My Reflections After ICOM Kyoto 2019 – Shreen Amin (ITP 2016, Egypt)

Written by Shreen Mohamed Amin Taher, Director of the Children’s Museum, Egyptian Museum in Cairo (ITP 2016, Egypt) 

I have just arrived back from Japan where I attended the 25th ICOM General Conference in Kyoto, Japan and had the pleasure to meet many of ITP fellows who were in the same conference – Noor Hassan (Egypt, ITP Fellow 2017), Wesam Mohamed (Egypt, ITP Fellow 2015), Ahmed El-Laithy (Egypt, ITP Fellow 2009), Rema Zeynalova (Azerbaijan, ITP Fellow 2018) and Davit Poghosyan (Armenia, ITP Fellow 2015).

I am writing to you to share the news of such an impressive conference shared with some of my ITP ‘family’.

A flood of discussions and exchange of ideas on museum-related issues were at the ICOM General Conference in Kyoto.  I attended debates, round tables, panels, networking events and cultural activities with more than 3.000 participants from all international backgrounds.  I was able to explore various approaches, ideas, and thoughts around the key conference theme Museums as Cultural Hubs: The Future of Traditionwhich have broadened my experience and understanding of the museum world.

As a recipient of a grant award from the ICOM Getty International Programme 2019, I was able to participate in workshops, discussions, and meetings which are in the list below:

  • Workshop – Creating Sustainable Futures Through Museums explored how museums can create better social, cultural and environmental futures, locally and globally.
  • Workshop – The Museum Definition – The backbone of ICOM Workshop: Digital and Smart – Creating and running communications campaigns and partnerships provided participants with the basics and the tools needed to create and execute compelling digital communications campaigns and establish meaningful co-communications with partners.
  • ICOM Kyoto 2019: Mentoring Session, Main Category Education Mentor: Dr. Ani Avagyan, Armenia Chair of ICOM Armenia, Secretary of ICOM CECA.
  • IC Meeting Attendance CIMUSET: International Committee for Museums and Collections of Science and Technology Traditions for a Sustainable Future.
  • CIPEG ICOM International committee or Egyptology OFF-SITE meeting visit to MIHO Museum, Koka, and the collection of the Kyoto University.
  • Symposium – Preserving Pharaohs Treasures2019at the TKP Kyoto Shijo-Karasuma Conference Center organised by the International Center for Cultural Heritage Conservation (ICCHC), Tokyo University of the Arts.

I was also able to take part in a variety of social events which gave a wonderful overview of culture and heritage in the region.  I visited Nijo-jo Castle; Kyoto Botanical Gardens; Garden of Fine Arts KYOTO; Kyoto Institute, Library, and Archives; Kyoto National Museum of Modern Art; Kyoto City Zoo; Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts; Heian Jingu Shrine; Hosomi Museum and Kyoto National Museum.  Visiting so many museums and cultural places gave me the opportunity to explore different approaches to museum interpretation.

It was an impressive experience to be engaged with other museum professionals and enthusiasts and to broaden my experience and understanding of the museum world.  I had the great honor to meet many members of ITP family Noor, Wesam, Ahmed, Rema and Davit and many British friends and colleagues including Anna Garnett from the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology.