The Women’s Museum Istanbul and Sabancı University Gender and Women’s Studies Excellence Center (SU Gender) are organising a conference in October 2018 entitled “Feminist Pedagogy: Museums, Memorials and Practices of Remembrance.”
As places accessible to civil society museums and memorials play an important role in the construction of social and cultural memory. However, by not questioning traditional gender roles many museums and places of memory contribute to the reproduction of inequalities and gender-based prejudices. On the other hand, we see that over the past 30 years feminist pedagogy started to produce and communicate different knowledge, which led to the establishment of “women’s and gender museums” and made other museums and memorials develop a more gender-sensible approach in their work. At the moment – in February 2018 –, 88 women and gender-oriented museums worldwide are at work.
Apart from women’s and gender museums there are also other institutions which cultivate an alternative culture of remembrance. Beside peace museums – worldwide 350, in February 2018– , there are institutions which concentrate on the history of human rights abuses and the overcoming of human rights violations. All these institutions play an important role as cultural catalysts of social change.
The objective of the conference planned is to discuss the feminist pedagogical approach developed in museums and memorials as well as various practices of social memory with researchers, museum administrators, educators and civil society workers working in the field of social memory.
Questions to be discussed in particular are:
Which role does feminist pedagogy play in forming social memory?
How can new memory practices be designed?
How can theories, concepts and discussions developed by feminist research and the feminist movement be reflected in the field of social memory?
What new concepts and debates can be found in this field?
How do women and gender-oriented museums differ from other museums and places of memory? What is their contribution to cultures of remembrance?
Which methods can be used to illustrate conflicts, collective and individual violence and war excesses in museums – especially in women’s and gender museums without reproducing images of violence?
How is the potential of these institutions realized in practice, especially under the aspects of “visitor participation” and “creating dialogue among visitors”.
The conference aims at bringing together from all over the world research, experiences, creative work and projects struggling for the transformation of social memory and promoting social peace and equality.
What is special about the conference?
At the conference women’s museums, which are themselves places of memory, will have – for the first time – the opportunity to meet other memorial institutions and exchange experiences in an international context.
The conference will help to take a look at places of memory and remembrance practices in a gender-related context.
Academic knowledge and the experiences and practical knowledge of people working in museums and places of memory will enter into a fruitful exchange.
The conference will be accompanied by an exhibition under the title “Remembering violent history without showing violence”– The exhibition will give concrete examples of practices of remembrance and exemplify feminist museum education. We will ask participating women and gender-oriented museums from different countries to contribute photos and texts from their previous exhibitions.