Sustainable Museum Management in Afghanistan : Post-Conflict and Post-Disaster Strategies

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UNESCO capacity building workshop for museum professionals at the National Museum of Afghanistan in Kabul, May 2010. …

UNESCO capacity building workshop for museum professionals at the National Museum of Afghanistan in Kabul, May 2010.
Focussing on post-conflict and post-crisis strategies and a sustainable museum management approach. Includes on-site visits to some restored historical urban districts, mausoleums, and archaeological areas in and around Kabul.
By Alessandro Califano, Senior Curator at CRDAV (Rome, Italy).

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  • 1. PROGRAMME “SAFEGUARDING CULTURAL HERITAGE: POST-CONFLICT AND POST-DISASTER STRATEGIES FOR SUSTAINABLE MUSEUM MANAGEMENT” TRAINING May 8 – 13, 2010 Kabul, Afghanistan
  • 2. BRIEF DESCRIPTION In the same way as traditions, arts and knowledge have to be carefully fostered, so that they do not vanish for good in times of crisis – so we have to care about post-conflict reconstruction and preventive conservation of our movable cultural heritage. This needs to be done even much before an optimal condition of peace and abundance of resources is reached, and we always have to consider the risks involved in doing so, as well as the new opportunities that assessing these risks may become ripe for us. We also have to focus on correct planning – defining general aims, setting milestones, securing the means to reach both, and using apt strategies to simplify the whole process. Moreover, we have to consider that this is not done in a void. No institution – and even less change affecting them! – should be considered without looking at the context it lives in. Accurately considering specific information regarding the land lot hosting a museum or a monument, the district it is located in, as well as the regional diversity and the general situation of a country or a macro region is always very important, and so is considering human geography, and the degree of “welcome-ness”, acceptance and (re)use of an institution or a site by the inhabitants of the surrounding areas. Thus, evaluating projects or proposals for reconstruction or for reuse of previously damaged, or even simply neglected, buildings and sites requires that we also ask questions – questions like: how?, why?, for whom? – related both to the existing situation and to its possible, or desired, future evolution. In this workshop, we will be examining three different contexts in the Kabul area – an ancient archaeological site, a mausoleum with its garden, and a beautiful building located in a war struck district undergoing radical renovation. We will also confront ourselves with the issues of promoting a cultural institution, and of taking into account a multiplicity of views regarding one and the same artefact, one and the same cultural tradition. This experiences will help us in looking with new eyes to similar or comparable contexts we may be familiar with, and in better planning a sustainable, effective management of many events and actions affecting the cultural institutions we represent and care for.
  • 3. For security reasons, locations and timing will be posted only after the workshop is over... Thank you for your understanding!