Photo: Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen

Whose Museum Is It?
Questions and Conditions Regarding Museum Mediation in a Global Context

January 18 – 20, 2017
K20 Grabbeplatz


“Whose museum is it?” - This at first glance simple question asked by a schoolboy was asked anew at the symposium against the backdrop of our changing societies. With the aim of studying and disclosing the existing structures in museums and responding to the growing diversity and heterogeneity in the ways of life exhibited in society, the symposium organized by the education department thought about new forms of mediating art and showing/illustrating cultural expressions and artefacts.

Who has a voice in the museum? The aim of the symposium was to find out who up till now has been represented in the museum and what possibilities can be set up for expanding the involvement of the general public. The attitudes of the institution and its protagonists play a decisive role in the encounter between museum and audience. What forms of personal and media-based mediation are particularly suited to widening people’s gaze, changing our perspectives, and communicating between one another as equals?

This symposium for international museum experts as well as art and cultural mediators, and pedagogues included several panels and a so-called "Market of Ideas".

The conference was streamed live, you can find the recordings of the lectures and the panels here. The lectures were held in German and English.



Detailed program

The detailed program in English language may be downloaded at this link.

Download pdf

Overview of the Conference program


Wednesday, January 18, 2017, 6 pm

Welcome address

Opening talk:
Harald Welzer (FUTURZWEI. Stiftung Zukunftsfähigkeit, Berlin; Professor of Transformation Design, University of Flensburg)
– not on record

Thursday, January 19, 2017, 9:30 am – 6:30 pm

Opening of the symposium
Anette Kruszynski (Acting Artistic Director, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen), Hildegard Kaluza (Head of Cultural Department, Ministry of Family, Children, Youth, Culture and Sports of the State of North-Rhine Westphalia), Marion Ackermann (Director General, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden), Julia Hagenberg (Head of Education, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf)

Panel 1. Museums and Mission Statements
How do museums define their mission with respect to the public? How have museums changed in this regard, and what new concepts have arisen? How can the collaboration between academic research, education, and mediation in the museum be made successful?

Marcelo Rezende (Researcher, Museu do Mato / Scrubland Museum, Bahia; Curator, Johann Jacobs Museum, Zurich), Karen Exell (Honorary Senior Research Associate, UCL Qatar) – not on record, Alistair Hudson (Director, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art), Cornelia Kogoj (Director, Initiative Minderheiten, Vienna) / Christian Kravagna (Professor of Postcolonial Studies, Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna)

Market of Ideas
Sonja Thiel (Curator, Project director "Freiburg Collects", Städtische Museen Freiburg), Farirai Clement Mahonde (Graduate of the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg), Maxie Jost / Karoline Schneider / Julia Zureck / Michael Dieminger (Team of Artists and Anthropologists working in Museum Mediation and Design Thinking, GRASSI Museum für Völkerkunde, Leipzig), Janine Blöß (Curatorial Assistant, Education Department, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf) / Eva Busch (Anthropologist, Art historian)

Panel 2. Representation and Participation

Who is represented in the museum and in what form? What concepts are there for the issue of representation in regard to the involvement of existing and potential circles of visitors? Which concepts point the way through their impact on programme design and the structures of the institution?

Felicity Allen (Artist, Writer, Middlesex University), Milene Chiovatto (CECA President; Head of Education, Pinacoteca do São Paulo), Nora Sternfeld (Professor of Curating and Mediating Art, Aalto University Helsinki), Syrus Marcus Ware (Vanier Scholar, Coordinator of the Youth Program, Art Gallery of Ontario; Facilitator, The Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity)

Friday, January, 20, 2017, 10 am – 5:30 pm

Panel 3. Diversity
What methods can we use to reflect and incorporate the broad range of interests and orientations within society? What are some of the different contexts that help to define the perspective of museum educators and visitors?

Ansgar Schnurr (Professor of Art Education, University of Gießen), Luise Reitstätter (Research Assistant, University of Applied Arts Vienna), Eithne Nightingale (Researcher, Consultant, London), Paul Mecheril (Professor, Center for Migration, Education and Cultural Studies, University of Oldenburg)

Panel 4. Structure and Transparency
How can we make museums’ institutional structures, the different roles played by the people involved in museums (employees as well as visitors), and models of representation used in museum education programs more visible and transparent?

Jelle Bouwhuis (Curator, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam; Independent Researcher), Karin Schneider (Teaching Assistant, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna; Researcher, Institute for Art Education, Zurich University of the Arts) / Emma Wolukau Wanambwa (Artist; Director of Research, Nagenda International Academy of Art & Design, Namulanda, Uganda; Research Fellow, Bergen National Academy of Art & Design, Norway), Janine Burger (Head of Museum Communication, ZKM Zentrum für Kunst und Medien Karlsruhe), Natalie Bayer (Curator, Migration Researcher, Münchner Stadtmuseum)

Final discussion
with the speakers together with Inez Boogaarts (Director, Zukunftsakademie NRW), Julia Hagenberg (Head of Education, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf) and Isabelle Malz (Curator for Modern and Contemporary Art, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf)

Léontine Meijer-van Mensch (Deputy Director, Museum Europäischer Kulturen. Program Director, Jüdisches Museum, Berlin as of February 2017)


Whose Museum Is It? on #32

Interview with the speakers of the symposium
"Whose Museum Is It?"

Short film on #32