Thursday, 8 October 2015

Digitally, more accessible and humane

My presentation today at the Congress of Digital Humanities in Portugal. Text and powerpoint here.

Friday, 25 September 2015

A well-told story

My presentation today at the 1st meeting of the Portuguese Association of House Museums. Read the full text (with powerpoint) here.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Intellectual access and not an easy way out

All too often, the promotion of intellectual access by some people in the cultural sector is discarded as ‘dumbing down’ by others. Recently, I read the following in Rob Riemen’s “The eternal return of fascism”:

“In the culture of this society [the mass-society; our contemporary society] there is an ongoing trend towards the lesser, the lowest level, because this is where one finds most things people can share. This is exactly why university education indicators are levelled down, so that ‘everyone’ can study and obtain a degree. And the same will apply to the arts, because they will have to be accessible to all, not only in what concerns tuition fees, but also at the level of comprehension. After all, the fiercest indignation is directed towards what is difficult. Because what is not understood immediately by everyone is difficult, that is ‘elitist’ and therefore undemocratic.” (my translation from Greek)

Sunday, 6 September 2015

The Italian slap

Eike Schmidt, new director of the Uffizzi (image taken from the Apollo Magazine)

“A slap on the face of Italian archaeologists and art historians.” According to an article by Margarita Pournara in the Greek newspaper I Kathimerini,  this was the statement of Vittorio Sgarbi, former Italian Minister of Culture, regarding the appointment of seven foreign professionals as directors of Italian museums.

The issue was largely discussed in different media since the appointment was announced on 18 August.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Practicing, non-catholic

Photo taken from the website of the newspaper Expresso.

A cultured person for me is not someone with a deep knowledge on a number of subjects, someone who reads books, who goes to museums and to the theatre, who travels and knows the world. A cultured person for me is someone who does all this and more and tries to put his knowledge and experience into practice in order to help reconstruct the world, a better world. Being a cultured person is not something that comes naturally to us humans. It is a daily mental and practical exercise against our inner barbarity, against our ignorance.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Who are you?

I hold strong impressions from the walls of the underground in London (and other cities), a fundamental platform for one to keep up-to-date with the city’s cultural offer. Now, imagine what would happen if all those cultural organizations, competing among themselves and with other entities for people’s attention, did not consider carefully their visual identity so that they would stand out immediately and make a connection both with interested and especially distracted individuals.

Friday, 26 June 2015

The message, the language, the options

Paula Sá Nogueira on the TV programme "Inferno".
The discussion that was generated after the announcement of the allocation of subsidies from the Directorate General for the Arts (DgArtes) made me think once again about the way this sector communicates with the public, citizens and taxpayers. There is a larger issue, of course, that of the subsidy itself: the system of application, the evaluation of the proposals, the monitoring of the entities, the purpose and duration of the subsidy. But today, here, my reflection focuses on communication.