Moving the Walls: Participatory Strategies of the Museum of Copenhagen

By Sarah Giersing.

Published by The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

To support a mission of cultural democracy and interact with new visitors, the Museum of Copenhagen has set out to explore different strategies to encourage user participation. This paper looks at two participation-based initiatives launched recently by the museum, namely the WALL and the Nørrebro Outreach project. The WALL is a platform of dialogue combining the participatory functionalities of the web 2.0 with a physical presence outside the museum. In the city streets, a multi touch screen gives easy and playful access to thousands of archive images of Copenhagen and the users can add their own media while interpreting, adapting and augmenting the museum collections. In the Nørrebro project, 10 young persons were employed at the museum for a period of two years to collect and display material from their own neighbourhood. Their work has created a diverse collection of objects and images that contribute plurality and nuances to the capital’s heritage as it is represented in the Museum of Copenhagen. The paper discusses how the two projects have worked to facilitate an exchange of a multitude of meanings created by personal experience of the city, and how this in turn has made the museum both more inclusive and more integrated in contemporary Copenhagen.

Keywords: Cultural Democracy, Participation, Interaction, Outreach, User-Generated Material, Digital Platform

International Journal of the Inclusive Museum, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp.85-100. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.208MB).

Sarah Giersing

Curator, Department of Outreach, Museum of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

Sarah Giersing works as a curator managing the WALL project which brings together digital publishing of the museum collections with outreach and user participation. Her work explores different aspects of participatory museum practice. She is currently in the process of initiating different activities to spur the user upload of diverse materials to the digital WALL, launching photo competitions, community workshops and other events. Apart from editing the incoming material she is also monitoring the different exchanges taking place on the WALL in an attempt to analyse the visual dialogues appearing through the various adjacencies, similarities and differences among the uploaded images and comments. Sarah is a cultural historian and takes passionate interest in museology, photography, memory, identity and narrative–and a million other things.

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