A tiny show guiding you through the rocky landscape of museums. Museum Archipelago believes that no museum is an island and that museums are not neutral.
Taking a broad definition of museums, host Ian Elsner brings you to different museum spaces around the world, dives deep into institutional problems, and introduces you to the people working to fix them. Each episode is never longer than 15 minutes, so let’s get started.
December 3rd, 2018 | 14 mins 58 secs
barbara hicks-collins, bogalusa civil rights museum
Barbara Hicks-Collins grew up in a Civil Rights house in Bogalusa, Louisiana. In her family breakfast room in 1965, her father, the late Robert “Bob” Hicks, founded the Bogalusa chapter of the Deacons for Defense and Justice. The armed self-defense force was formed in response to local anti-integration violence that the local police force complicitly supported.
The house became a communication hub, a safe house, and a medical triage station for injured activists denied medical services at the state hospital. After her father’s death, Barbara Hicks-Collins decided that the house has one more chapter: as the Bogalusa Civil Rights Museum.
In this episode, Barbara Hicks-Collins talks about growing up with the Civil Rights movement in her living room and describes the process, progress, and challenges of today’s Bogalusa Civil Rights Museum project.
November 19th, 2018 | 14 mins 8 secs
brian muthaliff, bulgaria, buzludzha, dora ivanova
High in the Balkan mountains, Buzludzha monument is deteriorating. Designed to emphasize the power and modernity of the Bulgarian Communist Party, Buzludzha is now at the center of a debate over how Bulgaria remembers its past.
Architect Brian Muthaliff wants the building to evolve along with Bulgaria. His master’s thesis on Buzludzha describes a re-adaption of the site to subvert the original intention of the architecture, including installing a winery and a theater.
Unlike architect Dora Ivanova’s Buzludzha Project, which we discussed at length in episode 47, Muthaliff’s plan only calls for a single, museum-like space. In this episode, we go in depth on what a museum means and what is the best path forward for this building and for Bulgaria.
53. Tribal Historic Preservation Office Helps Students Map Seminole Life for the Ah-tah-thi-ki Museum
November 5th, 2018 | 12 mins 31 secs
The Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Seminole Indian Museum, on the Big Cypress Reservation in the Florida Everglades, serves as the public face of the Seminole Tribe of Florida. But the museum collaborates with the Seminole Tribe of Florida’s Tribal Historic Preservation Office(THPO) next door to preserve the tribe's culture, working for and with the community through various shared projects.
One of the projects is called Are We There Yet: Engaging the Tribal Youth with Story Maps, which is now on display in the museum. Quentin Cypress, Community Engagement Coordinator at THPO, and Lacee Cofer, Geo Spatial Analyst at THPO, started the project with Juan Cancel, Chief Data Analyst at THPO. The team taught 11th grade students at the Ahfachkee School (the school on the Big Cypress Reservation) GIS mapping software and helped the students create their own maps about a Seminole or Native American topic.
October 15th, 2018 | 10 mins 26 secs
los angeles county museum of art, paula santos
By day, Paula Santos is Community Engagement Manager at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. By night, she hosts the excellent Cultura Conscious podcast.
On Cultura Conscious, which just celebrated its one-year anniversary, Santos interviews cultural workers on their work with justice and equity. The discussions dive deep into what Santos calls the "nuts and bolts" of museum work.
October 1st, 2018 | 12 mins 42 secs
bulgaria, yulina mihaylova
The Jewish Museum of History in Sofia, Bulgaria tells the full story of the Jewish people in Bulgaria from ancient Roman times to today. The museum takes on the complexities of the rescue of the Jews in Bulgaria from deportation to Nazi death camps during the Second World War.
September 17th, 2018 | 9 mins 37 secs
allison sansone, american writers museum
When the American Writers Museum opened in Chicago in 2017, it became the first museum in the US to celebrate all genres of writing. Early in the planning phase, founder Malcolm O’Hagan made a couple of key decisions: no artifacts and no single curator.
In this episode, the museum’s programs director Allison Sansone explains how these decisions continue to shape the museum, from a timeline of 100 significant authors of fiction and nonfiction to galleries honoring the craft of writing.
49. Deyana Kostova Centers ‘The Little Man’ in War at the Bulgarian National Museum of Military History
September 3rd, 2018 | 10 mins 13 secs
bulgaria, bulgarian national museum of military history, deyana kostova
The campus of the Bulgarian National Museum of Military History in Sofia is defended on all sides by a garden of missiles and tanks. But as Director of Public relations Deyana Kostova points out, many of the exhibits inside focus on the consequences of war rather than the tools of warfare.
August 20th, 2018 | 12 mins 3 secs
ariana lee, palace shaw
Ariana Lee and Palace Shaw create The Whitest Cube, an excellent new museum podcast about people of color and their experiences with art institutions as artists, visitors, workers, activists, or casual admirers. The podcast interrogates the city of Boston and its cultural institutions through the lens of race.
July 23rd, 2018 | 9 mins 59 secs
bulgaria, buzludzha, dora ivanova
High in the Bulgarian mountains, Buzludzha monument is deteriorating.
July 9th, 2018 | 10 mins 1 sec
bulgaria, muzeiko, vessela gercheva
There were no children’s museums in the Balkans before Muzeiko opened in Sofia, Bulgaria in 2015.
June 25th, 2018 | 11 mins 6 secs
Margaret Middleton is an independent exhibit designer and museum consultant based in Providence, RI, USA.
June 11th, 2018 | 11 mins 27 secs
bulgaria, bulgarian national polytechnical museum, vassil makarinov
The Bulgarian National Polytechnical Museum is a science museum that also tells the story of Bulgarian and world history.