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Accepted Paper:

Between global and local: "Objects of Encounter", the new exhibition gallery of The Museum of Cultures (Mudec) of Milan  
Carolina Orsini (Museo delle Culture) Anna Maria Montaldo (Museo delle Culture) Giorgia Barzetti (Mudec - Museo delle culture)

Paper short abstract:

In 2015, the new exhibition gallery "Objects of Encounter" of Mudec opened to the public. It present the history of the City of Milan's public ethnographic collections from the XVII century to the post WWII between local stories and global background, in a selection of 300 objects.

Paper long abstract:

In the last thirty years, an intense debate has taken place regarding the ethnographic museums in Europe: recognizing historical mistakes and that a new deal must be undertaken, many ethnographic museums have changed their cultural policies, their mission and, sometimes, their proper denomination (Pagani, 2013: 155). A clear need to involve local communities, through a bottom-up approach (Simpson, 2001; Krep, 2003) has increasingly spread. In this historical context, MUDEC opened to the public in 2015 in a former industrial area, now mainly devoted to design and fashion. The permanent exhibition of the museum was designed to present the history of the City of Milan's public ethnographic collections from the XVII century to the post WWII, stressing the relations between local stories and global background embedded in a selection of objects. Against this historical backdrop, the exhibition also documents the changing nature of the encounter between Milan and the Region of Lombardy and the various cultures that the collections represent in material form, tracing a second history - that of the evolving posture towards "the Other" and "Otherness". In other words, rather than classifying artifacts geographically or ethnically as tradition wants, in "Objects of Encounter" cultures are presented in terms of how specific societies, in this case those of Milan and Lombardy, encountered and "looked at" them. Needless to say, these contacts have deeply affected us: our "gaze" has changed over time, so has the pursuit of ethnographic collecting.

Panel P014
Representing 'Modern' Global, Local and Imperial Histories in Object-Centred Museums
  Session 1 Friday 1 June, 2018, -