Stories in the museums for rebel children

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Norma Vélez

An activity for families with the aim of highlighting the value of the role of women in the fields of research and creation.

An experience of the working group Museums and audiences

5 museums have jointly organised ourselves to offer the activity Stories in the museums for rebel children: as well as the Museu Nacional, Museu de Ciències Naturals, Museu Marítim, Museu del Disseny, Museu d’Arqueologia. The initiative has emerged from the working group Museums and audiences, made up of professionals from education, activities and management of audiences from various Catalan museums.

Contes als museus per a nenes rebels

The Museums and audiences group allows us to share information, experiences, problems, learning and new approaches, and also generates joint projects.  Last summer we held for the first time the questions and answers quiz, Museum Quiz Summer Tour, which aimed to attract the youth audience.  The experience was so satisfactory that we are already working on the second edition.  This year we’re back again ready for this new activity, which aims to vindicate the role of the woman in society.

The stories: women protagonists

On Saturday afternoons this spring, the Stories in the museums for rebel children have approached the smallest ones to the lives of two women related to the theme of each centre. The actress Cristina Cervià told the stories, written expressly for the activity by Marta Armengol in the style of the successful book Good night stories for rebel girls, by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo.

While Cristina explained the biographies, the illustrator Sònia González enthralled the public by drawing the stories live.  In some cases, moreover, the boys and girls were able to talk with the protagonists, visibly enthusiastic about being able to chat with the first female lighthouse keeper, with a competing ocean sailor, an oceanographer specialised in marine microbiology or a potter.

On this occasion, our women rebels were Llúcia de la Marca, Lluïsa Vidal, Kathleen Kenyon, Gertrude Bel, Lynn Margulis, Asunción Bastida, Elvira Pujol i Font, Anna Corbella and Madola, Maria Àngels Domingo Laplana. Inspiring models and the protagonists, all of them, of stories that didn’t revolve around prince charmings.

The value of collaborative work

The activity has allowed us to incorporate some extraordinary women into the storytelling of the museums and has been highly successful in terms of audiences, the presence in the media, and with very satisfactory feedback surveys.  Furthermore, organizing joint activities with other facilities has allowed us to multiply ideas and knowledge in the conception, development and evaluation of the proposal.  All in all, improving the quality of the results and the learning of the teams involved.

The process turned out to be much more pleasant and the support of other centres was ensured. Contacts, tips, cables and other belongings go to and fro, from one centre to another. Many of the colleagues attended the sessions of other museums and offered their support.  And, even better, it has allowed us to share audiences who can enjoy an activity that would not be the same if we had organized it alone, independently one centre from another.

The concern of the Museu Nacional in the fight against the discrimination of the woman in the artistic and intellectual field isn’t something new.  Each March we develop a programme of activities on the occasion of the International Women’s Day, which includes guided visits based on gender, virtual tours in the website, cinema projections, shows and open doors for all women.

Related links

Women Artists of the Museu Nacional

The evolution of women illustrated through art

Lluïsa Vidal, a woman artist in a world of men

Norma Vélez

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