The much awaited Museum-Week 2018 finally came to an end last week, and admittedly, left us exhausted! If there’s any such thing by the name of online-museum-fatigue, this week-long social media campaign is IT. For all those joining in late :
#MuseumWeek is an international online event celebrating and showcasing all things from cultural institutions over 7 days, 7 themes, 7 hashtags!
When Museum-Week started in 2014, India’s participation count was “2 museums”. Cut to 2017, when the Ministry of Culture supported us and 6 museums joined in, sharing content hidden deep-down their galleries!
But this year was even better. With new museums joining in, we managed to generate 5038 posts in the week across three different social platforms. Twitter and Instagram were definitely the more preferred ones, but in India, Facebook still hasn’t quite lost its charm. Interestingly, with a lower participation last year, we generated 4,461 posts.
Museums participating this year included :
CSMVS Mumbai, BDL Museum, The Partition Museum, Godrej Archives, Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum, Jaya He GVK Museum, Sarmaya India, Government Museum & Art Gallery Chandigarh, JNAF Mumbai and El_India.
But that’s just the official registered list! Institutions such as the Marg Foundation, & Eka Resources participated too – as did individuals from the Museum sector / & other visitors!
Here’s a look back at each day of #MuseumWeek from India:
Undoubtedly the most popular theme of the week. Razia Sultana’s coins, shared by Sarmaya India though, was the most popular post. On Instagram while they garnered about 101 hearts, it’s the people of Twitter that fell in love with this bit of content:
This very rare coin, a silver tanka from the Sarmaya collection, was minted between 1236 and 1240 AD under Razia Sultana – the only woman to rule the #Delhi Sultanate with wisdom, courage & an abiding respect for all communities. #womenMW #MuseumWeek #history pic.twitter.com/7QVcwLuNAT
— #ChaloMuseum ? (@theheritagelab) April 23, 2018
In today’s time when every second person you meet “loves to travel”, it’s hard to miss out the numerous stories that cities give us! In India, we have had different types of cities, and this day highlighted them all. From the Temple cities (shared by the Textile Conservation Studio) & National Museum Delhi to the modern city of Chandigarh; landscapes in modern art shared by JNAF to the tribal depictions of cities at the Heritage Transport Museum Manesar, there was much to explore. Our favourite though was Govt. Museum & Art Gallery Chandigarh sharing this thought-provoking piece by artist Sheba Chhachhi:
Locust Time by artist Sheba Chhachhi is our favourite! This moving image light box highlights the link b/w the feminine & the environment in Indian religion & mythology & our disregard for nat resources ? Uses pic of Yamuna river & Del/Agra City #cityMW #WomenMW #MuseumWeek pic.twitter.com/oeUCGrBw3N
— GovtMuseumChandigarh (@museumchd) April 24, 2018
This piece shared by the Chandigarh Museum, placed in context by the heritage-value of cities shared by other museums truly makes you wonder as to what we’ve done to our cities!
India is a land of many cultures and communities so “heritage” is always fun to explore. Our pick of the day though, was this wonderful share by Ajay Salunkhe of CSMVS Mumbai:
The post warmed up our hearts and reaffirmed that CSMVS has something for everyone ! Isn’t it such a wonderful feeling to spot something in the museum that is a part of “you” ?
This day gave an insight into the different roles played by museum-staff. We found it incredible, that most museums shared photographs and videos of their Conservators – no matter how many posts we dedicate to them, we can’t ever match up to the value of their contribution to museums! Catch a glimpse of Deepshikha Kalsi, a talented textile conservator, in this video:
Sarmaya India added a different stroke by highlighting their staff’s favourite museum-objects throughout the week – which was honestly a lot of fun to follow through!
But most of all, we loved seeing this post by CSMVS Mumbai! Almost everyone has heard of Curators and Conservators but have you met the Art-Handlers of of a museum? The Curator designs the art placement and the Art Handlers make the design, happen. Meet the art-handlers of CSMVS
Our Art Handlers and Technical Assistant are always at work whether in storages or galleries – helping the curatorial teams with display and documentation of exhibits and for exhibitions and displays#ProfessionsMW @museumworkers @museumweek pic.twitter.com/H3muUiJKMz
— CSMVS (@CSMVSmumbai) April 26, 2018
Museums can be welcoming learning spaces for children and this day showed us how! But a space run by children? Any museum would be nervous about letting a bunch of 14 year olds manage their operations for a day, but the Govt. Museum in Chandigarh stepped up & accepted it as a challenge. At the end, we realized that we needed to trust our future generations with real-world responsibility a bit more often!
Such an incredible feeling to see #students you’ve taught for 3 yrs, take over the @museumchd w/ such enthu!! Guiding younger students, foreign tourists, families etc; Curators working on a new online exhibit, artists, Library staff & marketing!! ♥️ #kidsMW To many more ?? pic.twitter.com/oev7O333rH
— HeritageLab ?? (@MedhaviGandhi) April 27, 2018
This post by Alisha Sadikot highlighting an origami-city created by kids at BDL Museum echoes our thoughts:
The relationship between Man & Nature is an everlasting one. Man is part of nature, and nature is part of the daily lives of people – nurturing them, and forever inspiring them. Here’s an artwork shared by the Jaya He Museum highlighting this intertwined relationship!
All #Indianart is inspired by nature
Sharing a few of our #nature inspired works at #jayahemuseum. Details of a large panel with #bengalscrollpainting and #kalighat paintings.#jayahe #jayahegvknewmuseum #mumbaiairport #artatairport pic.twitter.com/DOrbYUzXAR
— Jaya He Museum (@JayaHeMuseum) April 28, 2018
What happens when you spend time with nature? JNAF with this painting by Nalini Malani quite a visual to “Young, Wild & Free”!
We're feeling #Young, #Wild & #Free seeing this @MalaniNalini Watercolour, Enamel and Ink painting dated 1997. #NatureMW #MuseumWeek #WomenMW @MuseumWeek @CSMVSmumbai pic.twitter.com/HjXAMyl1Qh
— JNAF (@JNAF_Mumbai) April 28, 2018
How can museums help visitors develop an open mind about people, communities, ideas etc that are different from them? On this last day, museums shared poignant reminders of the differences that have existed in society (like this one by the Partition Museum)
But also, celebrated them…
And Questioned these differences….
For quite some time now, Museums and galleries have been contemplating on how they can engage millennials who live in the instant-age of smart phones, and digital media. Through #MuseumWeek, institutions are rehashing their content using mediums like Twitter & Instagram to connect with a new audience!
Watch the official MuseumWeek closing video, which features two museums from India as well!