Sites of Conscience are perfectly positioned to document, collect and share events as they unfold - all crucial activities in a world where repression and civil and human rights abuses are on the rise. Whether focusing on preserving artifacts for museum exhibitions or collecting and sharing personal narratives, museums and other cultural institutions must grapple with a range of complicated questions along the way, among them: How do organizations decide what to preserve? How do they leverage collections so they can bridge differences in their communities? And how do they build and offer access to collections in settings where security is a concern?
Our next Conscience Matters webinar on May 16th at 10:00 am (EST-NY) will offer solutions to these and other questions by examining different types of contemporary collecting around civil rights, community-based activism and truth and reconciliation efforts. Facilitated by Linda Norris, the Coalition's Global Programs Director, the session will welcome Gwen Moore, a historian from the Missouri History Museum, who helps oversee the Ferguson Collecting Initiative, which collects artifacts related to the officer-involved shooting of Michael Brown, an African American teenager, whose death in 2014 catalyzed the Black Lives Matter movement. Sharon Smith, also from the Missouri History Museum, will share her experiences as Curator of the museum's LGBTQI collection. Additionally, Amina Krvavac, the Director of the War Childhood Museum, will discuss her work collecting personal belongings and stories from individuals whose childhoods were affected by war. As always, we encourage dialogue and discussion among presenters and attendees in the webinar.