ICOM 2021 Solidarity Project

Throughout the recent health, social, economic, and other concurring crises, museums and other collecting organisations around the world (e.g. archives and universities) have been confronted with several ethical challenges pushing them to re-examine and change the way they work. From the start of these global crises, many institutions developed projects to collect and record these extraordinary situations. However, contemporary collecting was faced with old and new ethical challenges such as transparency; collecting trauma, protest, hate, or harmful materials; informed consent and copyrights; environmental sustainability; respect for human dignity; urgency; minimization of harm and the representation of the historically marginalized groups hit hardest by pandemic.

COMCOL in collaboration with the ICOM’s International Committee on Ethical Dilemmas and seven partners around the world (TAKO Network for Collections Management and Contemporary Documenting in Finland, Museum Casa de la Memoria, Museo MIO, District Six Museum, Illinois State Museum, National Museum of Australia and the Chinese Association of Museums in Taiwan) received a Solidarity Grant from the ICOM’s Secretariat to launch a research project that aims to develop an international dialogue regarding ethical contemporary collecting during the pandemic (and other concurring crises).

The project will start with a survey which is going to be shared widely at the end of April 2021. Following the completion of this step, each partner institution will organize roundtable discussions and webinars to further discuss the topic and gather examples of good practice. Furthermore, it is hope that this process will help creating an international network/community of practice, where other resources such as training, reference groups, publications and other materials can be developed to assist museum professionals around the world.

A list of the events will shortly available together with the links for participation.