Hybridizing Museum Practice: Refugee Audiences and Museum Programming

By Marianna Pegno.

Published by The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: November 23, 2015 $US5.00

Museums are often tasked with the responsibility of recounting histories and telling stories of the objects contained within their architectural space. However, more often than not, these institutions speak for groups of people and cultures, frequently without sufficient consideration for them. This paper explores how museum professionals and a community arts organization can collaborate with refugee audiences to develop programming, curate exhibitions, and develop interpretative materials that reflect diverse perspectives in an art museum. In this paper, museum practice is explored in relation to post-colonial discourse, specifically Homi K. Bhabha’s idea of hybridity. The program that is the focus of this study is investigated through a methodological lens that utilizes narrative inquiry and arts-based research. In addition, the paper will clarify what a hybridized museum might look like by illustrating how museums are collaborating with audiences and community arts organizations; how refugee participants inform museum programming and exhibition design; and how museums can begin to diversify their curatorial and educational narratives to include multiple voices. By incorporating more voices, particularly previously unheard groups, museums can shed their authoritative and omniscient voice in exhibits and programming, culminating in more complete histories and stories of art objects in the museum.

Keywords: Refugee, Participatory, Museum

The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum, Volume 8, Issue 4, December 2015, pp.23-31. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: November 23, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 479.069KB)).

Marianna Pegno

Ph.D Student, School of Art, Art and Visual Culture Education, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA


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