The ‘People. Change. Museums.’ Podcast

We are very pleased to announce the launch of People. Change. Museums., a new podcast series exploring the relationship between museums, technology, and this time of intersecting crises. 

This six-part series pulls together perspectives from the international museum world to take the temperature of the current moment. Part spoken essay, part interview and part call to arms, I will ask: what is the role of the museum in defining our human values in 2020? And how does technology help or hinder this project?

In 1976, that Welsh cultural theorist Raymond Williams wrote ‘Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society,’ a book examining over 100 ‘keywords’, that explored the fierce political struggles that often underpinned their adoption in everyday conversation. Inspired by Williams, each episode of People. Change. Museums. takes a different ‘keyword’ as its focal point, with each one capturing an aspect of work in museums today. Through these ‘keywords’ we will explore how digital technology is changing the way we experience and understand our culture and heritage, and how it is enabling new forms of social justice.

The keyword for the first episode is PRECARITY and I’m joined by Sara Snyder, Smithsonian American Art Museum (US), Dr Oonagh Murphy, Goldsmiths’ College (UK), Ed Rodley, freelance experience designer and museum professional (US) and Blaire Moskowitz, PhD candidate and museum professional (US/UK) to discuss how they are each contemplating what ‘precarity’ means for our individual and collective futures.

‘Precarity’ refers to the condition of being precarious – of being flexible, insecure, dependent, vulnerable and exposed. In 2020, the word ‘precarity’ couldn’t be more pertinent as we find ourselves and our museums in a variety of insecure, dependent, vulnerable and exposed states. At the same time, our world feels rife with precarity – we are in the middle of a global pandemic, of ongoing racial injustice, of spiralling inequality, of frustrations around access and inclusion, of anxieties over national borders – both real and imagined – and a global climate emergency.

But this definition, like all of our keywords, is up for debate. To make up your own mind, please search, subscribe and listen to People. Change. Museums. wherever you get your podcasts. 

People. Change. Museums. is presented by Dr Sophie Frost, Researcher on One by One.