„Martin Roth Symposium – MuseumFutures“

Kicking off the re:publica weekly topics will be the "Martin Roth Symposium – MuseumFutures" from September 7 to 11, 2020. Organised in cooperation with re:publica, ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen) will host the second "Martin Roth Symposium", which honours one of Germany's most famous and innovative museum directors and cultural policy makers. The symposium will take place as a digital-analogue week-long event online and at the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin. True to the motto "MuseumFutures" international thought leaders from culture, science, art and politics will discuss the current situation of museums, their challenges and opportunities in the 21st century. The project is funded by the Federal Foreign Office.

Museums offer public spaces for encounters between people and ideas. Hardly any other institution is so strongly influenced and challenged by social and cultural change. As a place of remembrance, the museum is on the one hand part of a great tradition but on the other hand it must react to the rapidly changing expectations of the public in order to be a place of the future. If cultural products belong to the whole of humankind, how can the museums of the future be built as spaces of polyphonic and critical dialogues under globalised conditions? How can museums serve cultural democracy for all, while challenged by increasing anti-liberal tensions worldwide? And is it even possible to see the museum in a radically democratic light, as many artists and curators are demanding today?

Speakers discussing these important questions include David Adjaye (United Kingdom), Inés de Castro (Argentina), David Chipperfield (United Kingdom), Bice Curiger (Switzerland), Hartmut Dorgerloh (Germany), Elvira Espejo (Bolivia), Pi Li (Hong Kong), Małgorzata Ludwisiak (Poland), Benita von Maltzahn (Germany), Robin Reardon (USA), Kavita Singh (India), Philip Tinari (China), Johannes Vogel (Germany) and Marie Cecile Zinsou (Benin).

The Programme

7 September 2020: Museums and Futures

  • Greeting and opening by Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier

  • International speakers will provide regional insights in museum leadership in different cultural and political contexts, a historical view on the role of museums and raise awareness for the current technological challenges that the museum world is facing. 
  • With inputs by Andrew McClellan (USA), Kavita Singh (India) and Philip Tinari (China) and more

8 September 2020: Museums and Power

  • On the second day, the role of public and private museums in society will be discussed and it will be examined which stakeholders need to be considered when managing a museum in the 21st century.
  • With inputs by Elvira Espejo (Bolivia), Julia Grosse & Yvette Mutumba (Germany) and Rooksana Omar (South Africa) and more

9 September 2020: Museums and Entertainment

  • How can the social space of the institution and the exhibition spaces of the museum be filled with life? Is enjoyment part of what museums must offer to the public? This day will discuss the connection between art, science and entertainment.
  • With inputs by Pi Li (Hong Kong), Robin Reardon (USA), Tim Reeve (United Kingdom) and Marie Cecile Zinsou (Benin) and more

10 September 2020: Museums and Architecture

  • It is now commonplace to see museums as public spaces but who do they belong to and how? What are the conditions and modes of access that best serve collections and encourage dialogue between objects and people? What are the options for showing materials that are stored, vulnerable or contested? Our speakers will share their ideas on the nature of space in our current museums with an eye on both the past and the future.
  • With inputs by David Chipperfield (United Kingdom), Bice Curinger (Switzerland) and Louisa Hutton (Germany) and more

11 September 2020: Museums and Failure I Digital-analogue Werkstatt day at the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin

  • This day will highlight “best practice in failure,” not as an oxymoron but as a necessity and a motor of innovation. What conditions and values are needed in museums for productive learning processes, open exchange and a dynamic self-reflective culture?
  • With inputs by by Marion Ackermann (Germany), Inés de Castro (Germany), Julia Grosse (Germany), Malgorzata Ludwisiak (Poland), Michael Moriarty, (Ireland), Krzysztof Pomian (Poland) and more
  • Additional workshops on the core topics of the previous days

  • Please note that participation in the workshop day at the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin is by invitation only and requires prior registration. The number of participants is strictly limited but we have reserved a couple of seats for the re:publica community. If you want to participate, please apply using the following form: www.ifa.de/en/all-events/mars-2020-registration

Find the full programme here.