International museum experts meet to discuss common exhibit on Imagining the Balkans
The UNESCO Venice Office will be organizing in Turin (Italy), on 5-6 October 2011, an international expert meeting with museum directors from South-East Europe on “History, memory and dialogue in South-East Europe: Exploring the identity of Nations”. The meeting is organized in cooperation with the National Museum of the Italian Risorgimento (Museo Nazionale del Risorgimento Italiano).
Organized as a follow-up to the previous encounters organized in Thessaloniki (“National History Museums in Southeast Europe: learning history, building shared memories”, Thessaloniki, Greece, 18-19 October 2010), and Berlin (“Best practices in museum management: dealing with difficult heritage, educating on history”, Berlin, Germany, 27-28 January 2011), it seeks to enhance cooperation and dialogue among the South-East European national history museums. The meeting in Torino will serve to discuss, in particular, a concrete proposal emanating from the previous encounters, concerning a pilot travelling exhibit, tentatively entitled “Imagining the Balkans. Identities, Nations and Memories in South-East Europe”. This exhibit will be designed in a way to permit travelling and presentation in a succession of countries of the region, helping to sustain dialogue and cooperation among museums of the region and enhance a shared reflection on nations-building processes, the transformation of cultural and social practices, and the construction of a European identity and of shared memories. A draft exhibit concept will be presented and discussed during the meeting.
The meeting will also serve to visit the National Risorgimento Museum in Torino, the oldest museum devoted to national Italian history, reopened in March 2011 after five years of a long renovation and re-arrangement process of the historical and exhibition planning, and to visit the flagship exhibit “Fare gli Italiani. 150 anni di storia” (“Making Italians. 150 years of Italian history”), currently presented at the Officine Grandi Riparazione.
The conference will comprise museum directors and experts from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Montenegro, Romania, Republic of Serbia, Slovenia, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Turkey. Are also invited senior representatives from other international organizations (Council of Europe), European museums (German Historical Museum in Berlin, Germany), professional organizations (ICOM/International Committee for Exhibitions and Exchange; ICOM/International Association of Museums of History) and academic networks of research (Eunamus/European National Museums research project).