MUSEOLOGIA AND QUEER MEMORIES
IN LATIN AMERICA
Strategy type (tool, event, training course, etc.)
Scope of the practice (local, national, international level)
When did it start/end?
Name of the person of reference
Based on previous research and experience, the course was designe by Florencia Croizet, sponsored by the Mexican Instituto de Curaduría y Restauración.
City and country
Buenos Aires, Argentina
1. Describe your project briefly
Museums are not neutral. For many decades they have reinforced a heteropatriarchal common sense by creating collections and exhibit narratives which would make invisible many segments of the population, such as the LGBT+ collective. However, facing the museum field disinterest, several queer activist organisations have preserved their own memories and heritage. Recently, after the conquer of some civil rights (Same sex marriage, antidiscrimination and gender identity laws) some Latin American mainstream institutions have started a slow process of queer openness. Therefore, I designed an online training course that presents the level of integration that queer memories have had in the Latin American ecosystem of cultural institutions, focused in the museum field. In this sense, the course also proposes different theoretical and practical strategies of queer openness in museums.
2. What is the aim of the project?
The main goal of the project is to enable cultural and heritage professionals to make changes in their daily museum practice in terms of promoting queer visibility.
3. Who was involved in designing process?
The training would have not existed if it wasn`t because of the kind contribution of different LGBT+ activists and organisations who not only have accepted to be interviewed in order to share their practices in relation to heritage, but who have been always there to support the project.
4. If you could change something, what would you change?
I have had requests about including more case-studies of cultural projects from Central America and the Caribbean. Therefore, I am going to expand the geographical scope of the approach.
5. How do the project impact on civil society?
In two perspectives. First of all, as it is a training addressed to professionals from the cultural field, its importance refers to the contribution to the preservation and promotion of Latin American queer memories. In this sense, up to the moment, in this region, only non-professional activists have been taking into account the relevance of this issue for future generations. On the other hand, I believe that if the museum and archive sectors start legitimising queer existences, memories and histories by collecting new objects and creating new narratives from old collections, they would be contributing to build social justice.
6. How do you evaluate the project’s impact?
I think that making visible hidden stories and bodies in the heritage field is a collective and long-term process. This training is just a humble contribution to achieve it. However, I could see some good results even after the first session of the training. Once finished, a student from Bolivia created a webinar called “Museums and sexual diversity narratives” which has the aim to re-think our museum practice in terms of a non-heteronormative perspective. In this event, she presented the project she had worked in during the training. Another Mexican student and I were the other speakers. For me, it was absolutely satisfying to see that new networks of professional interested in queer museum practices could be created in Latin America.
7. Is there anything else would you like to share with us?
I have also designed other training courses in relation to queer memories and museums. But these ones refer to a national level. Named as Sexual education in museums, they are addressed to teachers as well as museum professionals. The main objective is to present a theoretical frame and some practical strategies that would promote museums as allies of schools when teaching sexual education from a socio-historical and Human Rights’ perspective.