The International Committee of Memorial and Human Rights Museums

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August 20, 2022

ICMEMO Program ICOM Prague Triennial Conference

You were all invited to join us in Prague on 22-25 August to the ICOM TRIENNIAL ICMEMO Conference 2022, The Power Of Museums In Response To Political Pressure.
The Conference was composed by three sessions:

Museums As Instruments Of Propaganda

The session will explore the extent to which governments and other institutions dictate the historical and memorial message to fit a political view and agenda, and the role of governments in the closure
of museums and memorials and removal or placement of key staff. We hope to gain an understanding
of how ideologies have impacted museums, positively or negatively, and an understanding of how ICMEMO can offer support so museums may continue to effectively and ethically engage with the public.

Museums As Open Doors To Dialogue

Memorial museums are particularly sensitive to the power of museums to create stories that in turn develop identity, as well as provide
a platform for debate. They can counterbalance political developments by opening their doors to global issues such as growing prejudice, discrimination, anti-Semitism, hostilities and social unrest. But also by focusing on politically sensitive historical events that are still relevant today (slavery, decolonisation, etc.). It is about how
museums can best serve
their communities and play a more active role in promoting dialogue and understanding with a more inclusive, open- doors policy.

Ethics & Self-Empowerment

Memorial museums, like all museums, are guided by mission statements and bylaws that relate to the political, social, and cultural consensus that frame their raison d’etre. How do they explore and expand within these guidelines – and how far can they go beyond given parameters or when faced with political pressure if ethical self-questioning demands new approaches and the need to generate content of importance to them and their communities? This session aims to explore the drafting of a protocol to respond to imminent conflicts in a timely manner.