Title of the session

THE ROLE OF MUSEUMS (LOCAL/COMMUNITY/NATIONAL) IN DEALING WITH NATURAL OR MAN-MADE DISASTERS (INCLUDING PANDEMICS)

Session Organizer(s)

Patrick Ouma Abungu,
C/O Fort Jesus Museum, The National Museums of Kenya,
P.O. Box 82412 – 80100, Mombasa, Kenya.
Email Address: Patrick.Ouma2007@Gmail.Com;
Telephone Number/s: +254710310428/731476066. 

Delivery format

Podium

Nature of a session

Not open for contribution

Session abstract

The International Council of Museums (ICOM) definition of a museum is a non-profit, permanent institution in the service of society and its development, open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity and its environment for the purposes of education, study and enjoyment (Statutes, adopted by the 22nd General Assembly in Vienna, Austria, on 24 August 2007). Although ICOM definition mentions intangible heritage, it is hardly practised in the global north, and for the world to effectively mitigate negative effects of climate change, it is important to incorporate traditional knowledge systems, practised mainly in the global south, including in Africa, South America and Asia, into the systems of intervention, policy frameworks and knowledge production into museum spaces.

A museum can simply mean spaces, sites, objects and the related active practices carried by the communities in line with their cultural norms (Konare 1995, Abungu 2011). Contrary to a narrow sense of fixed exhibition space for contemplation Ardouin (1995), museums can be a local cultural tool that is an integral part of an environment.  In order to interrogate the role of local or community museums in dealing with natural or human-induced disasters, such as droughts, famine, crop failure, hunger, pandemics and flooding, a call is hereby made for sessional papers, to discuss with examples, strategies of past African human communities’ interventions during such challenges. 

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