Reflections on ITP+ Mumbai from CSMVS colleagues
Manisha Nene (ITP 2012, India), Director (Gallery & General Administration), CSMVS
The week began with a great zeal and enthusiasm as we were to open Mumbai’s first Children’s museum at CSMVS later in the week. The joy and happiness increased with the arrival of our British Museum friends. It’s a happy moment, I met Claire and Neal after a long time and remembering my ITP memories. For the first time I met Rebecca and Jessica with whom I am always in touch through emails. Meeting ITP fellows of different countries and institutions is refreshing and enriching. The topic of the workshop – museums and education – opened new thoughts and one could see the increasing role that museums are increasingly expected to play in this ever changing complex world.
The presentations on the first day gave me insight into the work being done in museum education and the varied approaches. These presentations also brought into light the different problems faced by museum educators. The group discussions on the second and third day resulted in a wider scope of areas that museums can delve into working in.
For the workshop element I worked in a group of five, including four museum professionals and one school teacher. The discussions and debates were eye opening and have made me rethink my museum’s role in a metro city like Mumbai. The responsibility has increased with the opening of the Children’s museum.
Divya Pawathinal, Assistant Curator (Non-Indian Antiquities), CSMVS
It has been an amazing 3 days being around the UK experts and visiting participants of the ITP+ course. The exchange of ideas and thought processes has me pondering a lot of things. The two areas of discussion which constantly come back to me are:
- how literacy levels amongst children are a well-known and little addressed issue in India. Working with Jan Pitman of Norfolk Museums Service over 2 days has inspired me to explore ways of hooking children visiting CSMVS explore the world of art and to use our museum as a means of improving literacy levels.
- involving youth – the youth of Mumbai do not have dedicated space except through their college festivals, student conferences and clubs which give them some form of creative outlet. It never occurred to me how effortlessly this could be an amazing venture for museums to pursue, until after listening to Tim Corum (Horniman Museum and Gardens) and Fadzai Muchemwa’s (National Gallery of Zimbabwe) presentations. The youth programmes for young adults, held at Tim and Fadzai’s institutions demonstrated to me the incredible ways in which museums in Mumbai could utilize our ideas, space and energy to provide for groups of young adults.
Renuka Muthuswami, Project Coordinator (Director’s Office), CMSVS
The ITP+ course did to me what any three-day intensive session could do, but also so much more!
While my learnings are far too many to pen in a matter of a few sentences, I will go with one that I find immediately applicable. Somewhere in the afternoon of Day 2, the wonderful Jan Pitman (Norfolk Museums Service) spoke of the working style of the learning programmes at his institution – carefully scripting a programme or workshop, with all possible questions, answers and predicting all outcomes. It’d be a script that would run into pages but as his team wrote it, they both learnt and unlearnt what they had thought the programming was shaping up to be, through the reality of the experience. In the very end, if necessary, Jan described how they would “jettison” the script and be prepared to improvise on the day. The ITP+ project brief document that we used for the course workshop was a similar exercise in many ways. So when I now go on to developing my own sheet music, I would know when to put that away and play by the ear.