How to engage with CIMAM's Museum Watch Program

21 February 2024

Małgorzata Ludwiszak, CIMAM Board member and Artistic Director, The Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, Poland, and Agustin Pérez Rubio, former Director MUSAC, MALBA, Curator 11th Berlin Biennale, Curator of the Spanish Pavilion 2024 at the Venice Biennale, Independent Curator, Madrid, Spain, introduce the Museum Watch Program as part of CIMAM's working group addressing critical issues in the global museum environment. Meeting weekly with a diverse global representation, the committee discusses ethical concerns and challenges faced by museums, such as political pressures that endanger museum directors, their visions, and missions.

The committee collaborates intensively with museum professionals worldwide, receiving information from CIMAM members and other museum professionals to address concerns regarding museum governance.

In their message, Malgorzata and Agustín emphasize the importance of social justice and urge CIMAM members and museum professionals to bring attention to unequal situations and issues on environmental, economic, and political scales regarding modern and contemporary art museums or collections.

The Museum Watch aims to build a strong ecosystem within the museum community and beyond, encouraging awareness, collaboration, and intervention for the betterment of the museum field.

Malgorzata Ludwisiak and Agustín Pérez Rubio invite CIMAM members and modern and contemporary art museum professionals to participate in the Museum Watch Program.

Hello, I'm Małgorzata Ludwiszak. I'm a Deputy Director of Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw and a CIMAM Board member.

My name is Agustin Pérez Rubio. I'm an independent curator from Spanish. I live in Madrid and have been a board member of CIMAM since six years ago. I've been part of the Museum Watch like Małgorzat.

Since the beginning of my work for the CIMAM Board, which was in 2020, I volunteered to be a part of this working group of the CIMAM Board, which is Museum Watch Committee, because I believe that this committee has proved many times being very efficient in addressing important issues happening in the museum environment and the museum social environment or political environment globally since many years now and we meet every week with quiet global representation to discuss ethical issues or problems, for example, related to political pressures on museums, putting museum directors and their visions and the museum missions and museum employees in danger.

So we look at all these issues with big regularity. We meet almost every Friday. And I think it's an important kind of overview and also insights that are being delivered by the CIMAM members or museum professionals from around the world, whistleblowers that write to us, approach us, asking for support or intervention or making the case that worries some local community or should be worrying global community, making them public.

So it's also thanks to a very intense collaboration with museum professionals from around the world that we know about alarming cases and that we are able to react, to discuss, to write a letter to the president of the city or president of the country or the Ministry of Culture those individuals who are responsible for the situation of crisis that this museum meets.

[Agustín Pérez Rubio] Well, I wanted to remind you that this is not possible if we cannot hear you. So, for us, it's very important to be attentive, to be really aware, and to be open to listen to you. So please be aware about all these initiatives that we have in Museum Watch because social justice and as Malgorzata says, it's very important to care about the ecosystem that we build between us and also with the rest of the citizens. So if you are aware of unequal situations, of problematics in terms of the different scales, environmental, economical, political situations, please let us know. For us it's very important to be in touch between us, between the colleagues in this different museum ecosystem and we try to, in our smallest scale, because we are really, you know, we put our effort, our time in order to do as much as possible and to be really efficient in the way that we can do it for the better in our museum world.

Thank you very much.