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TheMuseumsLab 2022

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Press release, 08-06-2022

Reinventing museums! On 15 June 2022, the next generation of African and European Museum Leaders will meet in Berlin at the Museum für Naturkunde. The 55 fellows of this year's TheMuseumsLab programme are from 28 African and European countries. They have been getting to know each other over the last few weeks, will now meet in Berlin and then be placed in 30 museums allover Europe: from Lisbon to Gothenburg and from Cardiff to Vienna. At these museums they will engage with staff and leadership with the aim of driving change, fostering new thinking and developing a common future across continents.

On 15 June, Katja Keul (digitally), Claudia Roth and Dirk Meyer will welcome the fellows. The highlight of the evening will be a a panel discussion with fellows of the programme on the topic of "Decolonizing museums in the 21st century". The event starts at 19:30 CET (entrance from 19:00). Places can be secured by registration under mlab@mfn.berlin until 13 June or via live stream.

In May 2022, Lazare Eloundou Assomo opened this year's TheMuseumsLab programme with a digital keynote. Since then, the fellows have explored topics around "Entangled histories & the future of cultural memories" in a digital one-week module. Arriving in Berlin in mid-June, the fellows will participate in a programme developed jointly among TheMuseumsLab founding partners (see below) and their Berlin partner museums for the 2022 edition: Stiftung Stadtmuseum Berlin, Botanisches Museum und Garten Berlin and FHXB-Museum Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg. This progamme will engage the fellows in discussions of a number of issues crucial for shaping museums in the 21st century, including developing collections, exchanging critical perspectives on museums, managing institutional changes, developing audiences, networking among biological collections and exhibiting collections with respect to remembrance.

After starting in May 2021, TheMuseumsLab aims to strengthen the exchange of knowledge and perspectives between African and European museum experts. The project is based on the idea that international networking and joint learning are key to defining the role of museums for years to come. Beyond the current events and partnerships, TheMuseumsLab is a platform for an international, practice-oriented community of museum professionals. Given its makeup of African and European museum experts, this community is able to work towards creating a future vision of museums that is built upon dialogue, an exchange of ideas and perspectives, and critical reflection that spans continents, borders, and cultures.

Developed by its four founding partners: the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin (MfN), the Master‘s Programme in Museum Management and Communication at the University of Applied Sciences Berlin (HTW) and the African consultancy group The Advisors, TheMuseumsLab is financed by the German Federal Foreign Office and the German Minister of State for Culture and the Media and supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The programme of 2022 takes place in close cooperation with the University of the Western Cape (UWC), the Goethe-Institute Johannesburg and the German Academic Exchange Service in South Africa as well as several African and European museums and cultural institutions.

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