Tag Archives: Europe

Diamond Friends Forever Guest Blog: third follow-up @DFF_DiaMu

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by Nathalie Brejaart & Brent Blockx

I2013-04-02 13.23.03t’s been three weeks since our last blog and there’s a lot going on right now.

In March we submerged our DFF youngsters in the world of Diamonds. They visited the Diamond museum in Grobbendonk and we took them on an exclusive tour through the ‘Diamond Square Mile’. So it can be said that the youngsters now have a lot of impressions and theoretical input.

Because we want to bring participatory tools into our museum we did some inspiration visits with the DFF’ers.

2013-04-02 14.11.41The first long trip was to Eindhoven where we visited the Van Abbemuseum, a contemporary art museum. On their website, they make it appear as if they’re a ‘curious museum’ and they want to convey this to their visitors. Therefore, we went out! Unfortunately, we found little curious elements in the exhibits on display. We learned later on that the curious (participatory) elements vary strongly from exhibit to exhibit.

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HYPE Haslemere Young Person’s Exhibition – Search for Best Practice

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The Hype (Haslemere Young Person’s Exhibition) team are a group of young people aged 11-16. Lately we have gone to other museums to see what they have for young people so we can steal their ideas. We visited Brooklands, the Covent Garden Film Museum, the Hunterian (part of the Royal College of Surgeons) and the London Transport Museum.

300px-The_Club_House_Brooklands_-_geograph.org.uk_-_473347Brooklands

They don’t have a youth group at the moment, but are keen to start one so were interested in our ideas. We liked the hangar with the Wright Brothers replica and the other planes that we could go on. The volunteers were also very informative. We also liked being able to go for a ride in an old car on the original banking of the racetrack. Unfortunately we were not old enough to visit the Bus museum, a museum independent of Brooklands, without an adult.  We were disappointed as when we did visit (with an adult) we could see no reason for this restriction. We also felt the site itself wasn’t very attractive.  We thought it would be a really good place for a youth section who could help with restoration projects and at events, as it could be a really hands on experience and they could do large exhibitions.

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Guest Blog: Diamond Friends Forever (Antwerp, Belgium) @DFF_DiaMu

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Brent Blockx (24) and Nathalie Brejaart (23) are currently in their final bachelor year Social Work, specilazation Art- and Culture Mediator. The DFF-project is the main goal for their internship and also the subject of their bachelor paper. Both already completed a bachelor as teacher and are active in different cultural organisations.

The Diamond Museum of Antwerp is temporarely without a home. They had to leave their former building to make room for the expansion of an event hall. This, evidently, posed a huge problem…

Where could the collection be displayed now?

DFF-logoThat’s were we, Brent & Nathalie, come in to the equation. We are doing an internship for AmuseeVous, an organization that tries to bring youngsters and museums/culture closer together. For our internship we were already thinking of designing some sort of pop-up museum with real museum objects. The fact that the Diamond Museum went without a building created an excellent opportunity to join forces.

So now we’re given the chance to build a museum from scratch, using objects from the collection of the Diamond Museum. We can tell you this: that’s more than we dared to dream of! Every aspect is left in our (hopefully) capable hands. But we’re not going to do everything ourselves.

In order to create the best experience for youngsters (age 18-26) we are currently attracting other young people to join in. We launched a call that we’re looking for DFF: Diamond Friends Forever. Those Diamonds Friends will form a coreteam (approxamately 10 persons) that will be the principal thinking tank. Nathalie and myself will coach these youngsters.

This bunch of different characters are given the opportunity to spill every crazy idea and thought on how a museum must look and what it must do to be interesting for youngsters. Thus truely creating a museum by and for young people.

Everything is up for discussion: from labels to lighting, from entrancefees to guided tours. The feedback we can gather from this temporarily museum will be used for a publication and will be implemented in the Diamond Museum once it has found a new home. The efforts from the Diamond Friends will be put to good use and not only result in a ‘one-time-thing’.

2013-02-13 11.54.58We’re currently prospecting possible locations for the project in the heart of Antwerp. A few totally different options already passed the revue: an old vault from a former bank, an empty static manor, a youth hostel, a few abandoned stores… We’re trying to look beyond the ‘typical’ locations. But for now our search continues. The location is one of the only elements that the Diamond Friends can’t decide on. And that’s purely because of a limited timeframe and from the point of security issues.The timeframe in a rough draft is as followed: at the beginning of March we’ll set up our think tank of Diamond Friends (which we’re currently selecting). The Diamond Friends will work on the preparations for the pop-up museum till the end of may. Leaving june to set everything up at the location and to prepare the opening which will take place on the 29th of june. The pop-upmuseum will be open from then till August 31st.

You can follow us on Facebook (DFFDiamondFriendsForever) and Twitter (DFF_DiaMu) to be kept up to date of the project. For more on the Diamondmuseum of Antwerp click here. More information on AmuseeVous can be found here.