divercity – diversity in the museum and in the city

coordinationg organisation: Universidade Complutense de Madrid (Spain)

partners: Elan Interculturel (France), Rede (Portugal), Stand 129 (Austria), Museum of Ethnograpy (Hungary), MHelsinki Art Museum (Finnland), Artemisszió (Hungary)

The project is financed by the Erasmus+ program

There are barriers to access of culture virtually in all European societies, and these barriers are all the more destructive for those citizens, young people who live bellow the poverty line, are members of segregated cultural groups, whether or not they were born in other countries. Indeed, in their case access to culture could be an important source of “integration”, acquisition of the cultural capital of the majority society and development of social capital. Yet these same young people often live in segregated districts where access to such educational opportunities is limited.

In Budapest, young people of Roma origin often live in ethnic ghettos, which contrary to other places of the world, can be found in the middle of the city; it is only the incapacity of these young people to relate to the majority culture, for fear of being rejected, that closes them in a sort of virtual ghetto.
In the Parisian agglomeration, Barcelona and Madrid concentration of migrants and their children in poor districts impacts on their integration, potential for social and geographic mobility, willingness for participation in democratic institutions, self-image and perception of the others – those not living in the segregated areas. Several studies show that young people see such segregation as negative, perceive the education opportunities as poorer and their chances of success fainter than in other parts of the city. (Study: Le role du quartier dans le vécu des jeunes, Douzet, Robine 2013) Although demographic realities of Vienna and Helsinki are quite different, there are similar tendencies. Cultural institutions concentrate on few inner-city districts and many of the state-funded institutions address tourists more than locals.
“Divercity” addresses such inequalities in access to culture, in particular for young people in disadvantaged situations (with low educational, social, geographic capital), often living in low prestige neighborhoods.
Divercity wishes to develop methods that
a) re-establish museum pedagogy as an innovative source of learning
b) help use exhibitions as pedagogical support to tackle the diversity characteristic of our societies
c) adapt to the reception and engagement of new audiences (in particular of disadvantaged backgrounds, migrants, not regular audiences of the museums)
d) valorise cultural diversity as a common European resource
e) propose art mediation as a grassroots method for re-appropriation of the city, the district, of addressing low prestige districts by its inhabitants, in particular young people with disadvantaged backgrounds.

Divercity has the ambition to propose an “out here – in there” experience, bringing the cultural diversity existing outside of the museums inside – both in terms of audience, helping to make the museum a space of cultural encounters for audiences with a risk of exclusion from these spaces (in particular younger people) and in terms of the pedagogical experience: being able to learn about cultural diversity of ages, genders, cultures through the museum experience.

The partners collected good practices from the field of museum pedagogy, community art and social inclusion, in the following period pilot cultual mediation workshops were relised in 6 countries using different tools like participatory video, drama and other creative methodologies.


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