Rapid Response Webinars


The CIMAM board has designed a program of Rapid Response Webinars that will allow CIMAM members to continue discussing the most urgent concerns and questions affecting the modern and contemporary art museum community at this time. This initiative responds to CIMAM’s spirit and commitment to be a platform for global discussion, a space for sharing and connecting, for learning and encouraging cooperation.

Rapid Response Webinars are held every last Thursday of the month moderated by board members at different time zones and guests. They aim to provide short capsules on urgent concerns for the profession throughout the year. Rapid Response Webinars are free of cost and accessible only for CIMAM members. Sessions are recorded and posted at the Members Only section of the CIMAM website for those who missed the time.

Calendar of Webinars

- 28 May, The View from Here, with Suzanne Cotter, Ernestine Mifetu-White, and Sally Tallant. Moderated by Frances Morris.

- 25 June 2020, Reaching Across Distancing, with Luis Camnitzer, Max Jorge Hinderer Cruz, Elvira Espejo Ayca, and Agustín Pérez Rubio. Moderated by Victoria Noorthoorn.

- 30 July 2020, Museum Audiences and Sustainability Today, with Zoe Butt, Rhana Devenport and Gridthiya Gaweewong. Moderated by Suhanya Raffel.

- 27 August 2020, RE-DEFINING POWER: Contemporary Conversations on the Role of Museums in Re-writing Histories with Malgorzata Ludwisiak, Sofia Hernandez Chong Cuy, Wandile Kasibe, and Sethembile Msezane. Moderated by Ernestine White-Mifetu.

- 24 September 2020, IN BETWEEN: How are Contemporary Art Museums and their Stakeholders Dealing with a Fluid Situation? with Tone Hansen, Zoran Erić, and Leevi Haapala. Moderated by Ann-Sofi Noring and Calin Dan.

- 29 October 2020 with Saskia Bos and Sarah Glennie.

- 26 November 2020 with Mami Kataoka and Eugene Tan.

#1 The View from Here

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  • Suzanne Cotter, CIMAM Board Member, and Director, Mudam Luxembourg - Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg.
  • Ernestine Mifetu-White, Director, William Humphreys Art Gallery, Kimberley.
  • Sally Tallant, Director, Queens Museum of Art, New York.

Moderated by Frances Morris, CIMAM Board Member, and Director, Tate Modern, London.

In a political and social context where people are not interested in art and culture because they are starving, engaging with artists to unpack what this means for society is critical to demonstrate the relevance and importance of the creative community. Ernestine Mifetu-White

This crisis is an opportunity to remind everyone else that museums are part of the economics, the makeup of a place, and the identity of the people that live in that place. Suzanne Cotter

Did you miss it? Watch the webinar at CIMAM's only member section.

#2 Reaching Across Distancing

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  • Luis Camnitzer, Uruguayan artist and writer, New York.
  • Max Jorge Hinderer Cruz, Director, Museo Nacional de Arte (MNA), La Paz.
  • Elvira Espejo Ayca, Director, Museo Nacional de Etnografía y Folklore (MUSEF), La Paz.
  • Agustín Pérez Rubio, CIMAM Board Member and Curator, 11th Berlin Biennale, Berlín.

Moderated by Victoria Noorthoorn, CIMAM Board Member and Director, Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires.

If one can no longer go to museums as before, what's next? There is no public to justify the museum as a house of spectacles. This reveals how fragile this definition of museums has always been, how it helps to create an art bubble by now held together by a flimsy web of finance threat. And worst, how the exhibition industry doesn't help but is an obstacle to a good education. Luis Camnitzer

The main spoken languages in Bolivia don't have such a word as art. So having museums in a country that has thirty-six official languages, what does art mean? First of all, the raison d'être of art should be to contribute to the unconditional equality of everyone and to everyone's non-negotiable right to life indifference. Max Jorge Hinderer Cruz

Because museums are placed in urban areas, it is crucial to see how we approach them from a city perspective, as many of these collections, from an archeological and ethnographical point of view, come from communities. We created a program to visit the communities with a portable museum so people can get to know who we are and how we are. Elvira Espejo Ayca

Museums are creators of a symbolic capital that can help in the idea of visibility, understanding, and awareness, but with this pandemic, the situation becomes more urgent because it has polarized the vulnerable. So what kind of institutions are we building? What are the discourses museums are giving now that we face lots of injustice within the art workers' world? Agustín Pérez Rubio

Did you miss it? Watch the webinar at CIMAM's only member section.

#3 Museum Audiences and Sustainability Today

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Thursday 30 July 2020
2:00 pm HKT / 3:30 pm ACST / 8 am CEST

  • Gridthiya Gaweewong, Director, Jim Thompson Art Center, Bangkok.
  • Rhana Devenport, CIMAM Board Member and Director, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide.
  • Zoe Butt, Director, The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre, Saigon.

Moderated by Suhanya Raffel, CIMAM Board Member and Museum Director, M+, Hong Kong.

Rapid Response Webinars are free of cost and accessible only for CIMAM Members. Sessions are recorded and posted at the Members Only section of the CIMAM website for those who missed the time.

Did you miss it? Watch the webinar at CIMAM's only member section.

#4 RE-DEFINING POWER: Contemporary Conversations on the Role of Museums in Re-writing Histories

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Thursday 27 August 2020
5 pm CEST

  • Malgorzata Ludwisiak, CIMAM Board Member, Independent Art Critic, Curator, Ph.D., Warsaw, Poland
  • Sofia Hernandez Chong Cuy, Director of the institution formerly known as Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
  • Wandile Kasibe, Public Programmes Coordinator of the Iziko Museums of South Africa, Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology, University of Cape Town, South Africa
  • Sethembile Msezane, Multi-award-winning Artist, Masters in Fine Arts, Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Moderated by Ernestine White-Mifetu, CIMAM Board Member, and Director of the William Humphreys Art Gallery, Kimberley, South Africa


In the wake of the brutal killing of George Floyd in the United States, arose a national and global call for justice to end the victimization and killing of black and brown people. Global movements such as BLACK LIVES MATTER and RHODES MUST FALL have been at the forefront of the current wave of protests calling out in their masses for a global reckoning of historical wrongs that continue to impinge on individuals and communities across all levels of contemporary society.

With this as its backdrop, museums and cultural institutions have been called upon to be proactive players in the call for change – to assist in correcting the skewed narratives that have for far too long left only one side of the story told, prompting renewed debates over the ethics of representing and glorifying (in the form of a public sculpture), a singular historical narrative of national identity and heroic leadership.

Colonial histories, notions of power and privilege, racism and the violence experienced by black and brown bodies are crucial subjects to define a discourse on historical politics and to provoke changes in the symbolic field. How should Museums and cultural institutions respond to these unprecedented global movements? How should Museums respond to the call to serve as custodians of these symbols of empire and oppression? How might the concept of decolonization contribute to the process of redefining the notion of history, memory, commemoration and the museum practice?

Malgorzata Ludwisiak, Ernestine White-Mifetu, Sofia Hernandez Chong Cuy, Wandile Kasibe and Sethembile Msezane will talk about their recent experiences and challenges in the artistic and museum field and engage with the possibilities of imagining different models and modes of representing and interpreting histories, memories and collections.

Did you miss it? Watch the webinar at CIMAM's only member section.

#5 IN BETWEEN: How are Contemporary Art Museums and their Stakeholders Dealing with a Fluid Situation?

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Thursday 24 September 2020

2:00 pm CEST

  • Tone Hansen, PhD, Director of Henie Onstad Kunstsenter (HOK), Høvikodden, Norway
  • Zoran Erić, PhD, Chief Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade, Serbia
  • Leevi Haapala, PhD, Director, Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma / Finnish National Gallery, Helsinki, Finland.

Moderated by Ann-Sofi Noring, CIMAM Board Member, Co- Director, and Chief Curator, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, and Calin Dan, CIMAM Board Member, Director, National Museum of Contemporary Art - MNAC, Bucharest.


Welcome to a webinar panel with voices from the north, south-east and Balkan regions of Europe, including Finland, Norway, Sweden, Romania and Serbia. Covid-19 has affected every country in different ways, but our art museums have one thing in common: after being suddenly closed to the public, they are now open again. The reopening occurred slowly, with a lot of caution, as both museum workers and the general public must follow all kinds of new rules. In the current situation, which can easily be characterized as fluid, museums might be forced to close down again, if the pandemic gets worse.

In this framework, the mission of museums has not changed. They are still a crucial element of the public sphere, and thus agents of influence in the service of democracy. Directly and indirectly, museums are in charge of the wellbeing of various social and professional categories. From youth education to the entertainment of the elderly, from the inclusion of marginals to the administration of cultural heritage, from scientific research to the support of the independent art sector, museums are at the center of a complex web of agencies.

Despite various inclusive geo-political systems, in Europe politics, economics and culture have different dynamics according to country, and the experience of the pandemic and its consequences has been different from one place to another. This, together with the continuous fluidization of circumstances in the context of the pandemic, challenges us to answer many questions. Are the statements from above still valid? How can museums act for the public good? What is the public sphere in an era of pandemic? How is it manifest in countries with different cultural values and backgrounds?

How will these new experiences affect the very existence of museums in the long run? Will they become more nationally-centered than before? How will international collaborative networks develop during and after the pandemic? How will be the relation between museums and their public evolve? And how will museums maintain their position as active agents for the stimulation/support of cultural production?

Key words: pandemic, public sphere, local/national, international, cultural production, democracy.

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