2017 Sweden

The COMCOL’ s 2017 Annual Conference was jointly organized with DOSS (Contemporary Collecting Sweden, previous Samdok), Norsam (Nordic network for contemporary collecting and research at museums), and ICOM Sweden. Ten years after the Connecting Collecting conference in Stockholm, which was the starting point for COMCOL, we returned to Sweden. From 5–9 December, we will be hosted at the Västerbottens Museum in Umeå.

The contemporary collecting collaboration Samdok brought in the 1970:s innovation to museum work. Samdok argued over the years for a more problem-oriented way of working, studying the present day to arrive at descriptions of social and cultural processes, emphasizing the importance of both the historical and contemporary contexts. In the course of time, Samdok became a forum for scholarly discussions on contemporary culture and society, a forum for professional development and further education, sharing experiences of the empirical, methodological and theoretical dimensions of the creation of collecting and collections.

During the conference we connected to the legacy of Samdok, focusing on collecting the present; connecting the present with historical collections and collections with communities. We have a closer look at good practices in museums concerning collecting and collections, practices that are possible to develop further. Furthermore, we touched upon collections and difficult narratives. As our diverse societies today put different demands on our collections, collecting strategies and presentations, it has become impossible to speak about cultural heritage without asking the questions: Which heritage? Whose?  So how can (contested) collections be revisited? How can we create democratic collections? Which new approaches to museum ethics can be used, and how can contemporary practices and collecting address or add to the discussion around difficult heritage?

See the full program here. On our Facebook page, you can find the pictures.

The Call for Papers can be found here. Please note that the call has closed.