How would you present the complexity of Sinti and Roma art and culture to make it easily understandable to a broad international audience?

Selma Selman, one of the interviewees

The RomaMoMA interviews are back!

(Part 4 of 5)

This time, we have a more “practical” question regarding the actual implementation of a physical Roma museum:

How would you present the complexity of Sinti and Roma art and culture to make it easily understandable to a broad international audience?

Given the huge responsibility the museum as institution has, unavoidably preserving and displaying selective knowledge, and bearing the power to create unity (or division) at both a social and political level, one must be very careful and thoughtful in their museum practice. As one of the interviewees stated:
A contemporary art museum has the power to reflect and shape Roma society’s cultural past and inform its future. As past keepers, museums hold the knowledge of cultural origins and the meaning of societies’ transformations.”

In order to preserve the complexity, and to make the non-Roma audience aware of this heterogeneity of Sinti and Roma communities all over the world – without overwhelming them with information – one popular solution among the interviewees has been to divide the museum into thematic sections, and not to “simply” display Sinti and Roma contemporary art without a comprehendible context. Some respondents feel a section about history is important; others feel a thematic area about social issues related to Sinti and Roma are a must, in order to shape both the past and future image of Sinti and Roma.

The reflections go further: Are temporary exhibitions a good solution? Should a permanent exhibition be integrated? Can a museum employ one single visual language for the whole concept, given the diversity between and within the many communities? Should geographical factors play a role in the eventual subdivisions within the museum?

Watch the video to hear opinions on these important considerations!

 

Find all participants´ biographies here: Interviewees_Biographies


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