The Museo Mundial project partners have developed a handbook presenting the work they have been developing in partnership with European museums, highlighting some of the 40 visual, sound and multimedia installations on global and current issues that have been integrated into the permanent exhibitions of museums in Germany, Hungary, Portugal and Czech Republic.
In Portugal, the Museum of Loures Municipality / Quinta do Conventinho welcomes 10 installations associated with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which warn of issues such as the fight against hunger and poverty, access education and health, promoting gender equality, education and the promotion of maternal and child health, environmental sustainability, fair trade, among others global topics. The aim is to inform museum visitors about global challenges and possible solutions. These installations are located in the museum’s exhibition halls, but also in the library, in the room of agricultural tools, the loft and the outdoors.
The manual highlights two installations: the insect supermarket which offers visitors the opportunity to eat insects in order to change the way people think about food, thus addressing the problem of possible future food shortages. This idea has been realised by creating an art installation using the physical infrastructure of a dovecote in the garden of the Museum of Loures Municipality. It now represents an insect supermarket: the holes in the circular wall are a kind of shelf for a particular edible insect and the visitors receive further information on the topic; and the board game about fair trade which raises awareness of the unfair trade conditions between industrialised and so-called developing countries. Visitors to the Museum of Loures Municipality can play the board game while sitting on coffee bags, thus connecting the museum’s exhibition on coffee to development topics.
The European case: Germany, Hungary and Czech Republic
A touch screen that simulates a vending machine goods such as chocolate or a mobile phone, informing you of their conditions of production and an interactive wardrobe that tells of the origin, by whom and under what conditions a particular piece of clothing was produced can be found in the Museum of Natural History Nuremberg. Already in Agriculture of the National Museum in Prague, traditional cooking equipment used in rural communities are displayed as historical artifacts, showing the paradox of the high technological development of some regions and the huge technological gap for billions of people in other areas; a set of parts produced from plastic were placed with a collection of old and rare coral, warning about pollution in the oceans. Already in the Hungarian Railway Museum in Budapest, the impact of education on professional performance of people is approached inviting visitors to pedal a stationary bicycle: the idea that if you want to convey is that it is possible to break the cycle of poverty through education; another installation highlights today’s water consumption habits. To arouse curiosity, an initial section has been implemented in the museum’s restrooms such that visitors can check how much water they are using when washing their hands.
Annually visited by millions of people, some museums have sought to address the issues and challenges that mark the present. The Museo Mundial project has developed strategies that let you integrate global learning in the permanent collections of museums, an easily reproducible approach and offers all kinds of museums the possibility to expand their range of topics. Thus museums reach new target groups while simultaneously generating new audiences for the NGOs’ development topics.
Museo Mundial is a European project that integrates global learning into museums, thereby introducing it to the general public. Partners from both museums and development NGOs have elaborated 40 innovative and affordable installations on global issues as embedded elements of exhibitions, presenting them to visitors in Hungary, Germany, Portugal and the Czech Republic. In Portugal, the project is implemented by IMVF in close partnership with the Museum of Loures Municipality and the Polytechnic Institute of Leiria – School of Education and Social Sciences of Leiria, financed by the European Union and with the support of Camões – Cooperation Institute and the language, I.P. At European level the project is implemented by Finep and DEAB (Germany), by EDUCOM (Czech Republic) and by Baptistaid (Hungary).