Jana Alaraj at the Museums Association Annual Conference!

Jana Alaraj (Palestine, ITP 2011) shares her Museums Association conference highlights!


“Participating at the Museums Association conference was very interesting, dense and inspiring. For two days three main frameworks were introduced; being brave, people and places, health and wellbeing, delivering sessions within each frame, thus choosing which session to participate in was similar to choosing between Swiss or Belgian chocolate!

Nowadays migration and refugees are a mainstream topic and my interest in the role of museums across the world to address the topic was held in one of the sessions. Seeking Refuge, the session  presented speakers from different parts of Europe including the Creative Europe Desk UK team. On the one hand, Hernik Zipsane, Director of the Jamtli Open Air Museum in Sweden presented their work on how to integrate the life of a refugee within the museum framework by helping build cottages in the surrounding area for refugees and at the same time to solve a small part of the housing issues faced in Sweden.

On the other hand Joachim Baur, Curator of the Museum Friedland in Germany, presented interesting facts about Friedland itself, a small city with a lot of history, where more than 4 million refugee passed through the refugee camp in Friedland during the past 60 years. The history of the place inspired their exhibitions and the role of the museum in general. Currently, Friedland-perspectives of Migration, The Transit Camp from 1945 – Today is an ongoing exhibition within the museum.


Image: acta is lead partner in Creative Europe Refugee Integration Project ‘Refugee Engagement and Integration through Community Theatre (REACT). Copyright Creative Europe

Within the frame of the Museums Association conference different workshops with different topics were held, of course I didn’t miss the chance and I participated in some, one was the use of  effective storytelling for tours. It always works in any tour to have a good storyteller, so try to find awesome people to tell amazing stories about your museums, your collections or your exhibitions.

Jana Alaraj
University of Applied Arts Vienna