HearMe Conference

VIENNA - AUSTRIA

HearMe by Dr. Dorothea Papatanasiou

The Creative Europe Project, HEARME, is changing the way museums and galleries work. The Project is driven by the vision that museums and galleries can reach young audiences, and make them gain insights and develop empathy.


To change the museum's way of working means to disturb their business as usual, and have them interact with their audiences – making especially the young visitors part of the experience across their collections. To do this, HEARME (http://projecthearme.org/) has trained the trainers to speak daringly and focus on emerging global topics. By deliberately choosing works of migrants in national galleries and museums, HEARME has demonstrated that migration is not a new phenomenon: some migrants from previous centuries were artists whose works became national treasures. HEARME has also demonstrated that artworks migrate from an author to an owner and to a museum, and from there between museums, audiences, and collectors.


The link http://brickme.org/hear_me/ offers a sample of the onsite experience in a video format, that illustrates how young people find a platform for their voices and skills through a novel approach with museums and collections. The main message is about tolerance and empathy is connected with the story of Aeneus, a Trojan migrant, who built up a brave new world.


The Project HEARME understands culture as the driving power to expose what is happening around us and nourish critical thinking by supporting social values and rights. It was designed from the viewpoint that only deep experienced culture can bring artworks to life, reveal their inherent values and provoke the dynamic interactivity of the contents and topics connecting, in our case, to the present situation with migration and migrants. To Initiate dialogue and augment cultural capital, a series of composite methodologies, including Design Thinking, Lego Serious Play and Gamification, to name but a few examples, have been applied across 654 workshops conducted at the Gallery of Matica Srpska in Serbia, the National Gallery of Slovenia, and the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria.


The workshops have involved four project partners, 20 museum educators, 125 schools, 7,000 youths, 700 teachers, 150 university students, 100 experts and specialists aiming to build deeper relationships between the youth and partner museums; develop skills of museum educators for open concepts and programmes based on audience participation and involvement, most particularly the youth, considering their expectations, wishes, and needs; and to incorporate advanced methodologies into museum training and educational programmes towards the inclusion and participation of the audience.


In all, the HEARME Project has created the enabling environment to let strong emotions emerge by actively engaging young audiences with societal values and allowing them to create a virtual collection of their reflections about the world around them and enable them to change their viewpoint. The HEARME MUSEUM Manual is available at http://projecthearme.org/2017/WW%20Manual%20English.pdf

The training experiences gained with the HearMe Project has aroused interest in the heritage sector EU-wide. New training opportunities are open to all interested parties:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/hearme-designing-new-service-models-for-museums-registration-41006710174