We are delighted to welcome visiting ERASMUS scholar Alexandra Bounia to Deakin this week. Alexandria is the Professor of Museology in the Department of Cultural Technology and Communication of the University of the Aegean and will be giving a seminar on Friday lunch time at the Deakin Downtown campus on Collins Street.
Cyprus has a long history of war, conflict and occupation. And, as is often the case with regions in conflict, the museums of the island have to represent this history. In Cyprus, this is the case for the two main ethnic communities of the island – the Greek-Cypriot and the Turkish-Cypriot community – who, since the 1960s, have presented a history that remains fractured and contested. This presentation will focus on four museums: the (National) Struggle Museum in the Republic of Cyprus, and three museums in the ‘Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’ (TRNC) which is still unrecognized by the international community: the National Struggle Museum and the Museum of Barbarism, both in north Nicosia, and the Museum of Peace and Freedom in Cirne (Kyrenia). Alexandra writes:
My discussion will focus on their history and their exhibitions, analysing their narratives, use of objects and photographic material, their depiction of the ‘Other’, as well as their commemorative styles. I will argue that despite the fact that all four museums have been recently refurbished, their aims and discourse remain un-changed, largely reflecting values and myths that encourage division and conflict. Furthermore, I will argue that these Cypriot history museums have a very complex role to play; on one hand, they present and save for the future memories of a past, not very distant in time but extremely painful for both the communities of the island; on the other, they have to survive in an environment of crisis (financial among others), which affects communities and the ways they think about the past and their present. Sustainability thus becomes a central issue, since it means that these institutions have to work towards a more inclusive and sustainable (in social and political terms) future, while supporting communities which face economic, social and environmental difficulties.
Alexandra studied archaeology and history of art in the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (Greece) and museology in the University of Leicester (UK). Her research interests focus on the history, theory and management of collections and museums, the interpretation of material culture and the use of new media for the protection and promotion of cultural heritage. She has published in Greek and international journals and books and has been a member of research programmes in Greece and abroad. She has served in various administrative position at the University of the Aegean, where she currently serves as the Vice-Rector of Academic Affairs and Quality Assurance. She is also the Chair of the Hellenic Committee of ICOM (2016-2018). In collaboration with Susan Pearce she has edited the book Collector’s Voice: Ancient Voices, published in 2001 by Ashgate Press. Her book entitled Collectors and Collections in the Ancient World: The Nature of Classical Collecting was published in 2004 by the same publishing house, while her book entitled “Behind the Scenes of the Museum: Managing Museum Collections” was published in 2009 by the Greek publishing house Patakis. Her most recent book (in collaboration with Theopisti Stylianou-Lambert) is entitled The Political Museum: Power, Conflict and Identity in Cyprus and it was published in 2016 by Routledge. (E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org )
Date: Friday 4th August 2017
Venue: Deakin Downtown, 727 Collins St, Tower 2, Level 12
Venue Tip: Deakin’s new city centre campus is between Southern Cross Station and Docklands, on tram routes 11 and 48 (Stop D15). Entry is via Tower Two. The reception desk directs you to an escalator to a bank of lifts and Deakin Downtown is on Level 12.
RSVP: Prof. Andrea Witcomb, email@example.com