museums (ICOM) has chosen for the 1998 General Conference in Australia. It
includes a discussion of firstly, the development of global museology;secondly, identity,
cultural diversity and interdisciplinarity in relation to rnuseology; thirdly, same seventeenth
and eighteenth century prototypes of globalisation in Latin America; fourthly, the future of
rnuseums, relics and mernorial sites of former totalitarian regimes in Europe and finally the
educational responsibilities of museums in the future.

MUSEOCOGY AND GLOBALISATION


From 'Cabinets of Art' to Global Museology

The 'Cabinets of Art' of the past and 'Global Museology' today are interdependent. The
primary aim of European reigning sovereigns, princes and dukes in the Renaissance period
was to collect rnaniellous objects from the natural world, astronomical instruments, scientific
equipment and artefacts from distant countries, art treasures from the Antique and souvenirs
of voyages of discovery. They were collected particularly for the so-called 'Kunst- und
Wunderkammern' (Cabinets of Art) in Europe.' The discovery of different parts of the world
was reflected in these collections of artefacts frorn foreign cultures.
Now, at the end of the twentieth century the museological term 'globalisation' has assumed
world-wide significance. Australia, where this year's General Conference of the International
Council of Museums is taking place, as a continent and a as state, is an excellent example
of globalisation. People from al1 corners of the world have emigrated to Australia during the
last few centuries - often as a result of social and political crises. They have brought with
them their own cultural traditions and also their individual expectations of living in a new
country. They have also corne into contact with the indigenous culture created by the
Aborigines even in remote districts. The result of this meeting of cultures should be studied
further and presented by museums and other cultural sites abroad, since museum issues in
Australia also concern other countries, especially those whose societies are undergoing
substantial cultural change.

HiIdrgard Virrtgg: Vorgcschichte der &~.~seumspadagogik. Dargestellt an der iLIuseurnsent~vick!ung


iii dcri Stjidren Berlin. Dresdrn, blnchen und Hamburg bis zum Beginn der Weimarer Republik.
blnstrr ' Haniburg 199 1, S. 3-33 (Berlin), 86- 102 (Dresden), 1.18- 17 l (Mnchen).
Vgl. drizu auch: Eilean Hooper-Greenhilt: Museum5 and the Shaping o f Knowledge. London 1997,
pp. 75-54.
79
Vieregg: A
Miiseu~t~s: Vi3ion of Umpia?

anybbdy anywhere, including the pooret people in the slums of large cities, may possess
radios, televisions and other means of communication as well as technical equipment. This
endangers the indigenous culture because individuals are attempted to acquire material
possessions which do not harmonise wlth the original environment and even exploit and
destroy their own indigenous culture. Mass-communication technoiogy therefore threatens
indigenous cultural identity, and foreign infiuences become dominant. Even this situation,
however, could provide an opportunity to teach people about the value of their own culture.
They could be put in touh with their own cultural heritage, givsn information about their
culture, and their self-confidence and awareness of their heritage could be promoted. They
could also be given the opportunity to get closes to their cultural orighs and receive
encouragement to take pride in their ancestors as well as in their mare recent history. With
the assistance of objects presented in museums they would be enabled to find their identity
in the present and for the future, In discussing identity, inter-cultural relations should also be
taken into consideration. Such cultural interaction can be presented in museums,
environments, sites and monuments in any country world-wide by means of displays and
exhibitions.

Thirdly: Ethical requirements. Cultural heritage is subject to systematic and ever-increasing


expropriation, which threatens the development and advancement of sacieties as well as
international relations. This may contribute to the irreparable loss of cukural identity amang
the population of a particular area. Although the state has a moral responsibility to presewe
its cultural heritage, in fact in many countries it fails to fulfil its mission as custadian by
stressing the significance of preservation and consemation, and by providing the necessasr
econornic resources. Policies to ensure continuity shsuld be established. The public should
also be involved in the process through education in cultural awareness. The illicit trafic in
cultural property should be controlled and illicit trafic in objects destined far public and
private coHections should be strictly forbidden. If not. it encourages the destruction of
historical sites, local ettinic cultures and opposes the spirit of pride in a country's patrimony.

In order to protect the world's cultural heritage the following measures should be taken: The
ICOM's Code of Ethics should be promoted and disseminated, not only among museum
professionals but also among the population in general. Among the international laws and
treaty obligations the following article in ICOM's Code of Ethics sflould be taken especially
seriously: 'Nabody is pemitted to exploit cultural property for persona1 gain or for another
individual'. There should be responsible policies on cultural issues. In addition, a fund should
be established to protect cultural heritage. Museum and heritage personnel should be
trained in the consemation of cultural artefacts and sites 'in situ', in order to avoid the
destruction of historic buildings, ancient monuments and mernorial sites. The public should
also be invalved and trained in the preservation and conservation of cultural heritage. A
procedure should be established for determining the rights of lndian and other ethnic groups
to their cultural heritage which is in the possession of foreign peoples and museums.

The concept of a museum is undergoing rapid change and development al1 over the warld.
The increasing awareness and the fear of losing cultural, historic and attistic treasures is
already stirnulating and motivating developing countries to establish their own museums.
The idea of what a museum should be varies fram country to country. What we need is more
CO-operationon a global scale. International dialogue should be encouraged so that
developing countries in Central and Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, East Asia and the
Pacific rqion are better able to gain access to their cultural and artistic heritage which is no
longer in their own countries. lt is the obligation of al1 museums world-wide to make three-
dimensional objects available by means of technologi~aldevelopments such as pictlrre data-
banks.
lndigenous cultures should also be presented. Further destruction through mass-tourism of
surviving indigenous cultures must be prevented. Moreover, a line must be drawn behveen
Vieregg : Museums: =1 Yi.vion of Utopia?

indigenous districts on the one hand, and what museums can or should be allowed to display
on the other. There is a great difference, for example, between the handicrafts of an
indigenous people being displayed in an exhibition and indigenous people themselves being
viewed by tourists as if they were objects in a museum.

Fourthly: The educational role of museums. Certain conditions must be fulfilled for a visit to a
museum, an environment, a memorial site or for direct contact with a particular culture:
1. Educational programmes, seminars and workshops must be expanded;
2. Museum language must be improved and in addition, an effective language of communi-
cation for the presentation of heritage spaces must be developed;
3. Authentic objects shoutd be combined with clear graphic information as well
as audivisual installations and special effects, in order to improve the communicative
effectiveness of traditional labelling and panel textq3
4. Visitors should be given information in the most widely used languages, for example
English, French and Spanish. Printed information provided by the museum, such as
museum guides, should also be availabte in these languages;
5. Information on a particular culture exhibited in a museum should, if possibte, be related to
contemporary political reatity. Surviving indigenous cultures represented in a museum,
while being contextualised in the present, should also be treated with respect for their way
of life.

The cultural identity of Latin America is based on an essentially diverse cultural heritage.
This is the result of its historical tradition enriched by the contributions of different cultures
which have generated diverse forms of creative expression. The resulting unity
simultaneously shows a wealth of diversity among the various countries and cultural
institutions. If we consider globalised communication networks, the lnternet and international
tourism, the provision of educational programmes and displays at museums linked to the
new media is becoming atl the more urgent. Museums have an obligation to provide detailed
information, and to improve standards of cultural heritage preservation and cultural
awareness generally. In this context the virtual museum should also be developed, for
example, a virtual museum of ethnotogy or a virtual museum of contrasting cultures. This
could help some cultures to develop a stronger sense of their own cultural identity and it
coutd also hetp to reduce 'cultural arrogance1.

With the technology of multi-media systems today it is possible to reach and inform anyone
in any part of the world. The philosophy behind developing public educational programmes
shoutd be airned at the public of al1 ages in al1 parts of the world. As we now move into a
data-based post-modern period the most important feature sought by a growing museum
public is a sense of their own cultural identity. Museums must address the question of
providing information on the collection not only to people in remote parts of their own
country, who will never in their lifetirnes have the opportunity to visit a rnuseum; they mus1
also address the needs of a public abroad even in the remotest corners of the world. It is
even more important to design new forms of museums. They should not necessarily be
housed in palatial buildings. More suitable buildings, open air and eco museums combined
with creative educational programmes should be developed. New technologies making use
of videos and laser might make it possible to present exhibitions in a novel and more
imaginative manner. Backed up by an effective information and communication system,
museums could function far more efficiently as centres for serious study and research, as
well as for enjoyment and enrichment of the casual visitor and the curious.

Jordi Pardo: Audivisual insrallations as a trategy for the modernisation of heritag~preseniation spaces.
In: ICObt S ~ u d ySerics 5. Cornmittee for Audivisual and Image and Sound N e w Technologies. Paris
1998.
Vieregg: ~Uttsetrms:A Vision of topia?

III SOME SEVENTEENTH AND EIGHTEENTH CENTURY PROTOTYPES OF


GLOBALISATION IN LATIN AMERICA

Two prototypes of globalisation will now be discussed: They reflect inter-cultural cross-
fertilisation. The first example relates ta the Jesuit missions of the seventeenth and
eighteenth century in Latin America and their cultural links with Europe. The second
describes examples of art and architecture in Brazil and their connection with Germany.

The cultural importance of the Jesuit missions in Latin America

The focus of the Jesuit missions in Latin America was in Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina.
The following discussion attempts to show how the resulting art and architecture was an
early example of globalisation in which natural links were established between Europe and
Latin America. It concentrates on the ruins of the settlements in the so-called 'Jesuit-State'
founded in Paraguay, which was the first dernacratic society in the world. T h e s e settlements
consist of rebuilt buildings, buildings under reconstruction or restored buildings, and are
valuable cultural sources for the history of Paraguay in the seventeenth and eighteenth
centuries. This was the outstanding and unique achievement of members of the Roman
Catholic Jesuit Order sent out to South Arnerica as missionaries from Bavaria in South
Germany. They gave the indigenous people better living conditions and taught them various
handicrafts. Many of these settlements are situated along the only main road which forms a
kind of triangle from Asuncion in the west to Encarnacion in the south and Ciudad del Este in
the east. Other settlements are not far away from the main road. In this period Jesuits also
built roads through pathless areas. They were well-designed according to a general plan.
One settlement is sirnilar to another; most of them are either situated on the top of a hill or
near a river or at a strategic crossing. At every site there are also magnificent churches with
fine furnishings and frescoes as well as decoration in marble. T h e r e are also various
workshops, accommodatian for the indigenous population and a large meeting area. Today
each settlement is a unique, partially open air museum. Together they are an important part
of Paraguay's cultural heritage a n d identity, and an excellent example of community living.
In the museums belonging to each site visitors can familiarise themselves with important
objects, wall paintings, frescaes, sculptures, figures of saints and other items from the
workshops of the eighteenth century. The style of European works of art of that time,
including plans, paintings and sculptures brought to Latin America by members of the Jesuit
Order seems to be reflected in these objects. However, the physiognomies of the figures
resemble those of the indigenous people. The settlements thernselves and also the
m u s e u m s rank as some of the finest examples of inspiration coming from new ideas, and of
cross-cultural fertilisation combined with the creativity of the indigenous people of Paraguay.

Art and architecture in Minas Gerais, Brazil

Another example of early globalisation and cultural diversity is the art and architecture in
Minas Gerais in Brazil, especially in the towns of Ouro Preto, Mariana and Congonhas
situated in the highlands of Brazil, about 800 kilometres to the west of Rio de Janeiro. Here
there are a number of churches and sites built in the colonial period between the sixteenth
and the early nineteenth centuries. The abolition of slavery in 1875 gave them a new
importance. Ouro Preto, Mariana and Congonhas in Minas Gerais, like Salvador da Bahia on
the Brazilian coast, are perhaps the most interesting examples of cultural diversity in Brazil
and of the indigenous people's pride in their patrimony. The towns in Minas Gerais have
magnificent works by Brazil's most famous architeet and sculpter, Francisco Antonio Lisboa.
He was called 'Aleijadinho' - meaning the crippled one since h e suffered from leprosy. His
father came from Portugal, his mother from Africa. She was brought to Brazil as a slave.
When Aleijadinho's father emigrated to Brazil by ship he took with him a number of
Vieregg: ~l.iilsertms:A Vision of Lf*opia?

being pramoted by museurns in Western Europe. This involves developing a communication


system in museums and memorial sites, which provides accurate and properly researched
information. Thus disinformation resulting from isolation inside totalitarian states and
separation from the warld outside, Gan be caunteracted.
It would be a mistaken approach to exploit and destroy al1 exhibits, relics and environments
-
from the totalitarian past. Such material heritage like the infamous Gulag camps in the
former Soviet Union - shoutd be preserved and transformed inta educational mernorial sites.
They shouM become places fur intensive study and research. They should also be ued for
learning about the ciifference between totalitarian and democratic systems, as is now the
case at the memorial sites of former concentration camps in Eermany, which in recent years
have been increasingly used for educational purposes and consciousness-raising.
Accessibility to the public of al1 ages and natibnalities is particularly important. Another
asped of the process af dernocratisation could be the promoting of exchanges and cn-
operation between museum staff in former Eastern European countries and those in
Western Europe and elsewhere. This could facilitate sharing personal and professional
experience of living and working in a demucratic political system. It cciuld also promote
participating in the democratic proess and improve understanding of the issues involved. fn
addition, education in the democratic process should inuolve learning about and analysing
the rnethods of indoctrination used by totalitarian regimes.

l v THE EDUCATIONAL RESPONSlBlLlTlESOF MUSEUMS IN THE FUTURE

The Declaration of Quebec of 19844appealed to museums world-wide to broaden the scope


of their function beyond their traditionally accepted role. It recommended interdisciplinary
research, museum development and the introduction of modern rnethods of communication.
Technology could thus also be used to relate objects fram the past to those of the presenf
and even to those of the future. The relationship between the public and the abject wa also
to be recansidered.
As we approach the end of the twentieth centuty, museums are at a turning point in their
histary. Cultural education has become their most important social function in relation to the
public of the future. The prirnary purpose of museums should be ta become centres of
cultural exchange. They should aIsa assume the role of leadership in an effort to reflect the
world's natural histury as well as its archaeological, ethnological, artistic and technological
history. They should also be places of interdisciplinary research. Educalion in political
awareness is not only the task of an academic subject like modern history. Museums should
also pravide objective accounts and presesitafions of historical and political events, such as
the cllapse of the Berlin Wall and the disappearance of a divided Europe. Displays in
museums shauld address different aspects of a theme, whether it is a particular society's
living conditions, its culture, its history or even its future. These are the museum's main
responsibilities in line with ICOM's definition of 'Musealogy' which should concern itelf with
the histary of museums, their rote in saciety, their relation ta cultural and social
developments as well as to visitor education. It is to be hoped that this utopian visicrn of a
museum will be realised in the very near future.

References

Auer, Hermann (Hg.):Chancen und Grenzen moderner Technologien irn Museum. Bericht
ber ein internationales Syrnpnsion. Veranstaltet von den ICOM-Nationalkamitses der
Bundesrepublik, Osterreichs und der Schweiz, vom 16,-18. Mai 7985 am Bodensee. London1
New Yorkl Oxford! Paris 1986.

Declararion of Quebec'. Quebec, 15. Oct. 1984, In: ntuseurn. UNESCO. No. 148. Faris 1985, p.301,
V ieregg: Museums: A Vision of Utopia?

Declaration of Quebec. (Quebec: 13. Oct. 1984). In: museums. UNESCO. No.148. Paris
1985. P. 201.
Hodge, RoberD'Souza, Mifred: The museum as a communicator: a semiotic analysis of
the Western Australian Gallery, Perth. In: Hooper-GreenhiII, Eilean (Ed.): The Educational
Role of the Museum. Londonl New York. Reprint 1996, pp. 37-46.
Hoffmann, Hilmar: Kultur fr morgen. Ein Beitrag zur Losung der Zukunftsproblerne.
Frankfurtl Main 1985.
Hooper-Greenhill, Eilean: Museums and the Shaping of Knowledge. London 1992.
ICOM '89: Museums: Generators of Culture. The Hague! Netherlands 1989.
Jungk, Robert: Der Jahrtausendmensch. Mnchenl Gterslohl Wien 1973.
Museum News Staff: 'Museums: A Global View'. In: Museum News. Vol. 67.No. 1. Sept./
Ott. 1988. pp. 22-47.
Miles, RogedZavala, Lauro (Eds.): Towards the Museum of the Future. New European
Perspectives. Londonl New York 1994.
Sofka, Vinos: Changes in the World and European Upheavals - Heritage, Museums, The
Museum Profession and Museology. Unpublished Manuscript. (pp. 11-18)
Van-Praet, Michel: Updating Museum Philosophy. Breaking down the Museum Walls.
Unpublished manuscript. Strasbourg 1997. (Lecture: Oct.511995 - Barcelona)
Schensul, J.: Organizing Cultural Diversity Through the Arts. Education and Urban Society1
California. 1990.
Vergo, P e t e ~The New Museology. London 1989.
Vieregg, Hildegard Futurologische Ansatze einer zeitgemanen Museologie. Gedanken zum
Thema 'Museum - Medium zwischen Vergangenheit und Zukunft'. In: Vieregg, Hildegard u.a.
(Hg.): Museurnspadagogik in neuer Sicht. Enniachsenenbildung im Museum. 2 Bd. .
Baltmannsweiler 1994. S. 131-142.
Dieselbe: Frstliche Kunstkammern und frhe Museen - Konzeption und padagogische
Dimension. ln: Museumspadagogik in neuer Sicht. E~rachsenenbitdungirn Museum.
S. 6-31.
Dieselbe: Antonio Francisco Lisboa - ,,Aleijadinhou. Den Minas-Knstler loben seine Werke.
In: Tepicos. Cadernos Brasil - Alemanha. H.211996.
Van Zoest. Rob: Generators of Culture. The Museum as a Stage. Amsterdam 1989.
Remernbering the People:
Unity and Diversity within the Global Community

Vanda Vitali and Peter Gale


cdli2
50 Lombard Street, Suite 2404, Toronto, Ontario M5C 2x4,Canada

Rsum: A propos de globalisation: Penser l'humain: unit et


diversit

Cet article examine deux aspects, parfois fondamentalement


incompatibles, de la globalisation telle que celle-ci apparat dans le monde des
expositions musales. Sous son premier aspect r~globalisatiom~ exprime un souci
d'efficacit fond sur un modle de production technoIogique. A partir de l, le
succs des expositions est gnralement mesur en ternes de rentres financires.
Les expositions blockbusten>,comme Barnes et Toutankharnoun sont des
exemples d'approches ccglobalisantes>>. Leur prmisse est que, le sujet ayant un
intrt gnralet de signification universelIe, tous ceux qui verraient
l'exposition en parleraient.. . sans ncessairement la comprendre. Dans le mme
esprit, WWW offre aux muses la possibilit d'atteindre par des prsentations
virtueIles de larges pubIics, des auditoires globaux.
Pourtant le grand profil et la grande efficacit font peu pour clairer les
grands problmes de la communaut humaine. Une autre approche globale
s'attaque l'cologie des socits humaines et des milieux naturels. Elle souligne
plus I'importance du renforcement des identits et spcificits cultureZles que sur
des modles de production soucieux de thmes globaux,) qui estompent les
diffrences.
L'exposition c<dQertslDESERT,dveloppe par l'quipe laquelle
appartient les auteurs de I'article, est alle beaucoup plus loin en respectant et
refltant les particularits de milieux culturels divers dans la communaut globale.
Dveloppe sur le thme du dsert, phnomne cologique qui est prsent en
diverses rgions du monde. Il enseigne et faonne de multiples aspects de
civilisations diverses, thme qui, de surcrot, a un sens profond et exerce un attrait
sur toiis les humains. L'article dicrit l'exposition dsertslDESERT>> conue de
faon i offrir, simultanment en diffrents lieux, des matriels locaux, des objets
d'art et des prsentations techniques soulignant I'unit des besoins humains et la
diversit des rponses quYiIsreoivent.
L'exprience de l'exposition dserts/DESERT, bien qu'interrompue
pour des raisons politiques, a dessin une voie alternative permettant aux muses
d'inviter la rflexion, sur la nature et les gens qui y vivent, d'une faon {{globale,)
approprie.
Vitali & Gale: Remembering the People

Definitions and meanings of globalization:

In the literature, globalization is defined today as 'primarily a technological


and economic process riven by the revolution in telecommunications and
cornputers, massive increases in the movement of capital around the world, greatly
expanded capacities for flexible world-wide production sourcing by firms,
especially multinational corporations, and growing ecological interdependence and
environmental spillovers.... [Globalization] embraces an expanding web of
interlocking markets around the world, universal norms and standard that form
globaI reference points, communications that are virtually instantaneous, and the
common social and economic practices brought about through computerization'
(Doern et al., 1996).
Almost al1 definitions of globalization, from the 1980s on, refer mainIy to
the technological and economic aspects of functioning around the world, with an
emphasis on a consequent or necessary uniformity of concerns, approaches,
noms, and outcornes. Globalization is driven by technological modeIs and
considerations of efficiency; success is usually measured in terms of economic
return.
Far less emphasis, or interest, seems to be placed on the 'recipients' of
globalization, in particular the need that people have, individually and collectively,
for a sense of identity, specificity and privacy, needs that we are regularly made
aware of by events throughout the world in recent years. This, notwithstanding
early considerations of globalization, which originated with Marshall McLuhan,
who predicted a 'world in the age of high technology and international
communications, through which events throughout the worId may be experienced
simultaneously by everyone, so apparently "shrinking" the world societies to
Ievel of a single village or tribe.' [Simpson and Weiner, 19891. This seminal
observation resonates with the importance of recognizing the human condition, or
circuinstance, in a technology-drven world.
Indeed, for some time, Canada and other nations have pursued the
protection and promotion of its particular cultural character. Most recentiy, the
place of cultural industries within the Multilateral Agreement on Investinents
(MAI) raised considerable concerns. The question of protecting cultural
specificity, and exeinpting culture from global economic regimes, remains for
many, a very important one.

Museums in the global landscape

Today, tlien, museums are influenced, on the one hand, by globalizing


forces tliat reflect the efficiencies of the global technological mode1 and, on the
other hand, forces that seek to promote and protect culturai specificity.
As a consequence, the responses of museums to globalization have been
varied, and continue to evolve. In the interest of efficiency, and economic
advalitage, inuseums have been creating large, 'blockbuster' exhibitions. The
Barnes Collection, Vatican Treasures, Tutankhamen, are but a few examples of
such efforts. The principal premise or assumption on the part of the organizers of
Vitali & Gale: Remembering the People

these 'mass-produced' exhibitions is that the subject is of broad, 'universal'


appeal and reIevance to everyone in all places. Following the global model, it is
expected that al1 those who see the exhibition w i l tak about it, even if they not
reaIIy understand it and, through that promotion, help tto create the desired
economic return.
The growing trend towards partnerships between small museums,with
Iimited collections and resources, and larger, more important institutions, which
enable the smaller to borrow collection material and, in particular, exhibitions, from
the larger, is another exarnple of the global concem for eficiency. If one is to
extrapolate this trend foIlowing an economic rnodel, the future might possibly
belong to a few 'supra-national' museums.
And, finally, now that the World Wide Web offers the opportunity to
reach a vat, global audience, we may see a growing tendency for museums,srna11
or large, to produce 'virtual' exhibitions that are presumed to be universally
relevant regardless of, or because of, the global audience available,
Yet, the high-profile, high-effrciency, wide-reaching projects that may
result from globalizing influences or opportunities may do littIe to illuminate
issues of human cornrnunality in al1 of its diversity.
As a consequence, a second and much more cha1Ienging and interesting
globalizing approach has been taken by certain museums. For example, the
Museum d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris, France, has created exhibitions an broad,
generaI topics (e.g. forests, islands) that include a variety of global considerations,
and a number of sub-themes. The installations have been supported by a diverse
seIection of artifacts and interpretive methods that collectively represent a broader
set of concerns and appeal than the traditional exhibitions that follow established
curatorial divisions. Tliese exhibitions, however, have been developed Iargely for a
local (i.e. Parisian) audience. We believe that it is necessary for museums to go
Further in order to present the ttue nature of the global community to the global
community.

The 'deserts/DESERTYexhibition

1. A hunt an (e) approaclr to globalira fion '


We believe that ta tmly serve a global approach, we need to design
exliibitions so that they reflect, and respect, the particularities of cultural
circumstance within the global community. In the face of global trends, it is al1 too
easy for institutions, including museums and their exhibitions, to suppress,
inarginalize, or even ignore the human component. To address global concems, it is
essential that museurn projects - including those treating subjects in the naturaI
sciences - be rooted in specific human situations. In essence, this means dealing
with the ecoIogy of human and environmental situations, with an emphasis on the
reinforcement of cultural identities and their specificities, rather than on projects
designed after production models that concem 'universal' high culture, or present
'global' topics that blur distinctions.
This, for us, also means the simultaneous presentatian of an exhibition at
different venues, using local exhibition materals, which would underscore both the
Vitali & Gaie: Remembering the People

unity of our human condition (the global} and the diversity of responses to it (the
specific, the local). This approach is best illustrated by an exhibition, entitled
'deserts/DESERT', organized for the Institut du monde arabe (the Iratitute of the
Arab World) in Paris, France, by a t eam of airators, designers, film-&ers,
p hotogap hm and int erpreters under our d k tion.

2. The subject, purpose and concept of 'deserts/DESERT'


The exhibition focused on the &sert because of its signficance for the Arab
world in particular, thepresence ofdeserts throu&out the workl, and the universal
s ignificanm and fascination t kt deserts have for all p eople, defminglives and
cap turing imaginations everywhae. For many regions and peop les, the desert has
been, and mntinws to be, of particular importance, infmnhg and shaping numerous
aspects oftheircivilizations. Hot and cold deserts cover onethird of theearth's land
surlice, and arehome to some 13% ofthe wodd's population. Today, deserts are
chmghg perhaps irreversibly,We considerd that it was timdy to explore what the
desert meam to us, p hy ically ,culturaIIy ,and p hilosop hically .
The purposeof the exhibition was to examine the desert a an evolving, yet
fragjle, set of phy sical and social phenornena or ecosy stems ('deserts'); and as a
metap hor ('Desert'), with meanmg or sigificat ions derived from its power to
inspire creative or spiritual mponses. Ap proaching the desert from a conceptual
perspective, 'desertslDESERT' preented abroad range of information and ideas, as
well as a divershy of viewp oints from t hose who dwell in des erts around the world
and those who have corne in contact whh it, fmt- or semnd-hand.
The exhibition wa conccived as a major international project. The Institut
haddecidedto orgmizeCdeserts/DESERT' inkeepingwithits mandate to create
gr& er internat ional awareness and ap p reciation of t he Arab world, in this case,
throu* a shared subject of universal fascination and consequen, and to foster
better understandingamongpeoples a d cultures. Approximately two-thirds ofthe
exhibition in Pais woukl be related to the Arab world, and one-third to otha regions
of the world.
The Institute formed partnerships with museums in Canadaand Australia,
w l i e ~the exhibition wouid open simuItaneously. The overall development of the
exhibition's thems wouki be consistent at dl venues. The Institute would provide
the p hotograp hic, film and sound mataial, while installation objects, although sirnilar,
would come from a p artncr's own collection, be exchanged bet wwn p artners, or
coine froin ddit ional sources. As weli, each institution muld add additional examples
of works froin its own collection in order to more fiilly reflect local circumstances.

3. Organizorion and design of 'deserts/DESHTJ


A dynamic mstaliation, including film, vidm, photos, works of art and
art ifact s ap resent ing desert regions around the world, and an original sound track,
was designed to engage the visitor in an opm-ended e q erience of dismvery and
refkction. Five distinct themes resulted in five sections:
i Familiar and p opular notions of the desert: Beause this exhibition would be
p resented m urbm institutions, the op ening section featured film-clips,
photos, contemp orary advertising imags and memorabilia that w ould
Vitali & Gale: Rememberitig the People

reminded visitors of the many fimilia ways t hat the contemporary urban
dweiIer, in diffgent parts of the world, has his or heridea ofthe desert as an
exotic, my st &us, f w a y p lace, f m e d and refotmed e m y day.
DU&S as ecosystans: In realty, the desert is a vat, complex place, a fragile
reahn supporting a great variety of interdependent life-f0m, including
h u m s ocieties. What are the diffemt relations between p eop le and dserts?
How have daert societies evolved to fit uito the harsh circumstances of the
deserts ofthe wmld? Throua niap s, images, videos, objeds and text, the
exhibition investigated these imp ressive, ddicatesy stenx of social and
environmental interaction.
iii The desert as a source of human inspiration: Thmu& works of art and
artifacts, music, p oetry and legmd, dance, vis i t o woukl
~ ap p reciate the
desat's p ower to inspire a range of artistk creations, as welI as sp intual and
religious practis that have energed arnongt diffaent people around the
worki in direct responseto the desert experience.
N. Desats un&c stress: Dcserts today are undn assauit, as ecosystems, from
human act ivity that threatens the dekate equilibrium bdween people and
nature. Thedesert, as a wellspring of human creativity and livelihood, is
therefore aIso maiaced. The visitor wouId larn how deserts are being
threatened or trivializal, and how al1 of us, not just dsert dwellers, would
suffr from this loss of the desert's p ower to both sustain and inspire.
The future of deserts: In this kst section, the exhibition wouldrevisit the
thems already ewmined and pladed for the survival of the desert as an
essnitial part of our p bnetary experience. The future of the dsert, and
indeed of dl nature, rests with us.

4. Other materiais: >hi, booh, nr usic, efc


The exhibition was to be accompanied by several publications: a fully
illustrated book of some 200 pages, m separate French and English editions, that
contained clasic t ext s from various languags, both ancient and modern, on al1
aspects of t he desert, as well as simificant historical and contemporay images of the
desm. Tt was datined to becorne an essenthl reference on thesubject. A sborter
book at a p op ular price, in the form of a diary with skdched illustrations would
trace the thernes of the exhibition. Posters and postcards, in English and French
editions, were aiso developed. A CD-ROM of the exhbit ion was programma!, and a
CD of the original sound track was to be published. Didactic ehcationai materiaIs in
English, F ~ n c hand Arabic were also prep ad.

5. The creators and partneus


'deserts/DESERT ', was oqgnized by 1Tnst itu du monde arabe, and
sclieduled to open simuItaneously in Paris at the hstitute, in Ottawaull, Canada,
at the Candian Museum of Civilization, and in Sydney, Airstraliq at the Australian
Museuin. Eadi venue was ta adjust the contents of the installation to suite its IocaI
ciraixnstances and the public.
The spiritual leader of this ehibition was EdgardPisani, then President of
tlieInstitute, while the exhibition concept and curatorship was sharedby the
Vitali & Gale: Rernembering the People

authors. The exhibition desigper was Franok Confmo, of Confino, Inc, the
exhibition photogap her was Laurent Monlau, and the musimlogist and c m p oser of
the original s c o ~ Francois-Bmard
, M ache, al1 then of Paris.

6. The oukome
As with many global endeavors, his project was vulnerable, especially
politically, to a large range of circumstances. This proved to be fatal for its
realization. The funding circumstances in Canada greatly deteriorated, the political
power in France changed, and the French nuclear testing at the time of the last
phases of the prqaration for the exhibition perturbed and suspended relationships
between France and Australia, including cultural relationships. Only three months
from its openings, the exhibition was postponed. Those who invested in it still
hope that in one way or another, the public will stil see it.

Conclusions

In this paper, we have tried to contrast two aspects or manifestations of


'globalization' in the museum exhibition world. One is driven by the desire for an
efficient production, while the other sees human communality as the central issue.
If we consider that museums are essentially concerned with culture
(scientific, historical, ethnic, etc), then the role of the museums is to exhibit and
promote cultural specificity and, therefore, diversity. At the same time, human
existence across the world has many common concerns. It is therefore, important
for museurns to present this dialectic relationship between the unity of human
situations and the diversity of responses to them.
We found that working within this framework, both the global aspects of
Our worid culture today and the specific aspects of individual cultures can be
presented in an equilibrium that respects the dynalnic nature of culture and helps
to build cross-cultural understanding. The unity of human needs and the diversity
of responses to those needs inust be considered when designing meaningful
rnuseological approaches for the global village.
Our experience with the 'desertsPDESERT' exhibition, while deraiIed by
political events outside oui- control, show an alternate path in which the museurns
can reinember both people and nature in a 'globally' appropriate way.

References

Doern, G. Bruce, Leslie A. Pal, and Brian W. Tomlin, eds. (1996). Border
Crossings: The Inernationalization of Canadian Public Policy,
Toronto, Oxford University Press.
Simpson, J.A. and E.S.C. Weiner (1 989) Oxford English Dictiona~y,Second
Edition, Oxford, Clarendon Press.
Globalisation, Culture and Museums:
A Review of Theory

Linda Young
Cultural Heritage, University of Canberra, Canberra 260 1, AustraIia

Rsum: Mondialisation, culture et muses: une revue des thories

Les effets da la mondialisation a Ia culture, les fomes et structures culturelles, ont


rcevs peu d'attention thoretique jusque au dbut des 1990s. Maintenant, des
ides se prcipitent a dcrire Ies modes dans lesquelles les grandes forces da la
mondialisation joindrent aux expressions culturelles des lieux et traditions. Elles
crent une tension entre l'homognit et I'hterognit de la culture, en faisant
des types nouveaux de la culture, domestiqus et hybridiss. Donc les muses
doivent contester la caractre essentiallment moderne des collections nationales et
impriales, mais aussi doivent trouver des directions nouvelles.

The phenornenon of globalisation began to appear in the literature of


economics in the 1960s. Here it has since grown into a major analytical mode1 of
international finance, trickling into the popular sphere of newspaper presentations
on the world economy - which is probably the source (and the limit) of most non-
specialists' knowledge about the subject to this day. People recognise that
globalisation touches them in a multitude of srnaIl ways. They find in the
superrnarket products iinported from the furthest corners of the earth, selling at
cornpetitive prices, indeed undercutting local products. At work and perhaps at
home tao, they have become accustorned to the convenience of emaiI and the lure
of the internet. Access to instant electronic communications and literaIIy
encycIopedic information sources availabIe at the cIick of a mouse have established
new standards of effective work, which people rapidly corne to regard as essential.
As they take off to far-away places for business trips or hoIidays, it occurs to
thein that they bave1 throughout the world with unprecedented ease. Al1 these
exainples indicate the small but significant ways in which individuals have become
part of a globalised world.
In these and countless other ways, globalisation enters the live of small
people and becomes naturalised as, simply, a condition of life. Yet if asked to
define globalisation, most would grope towards some imperfectly-understood
econoinic explanation. This response may indicate the degree to which economics
lias beco~nethe normative intellectual paradigm of life beyond the individual scale,
but it is also evidence of the lack of a social or cultural dimension in the popular
iiotion of globalisation. In this absence, ordinary peopIe are not alone. Historians
sought large-scale, long-term rnodels of 'world history' in the 1970s;
Young: Globalisaiion, Culture and Mweums

anthropologists and socioIogists began to discuss social change in tenns of


globalisation in the Iate 1980s. The power of the concept has blossomed in the
1990s, and so has the literature outside economics. Confident of its utility, some
theorists now propose that globalisation is the hermeneutic that has, is or will
overtake postmodemism as the approach to social and cultural shrdies in the new
millennium.' Indeed, publications of the mid-1990s have begun to discuss the
'second wave' of globalisation t h e ~ r y . ~
The surge of thinking about the cultural aspects of globalisation deserves a
wider audience than the readers of sociology journals, for as outlined above, it is a
rnovement that affects nearly every modern (and even postmodern) person.
Further, globalisation has implications for cultural institutions such as rnuseums,
glancing on their historical nature, irnproving their technical management and
suggesting new responsibilities to the world's archives of material culture.
Globalisation cannot be disrnissed as something 'out there'; it is already 'in here',
and cultural workers must know it in order to deal with it. This paper reviews the
recent sociologicaI literature on globalisation and culture.

Definitions of GIoBalisation
No author's single version of the cultural aspects of globalisation has yet
emerged as definitive. A number of constant themes can be identified: the
compression of the world by new technologies of communication and travel;
consequent flows of contact between dispersed individuals and populations; a
consciousness among people that the entire world is the framework of their ideas,
vahes and practices, and hence a relativising of both individual and communal self-
perspectives; a multidirectional flow of influences that reach out - not only frorn
centre to periphery but the other way around too - and are transfomed or
adapted; the spread of transnational cultures such as fashion and music, but
simultaneously, the vigorous projection of local or minority cultural expressions.
Most criticaI for understanding globalisation's implications for culture is the
notion tliat the global perspective contains no single, centralising direction, but a
churning flow of apparent contradictions between the local and the global, the
specific and the general, the heterogeneous and the homogeneous.
A raft of other ideas connect to globalisation, some usefil, others
distracting. For instance, the tems iniernaiionalism, transnationalism and
sipranafionalisrii are sometimes used interchangeably with globalisation, but by
other authors to mean specific aspects of globalisation. Their focus on the nation
as tlie central unit of social organisation points up the importance of this key
category of sociology in thinking about globaiisation. The growth of mega-cities
whose importance outweighs their national location is the exemplar of these larger-
tlian-national ideas. The key instance of the impossibility of al1 of them is the
United Nations Organisation, the only formal organisation of al1 nations under a
globaI banner, and, by definition, composed of sovereign nations.

I
Malcolm Waters, Globalizarion, London, Routledge, 1995, p.38.
2
Eleotiorc Kofinan and Gillian Youngs (ed), Globalizatioti: Theory and Practice, London,
Piiiter, 1996, p. 1.
Young: Globalisation, Culture and Museums

A pervasive paranoia infoms the view that globalisation is really


westemisation, Arnericanisation, cultural imperialism, Coca Colonisath. It is
unarguable that globalisation is a direct consequence of Europem capitalist
expansion, but it is clear that not al1 people or places have or wE11 become
European and capitalist. n i e fear of cultural imperialism residcs in the image of
the tidal wave obliterating and transfoming everything in its path. In practice,
cuItural idluences are more typically adopted partially; they are indigenised or
hybridised in relation to the prior culture, as many cross-cultural ethnographies
dern~nstrate.~ Nonetheless, Roland Robertson, the earliest and most prolific
theorist of the cultural aspects of globalisation, suggests that individuals and
communities everywhere now need to esbblish themsetves a position relative to
the capitalist west, be it oppositional, adaptive or outright ernulati~e.~
Less fearful is the idea of cultural d~msion,one of the great early twentieth
century paradigms of culturaI change. Diffusion theory was grounded in space, in
territory, in 'culture hearths' and transmissions via trade, diplomacy and
conquest. By contrast, the globalising world is fundamentally deterritorialised;
culture leaps continents and comrnunities rather than trickles through geography.
Franz Boas tums in his grave.
One consequence of deterritonalised culture is rnulticulture. When cuIture
is undefined by ethnic or national boundaries, it can spread and splinter, thrive in
pockets, revive across the globe. Though there are certainly mass cultures creating
communities across borders, cultural diversity is not just persistent but growing.
These realities point to the unlikelihood of globalisation giving rise to a
unified world culture. Some authors hape that a cosmopolitan culture would be
an antidote to provincialism and a route to world peace. This is an attractive
optirnism, but easily tainted as a civilising mission to a primitive world: after all,
who or wliat could define or monitor a unified world culture? More likely ta
-
rnany commentators indeed, already happening - is a plurality of world cultures,
ainong which people participate in multiple identities, from religion and ethnicity
to politics and hobbies. AI1 of these generate ideas with global or potentially
global presence, but they also constitute the disjunctions which Iimit the
possibilities of globalised culture.

Origins of Globalisation
Three large theories offer to explain the origins of modem gIobalisation.
1. The world history paradigm proposes that globalisation is the latest
manifestation of ancient processes of conquest and trade, variously facilitated
by aniinals, technology and diseases, by which social and cultural foms
diffused along historically-detemined tracks around the world.'
2. World systems theory, developed by ImmanueI Wallerstein in the 1970s,
posits globalisation as the latest and most accelerated expression of the growth
3
Waters, Op.Cil.
4
Roland Robertson, 'Mapping the Global Condition: Globalization as the Central Concept' in
Tlieory. Cullitre and Sociey 7/2-3, 1990; see also Globalization: Social Theoty and Global
London, Sage, 1992.
C~ili~irc,
5
cg, William McNeil, Plagires atid Paoples, NY,Anchor Books, 1976; David Christian, 'The
Case for Big History*,Joiintal of World Histoty, Fall, 199 1.
Young: Globalisation, Culture and Mmeums

of international modernisation, generated by expansionary European


capitaIisrn, beginning in the late fifieenth-early sixteenth ~entury.~
3. Modernisation as the direct progenitor of globalisation is the mode1 devised by
Anthony Giddens; it is based on the development of the industrial and
rnilitary capacity of nation-states in the nineteenth century, leading to
imperialist and internationalising tendencies in the twentieth century, requirng
more ever more inclusive social relations to balance trade in peace.'

Characteristics of Globalisation
Globalisation is often said to cornpress the world. Essentially, this refers
to increasingly rapid communication and travel technologies that permeate and
dissolve territorial and political boundaries, thus enabling cultural transmissions on
an unprecedented scale. The world 1iteralIy seems a smaller place.
Globalisation transcends space and time. Space, specially as represented
by the nation, becomes a less relevant category of reference to people with global
connections, such as migrants. Time, in the age of instantaneous communications
across time zones,loses the sense of progression through the hours; it become
'non-teleologicaIy , random, unpredictable.' Globalisation is happening
everywhere, al1 the time.
Individuals take on a global consciouspress. More and more people share
ideas, values and practices; these links generate global connections and loyalties.
PeopIe frame issues relative to global standards and in global tems such as the
'world order', 'human rights', 'the environment'. The human perspective is not
merely local or even national but global, though people may exercise al1 these
frames of reference in various circumstances.
Globalisation induces a heighrened sense of theparficularin theface of the
riniversal among both individuals and communities. For instance, local
nationalisms and rninority cultural expressions are responses to globalising ideas
suc11 as self-determination. Whether this is a response of opportunism, fear or
sorne kind of 'naturaIYreaction is not clear, but it actively sensitises people to the
unique and precious qualities of al1 ~nanifestationsof culture.
Globalisation moves in characteristic 'Jows', identified by the influential
cultural theorist Arjun Appadurai as:
Ethnoscapes: flows of people (migrants, tourists, refugees, guestworkers)
Technoscapes: flows of machinery, equipment, information
Finanscapes: flows of money, currencies, stocks, commodities
Mediascapes: flaws of information and specially, images
Ideoscapes: ideological flows (eg, democracy, freedom, ethnic purity)'

fi
Iiiiinaiiuei Wallerstein, The Moder~iWorld Syslem, NY,Academic Press, 1974.
' Aiittioiiy Giddens, The Coiiseqiieircesof Moderiri@,Stanford CA, Stanford University Press,
1990.
a
M.Kearney, 'The Local and the Global: The Anthropology of GIobalisation and
pnsnationals', Annual Revielv of Atithropology, v.24, 1995, p.549.
Arjun Appadurai, 'Disjuncture and Diffcrence in the Global cultural Economy', Public Cultrire,
212, 1990, p.6-10.
Young: Globalisation, Cultire and Museums

Globalisation and Nationalism


GIobalsation directly challenges what is stilI the dominant fom of humm
social governance, the nation. Since many culturaI forms are shaped and nurtured
within national frameworks, it is important to appreciate the convergences and
slippages between g1obaIisation and nations. In many ways, globalisation is
theorised by contrast with the nation.
To understand the impact of globalisation on national expressions it is
salutary to keep in mind that the nation is neither immutable nor timeless; in fact,
the nation is a construction of eighteenth-nineteenth century modemism, presaged
by the French Revolution in 1798. The world is today thoroughly divided into
nations, but as many have been created since World War Two as came into
existence in the previous one hundred and fifty years. Right at the end of the
twentieth century, new nations are being dreamed of, struggled for and actually
established.
The nation is clearly a powerful idea among modem humans. Most
nations are based on ethnic or linguistic dominance (though it has been calculated
that perhaps only half a dozen modern nations actually comprise people of one
-
continuous ethnic character in other words, almost every nation contains
multiple cultures). The national idea is then sustained by a range of constructions
based on social, spatial and historical facts, arranged to represent a meaningful
unity. Thus stories of resistance or triumph make a comrnon heritage; projections
of 'national character' give timeless self-images; new rituals and symbols generate
shared traditions, and so forth." Museums are among the prime vehicles for such
nationalist representations.
Does globalisation challenge the existence and meaning of the nation?
Theorists answer both yes and no.
DeterritoriaIisation, whether demographic, economic or virtual, is clearly at
odds with the unity and integrity of the nation. Many nations are now home to
populations with no ethnic connection to where they live, eg, migrants, refugees
and guestworkers. Such people are likely to feel loya1ty and gratitude to the
nation that gives thein a living, but they are also likely to maintain feelings for the
nation of their birth; they corne to constitute transnationa1 cornmunities.
Subsequent generations of their children may continue to connect with the original
nation, or as nations change, with the culture, Multiculturalism becomes an
integral part of life, no longer defined by one nationaI culture.
The borders of nations are declining in economic importance as markets
and coinrnadities spread woridwide and trade is bolstered with international
agreements to reduce governmental barriers. Cities grow and hinterlands shrink,
but solne cities are growing not only in size but in international importance as
nodes of world business. London, Wamburg, New York are 'world cities' whose
importance in the world economy reaches far beyond their national roles.
High technology communications further dissolve national borders by
enabling international contact between individuals and organisations. As
repressive governments have discovered, it is difficult to control internet
tn
Stuart Hall, 'Tlie Question of Cultural Identity' in S. HaIl, D.Held and T.McGrew (eds),
Modert~ityand its Fiitiires, Cambridge, Polis Press, 1992, p.274-3 16.
Young: Globalisation, Culture and Museums

communications short of controlling al1 cornputers. On a less dramatic level,


communications are perhaps the chief means of establishing global consciousness;
when individuals can and do contact others of similar interests however far away,
it is impossible to deny the sense of community that grows, virtual but palpable.
In al1 these ways, the influence of nations over their citizens is diminished;
deterritorialisation weakens national hegemony; and globalisation seems to rule.
However, arguments can be made, specially in the field of economics, that
national boundaries remah significant apparatus of social organisation. It is
argued that most economic activity is stiIl nationally-based and controlled by
national institutions; that transnational corporations do not dominate the world
economy and indeed, keep two-thirds of their capital in the 'home' nation; that
there is still no globally articulated economic system, but rather, large and growing
flows of international trade, which in any case tends to be continental rather than
global." But to non-economists, even these sterling assertions of current reality
seem only to tempt fate towards economic globalisation.. .

GlobaIisation and Culture


Strong arguments can be put fonvard that globalisation does not lead to the
domination of any one idea or culture; on the contrary, gIobalisation spreads and
dissipates ideas and cultures. Global cultures are no longer enclosed by national or
even local borders; they can no longer be used as 'authentic' indices of national or
etiinic character; the idea of a 'pure' culture cannot survive globalisation.
Attempts to enforce rnyths must fail in the long terni, whether manifesting as
'correct' language, 'original' tradition, or 'true' belief. There is a risk of genuine
loss in this process, of the consigning of traditional cultures to the archives of
Iieritage. At the same tiine, the past can become not inerely a golden glow of
nostalgia ruled by the politics of the good oId days, but 'a synchronie warehouse
of cultural scenarios', a source of raw inaterial for anyone's imaginative work, and
for com~nodities.'~
The concatenation of globalised cultures is a chaotic development and
perliaps it will eventually be understood in terms of a human version of chaos
theory. Nonetheless, the culture of globality is unusually self-conscious: highly
relativistic, acutely aware of its multitude of n-ianifestations and of their
interconnectedness. Centralised world order wouId seem to be both unlikely and
iiilpossible: global cultures constitute 'a cornplex, overlapping, disjunctive order'.13
Perhaps global cultural processes can be thought about most productively
in tenns of the surge of large ideas, punctuated by the eruption of localised
expressioi~swhich themselves feed back into the global flow. The
iiitcrcoiiilectedness of cultures promotes eclectic appropriations from one culture
tohy aiiother, a process named in tlie sociological literature 'diseinbedding' and
'eiiibedding'. Alternatively, the saine process can be conceptualised as the
doniestication or vemacularisation of mega-rhetoric by micro-narratives. It would

"
in Question: The Ii~ternatiottalEconoriiy
Paul Hirst alid Grallain Tlioinpsoii, Globaliza~io~i
niid the Po.~siliilitiesof Govertiaticc, Cambridge, PolityPress, 1996.
''
13
Appndurai, Op.Cit., p.4.
Appndurai, Op.Cir., p. 19-20.
Young: Globalisation. Culture and Museums

be pleasingly symmetrical to conceptualise this flow and counter-flow as a


dialectic relationship that generates originaI syntheses. But the theory of natural
selection may be a truer mode1 of how cultural forms reach into the world and
attach elernents of their existence to other cultural forms, whilst local cultures
bubble away in the background, occasionally flaring. Conceiving hybrids rather
than babies seerns to be the mechanism of global cultural production.
For these reasons, theonsts such as Robertson and Appadurai
conceptualise global interactions as 'the interpenetration of the universalisation of
particularisrn and the particularisation of universalism', or 'the tension between
cultural homogenisation and culturaI heter~genisation'.'~Tt is critical to
understand that globalisation doesn't ovemde the local; to demonstrate its power,
Robertson has recently adopted the t e m 'glocalisation' from the vocabulary of
marketing, where it refers to large-scale micro-targeting towards increasingly
differentiated ~onsurners.'~ Glocalisation recognises that diversity flourishes on
the spatial scale, even when it is connected by gIobal media and economics.

Globalisation and Museums


Several broad strearns can be observed in which globalisation affects
museums:a globalised museology aIready exist in practice; both national and local
inuseums need to rethink their roIes and objectives within new, relativist frames;
and museums rnay find new representational roIes as interpreters of cultural
expressions both particular and-universal.

Globalised rnuseology
Museums can well be said to be a global industry. The exchange of
information, collections and personne1 is frequent, being grounded in a cornmon
ideology of the virtues of museums and facilitated by shared systems of
inmagement and exhibition.
The museum as an institution spread globally since the late eighteenth-
early nineteenth century, ftrst following the centres and peripheries of colonialism,
and then in the post-colonial world, acting as a sign of national culture and
coinpetence. The modem museuin is very much a product of the nineteenth
century structuring of national power and competence, taking the forms of
collections of locaIIy-made art and industry, and of imperially-gathered trophies.
As analysed by many recent writers, categorising both types of collection in
catalogues and displays gave shape to certain kinds of knowledge and visiting such
lnuseums enabled citizens to participate ritually in the power of the state.I6 The
iiiuseum as an international institution is a familiar guarantor of cultural authority.
Not only the institution, but also the architectura1forrn of the museum
building and its exhibition design can be said to be globalised. The neo-classical

14
Roland Robertson, 'Social Tlieory, Cultural Relativity and the Problem of Globality', in
Aiithony D. King (ed.), Cultitre, Globalization and ilie World Systctii, HaundmiIls, MacmiIlan,
199 1, p.73; Appadurai, Op.Cit.
1s
Roland Robertson, 'Glocalisation: Time-Space and Homogeneity-Heterogeneity', in Mike
Featherstone et a1 (eds), Global Modernities, London, Sage, 1995, p.29.
Ib
Eilean Hooper-GreenhiIl, Musearriis and the Shaping of Knowledge, London, Routledge, 1992;
Carol Duncan, Civilking Ritirals: Inside the Public Art Museuni, London, Routlcdge, 1995.
Young: Globalisation, Culture and Museums

Greek temple design migrated to many a colony in the nineteenth century, and in
the twentieth, internationaIly-sought designers bring their signature touches to
new and renovated museums across the world. Museums are high profile public
buildings, and govemments continue to use them to dernonstrate the taste and
resources of the state, ofien requiring the services of a handfuI of international
names: Pei, Piano, Aulenti.. . Like the Gucci signature on consumer goods, these
elegant reputations validate both collection and patron.
In a practical sense, the communications technologies which have enabled
global contact have tremendous applications in data processing, and they have
been seized on by museums to manage collections and many other functions.
Transnational software designed for museum needs is used al1 over the planet.
The push towards making stored collections accessible via the intemet is a current
project in many museums, though questions begin to a i s e about the real utility of
basic catalogue details and postage stamp-sized reproductions. Some of the
answers may be resolved as the technology improves year by year, but at least to
date, there are few satisfactory virtual museums. It is likely that the miracles of
technology await a more object-literate public, capable of interpreting material
culture; alternatively or simultaneously, museums must upgrade the interpretive
information they provide in on-line catalogues.
Despite the possibilities of the virtual, the prestige and fame of museums
has for the past thirty years been bobtered by the phenomenon of international
blockbuster exhibitions. The magical power of famous objects to mobilise huge
admission-paying audiences to special exhibitions oils the wheels of a global
roadshow, comprising mainly high artworks and other ancient or valuable objects.
Transport, conservation and packing technologies enable these works to travel
more or less safely, and international agreements undenvrite them as gestures of
international diplomacy. It is nonetheless striking that agreements to lend works
often turn on persona1 contacts between directors and curators; mutual trust has
to underlie professional respect.
The persona1 experience of museuins has become internationalised thanks
to global tourism. Visiting museums and heritage sites constitutes much of the
substance of the elite edge of 'cultural tourism'. The tourism industry follows the
tastes of this segment closely, knowing that where the elite goes today, the masses
follow tomorrow, and sure enough, the great museums of Europe and America are
stormed by bus-loads of packaged tourists. Despite the potential for damage to
fragile fabric due to the pressure of numbers, the huge new audiences have
stiiniilated a new openness in some of the oldest, grandest museums. Visitor
services have iinproved with generous reception areas, freer circulation patterns,
and more accessible interpretation of collections.
And of course, the professional world of museums is globalised by the
International Council on Museums, whose publications and conferences stress the
coinmon purposes and interests of some 6,000 members.

Mt fseuriisand tlze nation in globalising tinzes


As already noted, the museum is fundamentally comected with the
iiiodernist idea of the nation, being often a major public site of the construction of
Young: Globalisation, Culture and Mweums

national unity. The need to build unity indicates the undercurrents of disjunction
that may require smoothing over to maintain poIitica1 hegemony; even when no
subordinate interests disturb the even tenor of the nation, the museum is an
official statement of national identity. Given the detenitorialisation and cuIturaI
fragmentation that globalisation bring, where does the national museum stand
today?
Martin Prosler argues that the kriowledge-ordering function of national
museurns connects local specificity to the world context," By displaying a
culture's products in the framework of conventional museum ethnography or
history they are recontextuaIised as, for instance, specimens of generic tools,
housing, ceremony and so on. This view suggests the Iogic of the urge of many
new or developing nations to participate in the standard rituals and appurtenances
of 'civilised' nations with national museums.
The evidence of new national museums being established in the 1990s
speaks strongly of their continuing perceived relevance. The rhetoric of the local
specirnen - the National Museum of Australia - concentrates on several large
themes: the presence and moral rights of the indigenous people; the cultural
diversity of the nation, united by national identity; and the contingent place of
people in the natural environment. Al1 are conternporary issues, and aspects of
each are contentious within the larger population. The themes are explicitly
sanctioned by the federal government and monitored by a govemment department.
There is Iittle doubt that should the disciplined seIf-censorship of the NMA staff
slip, unauthorised ideas would be pounced on. For al1 its current topicality, this
picture of a new national museum is as politically-driven as any of the old
iinperial museurns - it is an expensive, highly visible symbol of national rnyth.
Appadurai identifies such functions as controlling 'the taxonomy of
difference' within the nation by creating 'spectacles of differen~e'.'~The
inusealisation of al1 identity groups ('Every Australian will find himselfherseIf in
the National Museutn') creates representations of heritage that can be displayed
and communalised in an environment of (repressive) tolerance. Thus the
'iinagined community' of the nation as represented in the museum unifies the
political entity.I9 This conclusion can cal1 up individual moral or political
responses, but wherever we stand personally, it behoves museum workers to be
aware of the larger social dimensions of their work.

and particularistii/universalism
Mirseliiis
The inuseuin as a representational microcosm is an idea much criticised for
ignoring the vagaries of selectivity that necessarily attach to collecting. Yet it
contains saine tnith. Whether it represents the culture of a nation, the history of a
people, the products of an industry or the fetishes of an individual coIIector,
alinost every Inuseuin is set up with a universalising aim to represent the entire
17
Martin Prosler, 'Muscuins and Globalization', in Sliaron Macdonald and Gordon Fyfe (cds),
Tlicorizi~igMriseirtris: Rcpresctilirig Ideritity aiid Diversity in a Changing World, Blackwell,
1996, p.40.
1%
Appadurai, Op.Cit., p.304
1'1
Bcnedict Anderson, Ii~iagiriedC01111t1linities: Reflections on the Origin and Sprcad of
London,Verso, 1991.
Na~io~ialisiii,
Young: Globalisarion, Culture and Museums

gamut of its ambit. The museum aims to demonstrate the universal by coIIecting,
documenting, researching, conserving and exhibiting the particular. But where does
this modemist project stand in a globalising world? It is a unique and specialised
mandate, and it requires revision in the self-conscious, relativistic light of
gIobalisation.
An argument can be made that museums - specially ethnographie
museums - are simply anachronistic unless they can take up a reflexive point of
view that abandons the arrogance of representing others.1 Strategies to reach this
end incIude melding the disciplinary boundaries of history, art and ethnography
museums, or at least integmting them in exhibitions; presenting contesting
perspectives via interpretation; and engaging seriously in the repatriation of
cultural material. Each of these is a de-particularising of the traditional focus on
objects, Ieading to contextualisation in the realm of ideas.
The history of museums makes them the repositories of material collected
from colonial sites, where even if legally acquired, the power of exchange relations
was never equal. It befits ethical museums today to contemplate the needs of
postcoloniaI cultures to manage and repossess their cultural heritage. The
perfection of a universal collection is beautiful, but the particular has historic and
social significance in its original sites. One way of resolving this tug of rights and
responsibilities is the growth of 'cooperative museology', where indigenous
owners share real curatorial control with the museum. 2 ' The aim of cooperation is
to change museum exhibitions from depictions of Others to presentations by
equal-athers, acknowledging indigenous cultural and intellechal properiy rights
within a multicultural frame.
Universalising strategies may undo sorne of the bitter acts of imperialist
collecting, but globalisation simultaneously contains the capacity for local,
particularistic expressions. Kenneth Hudson predicted of museums for the future
that the most successfuI would aim to give confidence to visitors - to empower
them - by being of modest size, not dividing knowledge into artificial categories,
and focussing on the whole, complete person.'' Museums that present the
experience and expression of various fractions of society and its products may
offer celebratory or analytical sites for the survival of the smallest scale of the
particular. Maintaining the archives of cultural segments in the face of mass
inediated cultures could seem daunting and even impossible. Such a museum
inight be a shrine for some, but it will be a resource of inspiration for others. The
bricoleurs of the globalised world will use such rnuseums as keenly as its keepers
- tliougli for different reasons. Perhaps this will be the real field for the virtual
iniiseuiil, einpIoying the conventions of the physicaI museum but capable of
coiistruction by and access to dispersed communities of interest; it would vividly
link the modern and the global.

20
Jaii Nederveen Pieterse, 'Multiculturalisrn and Muscum: Discoursc about Others in the Age
of Globnlization', Tlicory. C~iltureand Society 1414, 1997, p. 132.
?' See Jaines Clifford, 'Four Northwest Coast Museurns: Travel Reflections' in Ivan Karp and
Stcven Laviiic (eds), Exliibiting Ctiltiircs: The Poeiics and Polilics of Museuni Display,
Wasliingtoii, Smithsonian, 1991, p.224, 251 ; also Michael Ames, Cannibal Tours and GIass
B0.i.c~;The Atithropology of Museuttis, Vancouver, UBC Press, 1992, p.108-110.
22
Kciincth Hudson, Mirseiri~isof bifliietice, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1987, ch.8.
Young: Globalisation, Culture and Mweums

Conclusions
In a sense, pitting together 'museology' and 'globalisation' is as
meaningless as discussing the relationship of humans to the air: we live in air, we
depend on it, it is our physical medium. So is globalisation, whether or not we
know it, understand it, like or loathe it. Human agency has changed the world and
is continuously changing it. To participate in the world, individuals, communities
and their organisations need to adopt perspectives relative to the globaI whole and
al1 its parts. It may be that sorne museums can survive as insects in amber, as
musealised specimens of their own genre, but they will always rely on the
goodwill of benefactors for they wiIl not serve any social function. Existing
museums based on modernist and nationalist precepts will adapt to different uses
by wider audiences, New museums rnay take the characteristic shapes of
globalised culture - vernacular, hybrid. They stiII await description.

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What is globalisation?

Linda Young
Cultural Heritage, University of Canberra, Australia,

Key-note report presented at the ICOFOM


symposium
Museology snd Gl~balisation

ICOM 19" General Assembly


Melbourne, Australia, 1998
What is globalisation?
Aside from economics, G. is a social1
cultural process.

'G. can be taken to denote the stretchine


u
and deepening of social relations and
institutions across time and space such
that, on the one hand, day-toIday activities
are increasingly influenced by events
happening on the other side of the globe
and, on the other hand, the practices and
decisions of local groups can have
significant global reverberations' .
-
(field, Democracy and the Social Order, 1995)

'G. as a concept refers both to the


compression of the world and the
intensification of consciousness of the
world as a whole. . . both concrete global
interdependence and consciousness of the
global whole in the 20thC'. (Robertson,
Civilization, Social Theory and Global Culture, 1992)
G: 'A social process in which the
constraints of geography on social and
cultural arrangements recede, and in
which people become increasingly aware
that they are receding' .
(Waters, Globalization, 1995)

G: 'the interpenetration of the


universalisation of particularism and the
particularisation of iniversalism' . (Robertson,
'Social theory, cultural relativity and the problem of
globality ' , 1991)

'The central problem of today's global


interactions is the tension between cultural
homogenisation and cultural
heterogenisation' .
(Appadurai, Public Culture, 2, 1990)

G: a) global spread of ideas/techniques/


organisations (might be old-fashioned, eg
nationalism, museums)
b) new mentality based on global
consciousness and relativism.
What is globalisation really?
Intemationalism/irransnationalism?:Can
mean different things, eg relations
-

between nations v. truly global


connections.
Supranationalism?: B ased on idea that
nation-states arelwere normative social
entity, now being superseded by the
growth of mega-cities and global
-

communications, eg U.N.
Westernisation? Cultural imperialism
- ?
Coca Colonisation?:
G. is consequence of Euro expansion,
cap'ist development. But not al1
peoplelplaces will become Western1
- - -

cap'ist - but they must establish a position


in relation to the cap'ist West, ie must
individually and communally relativise
themselves . (Robertson)
Multiculturnlism?: Fears of tidal wave
American/zlozlulist culture overwhelm rest
A A.

of world - but cultural diversity persist and


grows.
Cultural dimusion?: Culture used to be
connected to territory (Boas), but
globalisation transcends territory; now we
should focus on identiq not culture.
(Kearney, Annual Review of Anthropology, v.24, 1995)

World culture?:
Single cosmopolitan culture
possible/likely? Most doubt it -
wholwhat could monitor/control it?
Instead, plurality of world cultures, not
nationally-defined; not exclusive/pure
but hybridl transforming.
People may participate in multiple
cultures, in 'regions of persistent culture
interaction and exchange'.
Global ideas/institutions?: pop music;
classical (Western) musiclopera; global
media; U.N. organisations; global time;
ideas of human rights and citizenship...
Origins of globalisation
1. Ancient process of trade and conquest
carrying cultures; now accelerating.
(World history paradigm)

2. Aspect of modernisation and capitalist


devpt, beginning in 16thC; now
accelerating .
(Wallerstein, The Modern World System, 1974)

3. Recent phenornenon, product of


industrialisation and capitalism, esp. in
19thC; now accelerating.
(Giddens, Consequences of Modernity, 1990)
Characteristics of globalisation
Transcends space and time
Space:
De-territorialisation/detachment from
local communities, politics, places -
result of migration, refugee movt,
unemp., business and tourist travel.
No more centreslperipheries, no more
boundaries.
World is multidimensional,
discontinuous space w interpenetrating
sub-spaces.
People not nec. live in nat. origins
(migrants, refugees, travellers) ; but may
carry nat. ideas/memories/dreams.
Time:
No more progressive time; instead,
randomness, unpredictability, non-
teleological time.
Global time standard; instantaneous
communications in real time.
Compression qf the world
Enabled by comm.ltravel technologies,
across boundaries (territorial, political),
allow rapid cultural transmissions.
Leads to interdependence betw. nation-
states, eg trade, military alliance.
Global consciousness
Individuals have G. consciousness, eg
'global economy ' ; 'world order' ; 'human
rights'; 'save the planet'.

Heightened sense of the particularl


specific, v. the generalluniversal.
eg, local nationalisms as expressions of
G. - spread of values: self-determination,
democratisation etc.
Global fflows '
G. moves in 5 'flows', al1 r a ~ i d :
Ethnoscapes: flows of people (tourists,
migrants, refugees, exiles, guestworkers)
Technoscapes: flows of machinery,
equipment and information
Finanscapes: flows of money, markets,
stock exchanges
Mediascapes: flows of images and
information
Ideoscapes: ideological flows (ideas, eg
democracy, freedom, ethnic purity ...)
(Appadurai, Public Culture, no.2, 1990)

G: does not imply revival of difference:


interweaving of homogenisationl
differentiation in a relativist framework -
offers a good chance of tolerance.
Connections with nation-state
Nation-state is invention of 18th-19th-
early 20thC modernism; 'imagined
community ' of nationality (v. 'real
communities' of interest,-like class) made
by unifyinglhomogenising al1 people
despite differences.

G. challenge to existencelmeaning of
nation-state? Y and N

Yes: national fragmentation; rise of mega- -


cities; deterritorialisation of culturel
politics, rnarketslconsumption - weakens
hegemony of state over people's lives.
G. challenge to national identity - an
incentive to cultural (not nat.) identity.

No: most ec. activity still nat.-based,


controlled by nat. institutions; transnat.
corps do not (yet) dominate world
economy; no globally-articulated ec.
system, but large1 growing flows of
internat. trade.
(Hirst & Thompson, Globnlization in Question, 1996)
msa~niln:,1~qol-8 Aq
papas~adnssuorleu 'sasuas laqlo ur i n a O
*asuasauo u! suorleu JO aqolf e Ilris'a!
*uoqeur! JO surrralp
aavy saririou-p.~
. LUE^ :s a ~ ~ a s u r a y l
)JasSr! 03 anUIlUO3 SU0qEI.I M3N O
* * *. ~. U I S Z ~ D ~ O
puv pas?yvqo18 zpoq s? zus~lvtuo?~v~
Globalisation and culture
G. not = dominationltriumph of one
idedculture; rather, G. sp~eads/dissipates
-
ideaslcultures.
Introduced cultural forms not adopted in
entirety, but rapidly indigenised.

'A globalised culture is chaotic rather than


orderly ' ; not unified and centralised, but
conscious of its relativity and
connectedness to other cultures/ideas.
(Waters, 1995)
'A cornplex, overlapping, disjunctive
order' . (Appadurai, 1990)

'The central problem of today 's global


interactions z& the tension between
cultural homogenisation and cultural
heterogeaisation ' (Appadurai, 1990)

GLOBALCULTURAL PROCESSES : struggle


between samenessldifference within a
landscape of disjunctureluncertainty.
Globalisation and museums
Globalised museology:
Museums (esp. nat. muslart mus) spread
globally - signs of 'civilisation'/
cornpetence; strengthen cult. identityl
consc~ousness. (Prosler, 1996)
International mus. arch-/design styles.
Global comm. tech. (internet): make mus.
info more accessible - but what for?
Exhibs commonly draw on int. colls.
Col1 mgt uses electronic tech-Iinfo.
processing systems.
Museology as a globalised profession?
Mus might recognise global
responsibilities to world's cultures by
repatriating material.
'Cooperative museology' may be way
forward with previously objectified
people/cultures. (Clifford, 1989)
Global tourism impacts on muslher;
tourists expect encapsulated culture
wherever they go, commodifying muslher.
Muse ums and the nation-state irz
globalisi~zgtimes:
Mus hist-connected W. mod. ideas re
orde ring of k~zowledge,hence
understanding of world in framework of
nation-states; hence important vehicles of
national ideology. (Prosler, 1996)
Mus (esp. histlart mus) hist-connected W .
formation of nat. identity: symbols/images
of nat. unity, shown by selected
hist/mythology .
But nation-states resist globalising trends
by trying to re-create perfect unity, eg,
musealising sub-groups into 'heritage';
celebrating them as national spectacles;
controlling 'the taxonorny of difference' .
Repressive tolerance?
When national/ethnic/culture boundaries
are eroded in these globalising times,
museum presentations on the ethnographic
other may become irrelevant and absurd.
(Pieterse, 1997)
Museunzs and pa rticula rism/universalism:

Museums may still be useful to


expresslvalidate otherhew cultures1
identities, eg local1 communityl ethnicl
multicultural.
Why is globalisation important?
Because it impacts on culture - Our
business as he;itage people.
New buzzword paradigm for explaining
social change (taking over from post-
modernism)
'G. is not just an "out there" phenomenon.
It refers not only to the emergence of
large scale world systems, but to
transformations in the very texture of
everyday life. It is an "in-here"
phenomenon, affecting even intirnacies of
persona1 identity ... G. invades local
contexts of action but does not destrov
thern; on the contrary, new forrns of focal
cultural identity and self expression are
causally bound up with globalising
processes ' .
(Giddens, Development and Change 27, 1996)