CIMAM 2023. Day 1: How can Museums embrace their Social Responsability?

14 June 2023

Day1_web .jpg
CIMAM 2023 Annual Conference. Day 1

How Can Museums Embrace their Social Responsibility? A Question from the Americas

How can museums become effective sites for playing out, debating and tackling the issues raised by societies? How can museums be affirmed as brave spaces for freedom of expression, the development of honest inquiry and the expansion of creative imaginations as they occupy their roles as producers of knowledge in dialogue with artists and civil societies? On this first day of the Conference, we look forward to setting forth holistic conceptions around how the museum can effectively make communities’ concerns its own in order to effectively respond and accompany their searches by shouldering social, cultural and educational – and decolonial! – responsibilities.

Guest Speakers

  • Elvira Espejo Ayca Artist and Director, Museo Nacional de Etnografía y Folklore, La Paz, Bolivia
  • Pablo Lafuente Artistic Director, Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Simon Njami Independent Curator, Paris, France
  • Nicolás Testoni Director, Ferrowhite – museo taller, Bahía Blanca, Argentina
  • Coco Fusco Artist and Professor, Cooper Union, Brooklyn, USA

Conference Abstract 2023

Register here

Elvira Espejo

Elvira Espejo Ayca_056061973.jpg
Elvira Espejo Ayca, Director, Museo Nacional de Etnografía y Folklore (MUSEF), La Paz.

Elvira Espejo Ayca, Artist and Director, Museo Nacional de Etnografía y Folklore, La Paz, Bolivia

Elvira Espejo Ayca (1981) is a visual artist, weaver and narrator of the oral tradition of her place of origin. Born in Qaqachaka ayllu, Avaroa Province, Oruro Department, she is a speaker of both Aymara and Quechua. She is currently Director of the National Museum of Ethnography and Folklore (MUSEF) in La Paz. She is author of the publication Sawutuq parla [About Textiles] (2006), and the books of poems Phaqar kirki – T'ikha takiy – Canto a las flores [Song to the Flowers] (2006), for which she received the International Poetess Award at the 4th World Poetry Festival in Venezuela (2007), and Kaypi Jaqhaypi – Por aquí, por allá [This Way and That] (2018). She is co-author of Hilos sueltos: Los Andes desde el textil [Loose Threads: The Andes through Textiles] (2007), Ciencia de las mujeres: Experiencias en la cadena textil desde los ayllus de Challapata [Women’s Science: Experiences in the Textile Chain from the Ayllus of Challapata] (2010), Ciencia de tejer en los Andes: Estructuras y técnicas de faz de urdimbre [Weaving Science in the Andes: Warp-Face Structures and Techniques] (2012), El textil tridimensional: El tejido como objeto y como sujeto [Three-Dimensional Textiles: The Fabric as Object and Subject] (2013) and Tejiendo la vida: la colección textil del Museo Nacional de Etnografía y Folklore, según la cadena de producción [Weaving Life: The Textile Collection of the Museo Nacional de Etnografía y Folklore, La Paz, Bolivia, following the productive chain] (2013). In collaboration with Bolivian musician Álvaro Montenegro, she has produced the contemporary music DVDs Thakhi – La Senda. Canciones a los animales [The Path: Songs to the Animals] (2007) and Utachk kirki – Canto a las casas [Song to the Houses] (2011). Her awards include: the 1st Eduardo Avaroa Prize in Arts, specialising in Native Textiles, La Paz, Bolivia (2013); the 1st Prize for Fostering Native Creation in Literature, specialising in Poetry, as part of the 5th Arica Barroca South Andean Art Festival, Chile (2018), and the Goethe-Institut Medal (2020), awarded by the Federal Government of Germany for her valuable work as a cultural mediator between Latin America and Europe and between her own indigenous traditions and other cultures.

Pablo Lafuente

Lafuente, Pablo.png

Pablo Lafuente, Artistic Director, Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Pablo Lafuente has been the Artistic Director of the Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro since 2020. He has previously worked as curator on projects such as Dja Guata Porã: Rio de Janeiro indígena [Walk Well Together: Indigenous Rio de Janeiro] (MAR, Rio de Janeiro, 2016-17), A Singular Form (Secession, Vienna, 2014) or the 31st Bienal de São Paulo (2014), and as Associate Curator at the Office for Contemporary Art Norway (2008–13). He has worked as coordinator of the education programme at the Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil (CCBB) in Rio de Janeiro (2018–20) and has lectured at the Universidade Federal do Sul da Bahia (UFSB), Porto Seguro, and Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London (UAL), London. He has also been Managing Editor of Afterall: A Journal of Art, Context and Enquiry and Afterall Books.

Simon Njami

Njami, Simon. Photo by Cyrille Choupas.jpg
Photo by Cyrille Choupas

Simon Njami, Independent Writer and Curator, Paris, France

Simon Njami is a Paris-based independent curator, lecturer, art critic and novelist, who studied literature, law and philosophy at the Sorbonne. He was the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Revue Noire, a journal of contemporary African and extra-occidental art. He served as Artistic Director of the First Joburg Art Fair in 2008, the African Photography Encounters biennial in Bamako for ten years, and the Dak’Art biennale (2016/2018). He held different roles at the World Press Photo awards. He co-curated the first African pavilion at the 52nd Venice Biennale in 2007. He is President of the International Festival of Extraordinary Textiles (FITE), Clermont-Ferrand.

Njami has curated numerous exhibitions of contemporary art and photography, including: Africa Remix (2004/2007) at the First Joburg Art Fair (2008); The Divine Comedy (2014) at the Museum für Moderne Kunst (MMK), Frankfurt, the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), Savannah (2014), and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. (2015); Xenopolis (Berlin 2015), After Eden, the Artur Walther Collection (Maison Rouge, Paris, 2015); Afriques Capitales (Paris, Lille 2017); Metropolis (Maxxi, Rome, 2018); I is another (Galleria Nazionale, Rome 2018); Aujourd’hui (National Museum of Cameroon, 2019); The Studio (Kampala Biennale 2019); This Space Between Us (Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno, Las Palmas 2020); Materia Prima (San Giminiano, 2021); A Collective Diary (Tunis, 2022); Charades, a solo exhibition of Yassine Balbzioui’s work (Marrakech, 2022); and The Sharing of the Sensitive (Suza, 2023).

He has been a member of the scientific boards of numerous museums and institutions, and a Visiting Professor at University of San Diego California (UCSD) (1991/93).

In 1998, he created the pan-African Photographer’s Master Class with the Goethe-Institut Johannesburg and directed it for 12 years. He also set up the contemporary art collection for the Mémorial ACTe museum in Guadeloupe. He created and is conducting the critical-thinking workshop AtWork, nurtured by the Moleskine Foundation. He has published and edited numerous books, including two biographies (of James Baldwin and Leopold Sédar Senghor) and four novels. His latest publication is Histoire Histoires/Histories Stories, the story of Revue Noire (2021).

Nicolás Testoni

Testoni, Nicolas.jpg

Nicolás Testoni, Director, Ferrowhite – museo taller, Bahía Blanca, Argentina

Nicolás Testoni (Bahía Blanca, 1974) studied Communication Sciences at the Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA). Since 2003, he has worked at the Ferrowhite – museo taller [Ferrowhite – museum workshop], an artspace located in the port of Ingeniero White in the south of Buenos Aires Province, where he has collaborated to transform our understanding of the relationship between cultural institutions and the processes of collective creation. He has been Director of the Ferrowhite since 2014. He has also taught in such spaces as the Laboratorio TyPA de Gestión en Museos [TyPA Museum Management Laboratory], the post-graduate course in Cultural Management at the Faculty of Economic Sciences, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba (UNC) and the ‘Museums, Training and Networking’ programme of Argentina’s National Directorate of Museums. In 2015, along with the Ferrowhite and the Museo del Juguete [Toy Museum], he won the ‘Coronation’ award, a museum project competition organised by the Fundación TyPA in Argentina and the American Alliance of Museums in the USA as part of the congress ‘The Museum Reimagined’.

Testoni is also an audio-visual producer, for which he has received support from the Jan Vrijman (2005) and Prince Claus (2007) foundations in the Netherlands, as well as distinctions at the Videobrasil festival in São Paulo (2007), the Festival Latinoamericano de Videoarte [Latin American Video Art Festival] (2014) and the Bienal de la Imagen en Movimiento [Biennial of the Moving Image] in Buenos Aires (2016), and the Riga International Film Festival in the Latvian capital (2021).

Coco Fusco

Fusco, Coco.jpg

Coco Fusco, Artist and Professor, Cooper Union, Brooklyn, USA

Coco Fusco is an interdisciplinary artist and writer. She has received numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award, a Latinx Art Fellowship, a Fulbright Fellowship and a Herb Alpert Award in the Arts. Fusco's performances and videos have been presented at the 56th Venice Biennale, Frieze Special Projects, Basel Unlimited, three Whitney Biennials (2022, 2008, 1993) and other international exhibitions. Her works are part of the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Art Institute of Chicago, the Walker Art Center, the Centre Pompidou, the Imperial War Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona (MACBA). She is the author of Dangerous Moves: Performance and Politics in Cuba (2015), English is Broken Here: Notes on Cultural Fusion in the Americas (1995), The Bodies That Were Not Ours: And Other Writings (2001) and A Field Guide for Female Interrogators (2008). She is represented by Alexander Gray Associates of New York City and is a Professor of Art at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. The solo retrospective of Fusco’s works, Tomorrow I Will Become an Island, opens at the KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, in September 2023, accompanied by a monograph published by Thames & Hudson.

Conference Abstract 2023

Register here