Education For All – The facts and Challenges for the Vietnamese Women's Museum. Presented at the 5th Asia-Europe Museum Network (ASEMUS) Meeting General Conference 2012, Seoul, Korea. http://asemus.museum
EDUCATION FOR ALL – THE FACT AND CHALLENGES FOR VIETNAMESE WOMEN’S MUSEUM Le Thi Thuy Hoan The Vietnamese Women’s Museum
1. QuestionAttracting visitors is one of the most common concerns ofVietnamese museums, especially when museums face thechallenges of a budget and the competition from the varietyof other choices for people to visit. Education for all is theslogan for all museums in Vietnam and the VietnameseWomen’s Museum in particular.
2. Brief introduction about Vietnamese Women’s Museum Located in the center of Hanoi, only 5 minutes walking from Hoan Kiem lake Established in 1987 as a part of The Vietnamese Women’s Union Officially opened to public in 1995 Closed to renovate in 2006 Reopened in 2010 The museum presents the cultural diversity of Vietnam and the significant contribution of Vietnamese women to the country.
Exhibition cornersA part of the theme A part of the theme“Women in family” “Women in history”
Exhibition cornersA part of the theme A part of the theme“Women in family” “Women’s fashion”
3. Education in the MuseumThe Vietnamese Women’s Museum considers education asan important function in museum’s activities. We havemade considerable efforts to improve education in differentways as follows:
3.1. Renovate the permanent exhibitionAfter 11 years being opened to public, annual visitor’snumbers showed that the Museum failed to meet differentneeds of visitors. It was closed in 4 years from 2006 to 2010for the renovation with the budget from VietnamGovernment and the sponsorship from FORD Foundation.It was reopened in October 2010 in order to offer betterservices to visitors.
3.2. Renovate special exhibitionsSpecial exhibitions are good chances to develop therelationship with the communityRenovate special exhibitions in different ways such as:-Approach social contemporary issues;-Encourage the participation of the community in museum’sactivities;-Cooperate with NGO or other institutions to create specialexhibitions;
Approach contemporary issues Willing to approach sensitive and hot issues that attract the attention of general public. Some examples:- Street vendors – 2009-2010 (the exhibition was opened at the same time Hanoi government approved Decree 76 that bans small business on pavements and street vendors)- Single mothers – 2011 (provides a sight into lives of single mothers who were looked upon by most people in Vietnam society)- Shining night - 2012 (presents the lives of immigrants from rural areas to the capital to earn their living)
The participation of the community Base on different purposes to link with special groups of community. One of the main targets is marginalized women groups (single mothers; immigrants women who suffer social violence and discrimination…) Set up groups of supporters All consultancy and ideas from related people are welcome in the museum (ritual masters; students, street vendors…). The community takes part in museum’s activities: survey, research, consultation, field work, fabrication, installation, exhibition and education (voice of insiders are appreciated)
The special Exhibition “Worshipping Mother Goddess Pure heart – Beauty – Joy” - 2012
A part of the exhibition “Worshipping Mother Goddess – Pure heart – Beauty - Joy”
Brief information about this exhibition Presents a folk pure Viet belief It was considered as a social critical exhibition to the Decree number 75/2010 approved by the President that bans practicing belief. Funded by FORD foundation A big community took part in the exhibition from survey, research, practice to installation
The temporary exhibition “Portraits of love and courage” – July 2012
Brief information about the exhibition “Portraits of love and courage” All portraits were painted by an old female artist who is former soldier and journalist; She made her own journey from the South to the North (35.600km, 63 different provinces and cities) on her small scooter; She met around 1000 heroic mothers of Vietnam, talked with them then painted their portraits; She refused all sponsorships and donated paintings to the museum
The artistThe artist on the way of the The artist and a Heroic journey Mother of Vietnam
3.3. Focusing on communicative materials Some materials The logo of the Museum Logo Webpage Educational materials relevant to the subjects: work sheets, information leaflets, brochures…
3.4. Educational activities Guided tours Events for school children at the museum (New year, mid autumn, National Day, Children Day…): meet and talk with historic figures, celebrate festivals, practice traditional games… Discovery corner Teaching history in the museum
3.5. Cooperation for better education Take advantages of all advertising channels like magazines and web Pages for free of charge advertisement; VOV for education on radio Cooperate with NGO or institutions, schools to organize educational activities Cooperate with the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism to welcome foreign visitors to museum combining with traditional performances
3.6. Out reach programs Museum to school Educational activities outside the museum Mobile exhibitions Participatory exhibits for children…
4. Challenges4.1. Challenges in legal frameworkLegally museums are not considered as an educationalinstitution in VietnamSome parts in the exhibitions are out of date, politicallyexhibited, lack of interactive activities.
4.2. Other challenges The Museums hasn’t met the needs of the public due to: lack of finance and advanced knowledge; administrative regulations are too complicated and restrictive . People’s habit: visiting museums is not a regular activity for the general public; they are reluctant to accept the fee. Gender’s discrimination: men or even young boys consider the museum is a place for women and girls only.
5. Solutions Professional development of staff Building partnerships Policy & strategy From the current condition of the museum, strongly focus on:- Organize more temporary exhibitions to make the museum more interactive and closely relate to daily life.- Attract the participations from the public to different activities of museum.- Allow the museum to be more friendly orientated and interactive