This panel investigates the impact of the participatory paradigm on museum policy and practice by tracking changes in (the discourse on) processes of musealisation.
This panel investigates the impact of the participatory paradigm on museum policy and practice by tracking changes in (the discourse on) processes of musealisation. All over Europe, as elsewhere, museums and heritage professionals have been trying to work according to what they consider as the 'participatory approach'. Transforming societies have lead to new tasks and responsibilities for museums and museum workers. Participatory methods have been considered an appropriate response to the challenges museums have been facing in a transforming world. Special community projects were initiated and events for the neighbours were organized. Sometimes visitors were asked to collaborate in the making of an exhibition, in other cases community members were asked to hand in (or hand over) objects for the collection. Other kinds of participative initiatives can also be found. What they share, is the idea that this approach increases the relevance of museums for the society: the museum should be an inclusive, democratic platform, accessible to everybody. How has this idea been articulated and what does it mean, in practice? We welcome papers that focus on museum management, collecting practices, audience orientation or community work. We are interested in your methodological reflections - how did you, as a researcher, track the actual impact of the participatory paradigm - and in your own vision on the phenomenon as such: how do you position yourself in the participatory paradigm?