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Presentation Athanasiou TAG 2017

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My paper at the Annual Conference of The Professional Association of Lecturers in Youth and Community Work in the University of Hull, UK (6 July 2017)

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Presentation Athanasiou TAG 2017

  1. 1. Youth and community work in emancipatory interconnections of marginalised young people with museums Ioannis Athanasiou 6 July 2017
  2. 2. Working title Museum education for development and social justice: Exploring young people’s experiences of museum spaces for ‘youth development’
  3. 3. The policy context Published by the Department for Media, Culture and Sport in March 2016, the first White Paper for Culture in over 50 years emphasize the importance of increasing access to the arts organisations for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and promises meaningful engagement with their culture and heritage (The Culture White Paper 2016: 20, my emphasis).
  4. 4. 1st case study “The Stories of Becontree” heritage not only as a way to develop historical knowledge of young people or form new territories of interpretation, but also as a catalyst for identity work and social change
  5. 5. How museums define social exclusion and inclusion in youth work development?
  6. 6. Museums attracted visits from schools located in areas with some of the highest levels of deprivation in England and where child poverty was highest measured by the percentage of pupils eligible for free school meals (Hooper-Greenhill et al. 2009).
  7. 7. ‘youth were considered at risk if they lived in rural communities where resources were scarce, were children of colour, were impoverished, came from single-parent homes, or were young girls – all young people cut off from access to the so-called ‘American Dream’’
  8. 8. an ‘underlying perception of youth deficiency reinforced by the demand of museums to measure and demonstrate social impact’ under the pressure of funding (Tsibazi 2013)
  9. 9. What does the underlying perception of cultural deficit in museums’ work with young people mean for museum and education professionals? How do discourses of ‘risk’ influence museum cultures of learning, participation and social justice? How can museums evolve into spaces of change for one of the most underrepresented museum audiences?
  10. 10. The impact of risk society on youth identity formations and professional museum practices is better analysed on the contradictory and risky ground of young people being simultaneously ‘consumers’ and potential ‘problems’ individuals (Powell 2014, original emphasis); or more accurately being designated both ‘at risk’ and ‘as risk’ by public and institutional discourses (Nichols 2017).
  11. 11. 2nd case study “Objects in transition”
  12. 12. ‘the emotions and sensory skills are hardly utilised or encouraged in academic, textually based education [an approach to social issues through the arts] encourages a sense of place, new modes or perception and enhancement of older and taken-for-granted modes, teaches new skills and promotes often high impact but non-verbal means of communication and consciousness raising’ (Clammer 2015:124).
  13. 13. ‘our ideas about ‘other’ people could be ‘questioned in between locations, at the frontiers of traditional disciplinary boundaries, and beyond the confines of institutional spaces’ (Golding 2009:2, original emphasis) At the museum frontiers …
  14. 14. •  Youth and community work as emancipatory museum practice moves away from a conception of youth work development as primarily an economic phenomenon to understanding it as a socio-cultural one ‘to be measured in terms of quality of life, self-reliance, cultural viability and vitality, human freedom, civil and social justice and equality of opportunity for health, growth and creativity’ (Murphy 1999). •  It can develop young people’s awareness of a reality, in which ‘imagination and conjecture about a different world than the one of oppression are as necessary to the praxis of historical 'subjects' (agents) in the process of transforming reality’ (Freire 1994:39).
  15. 15. Thank you …