Preliminary steps to organise ARCHES sessions in Spain
On Monday the 24th April, the Spanish museums participating in ARCHES – Museo de Bellas Artes de Asturias, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza and Museo Lázaro Galdiano – held a meeting with the coordinator (Treelogic), The Open University (leader of WP2 “Working with participatory research groups”) and ArteConTacto (Communication Manager) in Oviedo (Spain). The goal of the meeting was to get familiar with the participatory research methodology and to coordinate the efforts so as to ensure the successful generation of inclusive ecosystems in the field of cultural heritage.
One of the main aspects addressed was to adapt the strategy that is being developed at the Victoria & Albert Museum and The Wallace Collection in London, in Spain. To this end, our colleague Helena (The Open University) summarised the actions that should be carried out in the next months by the Spanish museums after the initial experience in the UK. Building the exploration groups by contacting national and local associations is one of them. In fact, since all museums are already collaborating with multiple institutions, they will be very welcome to take part in ARCHES too. We will edit accessible videos and multimedia content (with sign language, visual description, subtitles, etc.) to explain what we can offer and what is expected from those who get involved in the research, including informed consent. Moreover, we need to get in touch with volunteers (e.g. students, family members, etc.) so as to support participants all along the sessions when necessary.
The number of people, diversity, periodicity and other key factors will be taken into account to prepare the sessions that will be held in the next two years. The first sessions will tackle the same topics selected for the group in London, i.e., consent, getting to know each other, choosing the favourite objects, the researcher’s role and expectations, etc. The following sessions will be adapted to the particular interests and needs of the participants as well as to the works of art and digital content available at the museums. In parallel, the technical partners will implement new functionalities to be tested by the exploration group.
Social networks will be a great tool to allow the participants to share their experiences and point of view online, favouring the interaction with other people. Twitter and Facebook will be the preferred options, even though we are open to other possibilities.
In principle the exploration sessions will start in November in Madrid and in January in Oviedo. ARCHES leaders at the participating institutions will receive intensive training in London this summer.