601.2 The AfroDigital museum: Art works, citizenship, and technology

Friday, August 3, 2012: 2:50 PM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Myrian SANTOS , Social Sciences, State University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro (RJ), Brazil
The AfroDigital Museum: art works, citizenship, and technology

This paper is about the creation of the AfroDigital Museum, a national project that aims to question and overcome socially embedded classifications and hierarchies. A broad consensus seems to have been reached in Brazil that Afrodescendents have the right to reparation and justice. A digital media offers new opportunities since information forgotten by traditional institutions for archiving and displaying art works, documents and collective memories can be quickly recovered, reproduced and made available to a wider public. This paper’s objective is first of all to analyze the artistic potential of a digital museum. The paper will evaluate aspects that are very often assumed to be inherent to the language of digital media. Aside from the restriction on access faced by poorer sections of the population, the text will point out the limits imposed on creativity, interactivity and communication. Despite all these aspects, the paper will analyze how digital museums have allowed new experiences which are potentially different from those provided by traditional museums. The second point to be explored concerns the relation between art works and the emergence of social movements that fight against discrimination. Identities are always constructed and perceiving how actors and motivations can be represented in such constructions is essential to evaluating the development of digital museums.