Katarzyna Maniak

Researcher, exhibition coordinator, Jagiellonian University in Kraków / National Museum in Kraków (Poland)

Katarzyna Maniak is a cultural anthropologist, researcher and PhD candidate at the Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology at the Jagiellonian University. She works in the National Museum in Krakow, where she coordinates international exhibitions. In her research field of interest are forms of institutionalization of culture and theories and practices of exhibiting cultural heritage. She is involved in many initiatives within the field of art and culture.

Museums' activism – socially engaged practices

The workshop is based on an idea of a museum as a socially responsible institution, guided by high ethical standards.

It is an attempt to answer the following questions: How to make the museum into an effectual participant in the days of growing nationalism, rise of populism, dissemination of fake news, as well as an impasse of migration? How to contribute to solve these crises and react when the human rights are in danger? How to empower the audience who is isolated, forgotten or invisible?

Firstly, we should dispel any illusions we might have had about the impartiality of museums. Secondly, the museums should take a stand and indicate their standpoint. Hence, the workshop will be aimed at providing a range of possible strategies and case studies of institutions, which faced the challenge to involve in the complex political reality. The examples of such practices will include symbolic gestures and real actions undertaken to foster democratic values.

Benefits for the participants

The participants will be presented with a set of advice or inspirations, which may help in the process of creating a socially relevant institution, reacting to contemporary problems.

Format of the workshop

Interactive workshop, including discussions and group activities