Marabou Reads: New Voices in Penn Museum Galleries

This Saturday, Marabou offers you some reading/listening material from PRI. The article [linked here] discusses an initiative at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Two refugees, Moumena Saradar from Syria and Hadi Jasim from Iraq, were hired by the museum to give tours about Syrian and Iraqi objects. Marabou is interested in this initiative as it brings voices from the cultures displayed at the museum into the halls providing another perspective other than the museum’s curators. The Penn Museum’s Education Programs Manager, Kevin Schott, says Saradar and Jasim provide a needed perspective saying that, for example, when he talks about ancient Egypt, visitors usually ask him how ancient Egypt compares to today, what are contemporary Egyptians doing? To have Syrians speak about Syrian art and objects creates a more dynamic dialogue between past and present and offers a type of insight that isn’t easily acquired through training or studying. Is this something other museums should/can start doing? The article also briefly touches on ownership of objects and their place in museums, adding to the discussion brought up in yesterday’s Indiana Jones post.

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