Sunday, 24 May 2015

Post scriptum

In the week of 11 May, my inbox was full of invitations for the celebration of the European Museum Night and International Day of Museums. On Facebook, it was no less tense, with museums and their governing bodies reminding us that all roads would lead to a museum. A great party atmosphere, an enormous offer all over the country, which was also translated into numbers. The media reported that there were 140 activities on the occasion of the European Museum Night (16 May) and 430 activities on International Museum Day (18 May) across 70 different Portuguese museums. The truth is that few of the activities proposed responded to ICOM challenge to reflect on “Museums for a sustainable society”. This left me thinking how museums actually perceive this yearly challenge and if it has any impact whatsoever on their practices – on Museum Day and in the rest of the year. Having said this, the richness and intensity of the programme, as well as the celebratory mood, could make one believe that the museum sector in Portugal shows clear signs of prosperity. Thus, news on 18 May of some museum staff going on strike, contesting the reduction in the payment of overtime, as well as the fact that they were obliged to work on a Monday (the day intended for weekly rest), were something of a marginal note  (watch the TV report).

Saturday, 16 May 2015

"Ganesh versus the Third Reich" and the question that was left for next time

Photo: Jeff Busby
It’s rare these days a play that stays with us. A play that occupies our thoughts for hours and days after leaving the theatre. A play we wish to discuss with others. A play we wish to see again, looking for more, looking for everything we know we missed the first time. “Ganesh versus the Third Reich”, by the Australian Back to Back Theatre (presented at Culturgest on 14 and 15 May), is a play that did this for me.

Monday, 11 May 2015

One good idea, two responses and some lessons

It’s 125 years since Vincent Van Gogh’s death. Starting May 3 and for 125 days, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam will be answering 125 questions regarding the painter, his life and his work. The museum invites anyone interested to ask a question to send it through their website and a page especifically created to present the results of this Q&A (watch the promotional video and visit the webpage).