@MarDixon Passionate about culture internationally. Run remixing events, workshops, create solutions, and an international speaker. Over sharer and Mom who loses arguments to a teen. Projects created: @CultureThemes @lovetheatreday @AskaCurator @MuseumSelfieDay @TeensInMuseums @52museums
  • Remixing at @Museum_Religion St Petersburg Russia #музейныймиксRUS with @Madlena_P

    May 20th, 2014mardixonCulture, International

    On May 19, Anna Mikhaylova (@Madlena_P) and I produced a MuseomixUK workshop at The State Museum of the History of Religion (@Museum_Religion).

    Name tagsThe delegates arrived and were immediately put into action with the first ‘deliverable’ which was to answer a question.  This question help them decide what ‘role’ they were going to play throughout the day. We knew if we asked ‘Are you storyteller/narrative?’ no one would answer yes.  So instead we had four simple questions to indicate Communications, Fab/Tech, Narrative, Design roles. [Interesting, no one wanted to be a story teller!]

    Next step for the delegates was to mingle by the coffee.  This was to start the conversation, even if it was ‘Do you know what we’re doing today?’

    Director of Museum of ReligionThe wonderful Director Luibov Musienko started the event with a few kind words before everyone was taken on a tour of the museum. Before the tour, Anna reminded everyone to look at it with visitors eyes, not museum eyes.

    During the tour, Katya Volkova, (our Museum Project Coordinator) provided a tour in the same direction a visitor would, in other words, she did not provide additional information such as ‘we feel this exhibition should be remixed.’

    While they were on tour, Anna and I set up our workspace to ensure it worked with the people who came.  We projected 4 teams from the numbers.

    When everyone came back, we started off with explaining the day.  This worked by me speaking English and Anna translating to Russia.  However, as Anna and I prepared so much she was able to describe most of the talk without having to wait for me!

    IMG_6889We felt the idea of pitching was going to be complicated … boy were we wrong! We actually ran out of Bingo sheets! The ideas of what a visitor wanted were flowing – there was still a bit of ‘museum angle’ to some of the ideas but the fact that they were engaging in this model was fantastic!

    Remember how no one wanted to be a story teller?  What was the most repeated topic for remixing?  Yes, not being able to understand the story in the museum!

    Team Navigator IMG_6891We explained the team-making process and asked everyone to stand up and find a team.  Again, we weren’t sure how this was going to go but almost everyone took part and was active in this process.  Soon the first team was formed followed quickly with the second.  Then the third team was created.  Little issue that the teams were more than 4 people – but they were combining pitches to make it work.  As this was the first one, we let it happen but recognize we need to be more firm with this process next time.

    IMG_6896The teams:
    Navigator with Prototype Entrance Exit
    Six Senses or 5 + 1 with Prototype: Feels like a Museum
    And with Prototype Remix Judaism Room

    After lunch, teams started working.  The facilitators went around to ensure they understood how the Google Drive worked and how to fill out the forms.  They also confirmed they understood the deliverables on the hand-out.  We tried to encourage them to tweet with #музейныймиксRUS – the hashtag we set up for the event.

    IMG_6915The deliverables were essential checkmarks not for us but for the teams.  These helped them recognize what was expected but also to encourage conversations should they wander off-topic (which does happen).

    Two of the teams were incredibly engaged and recognized that they might not understand the format but were going to give it a go.  The third team was a bit skeptical and held back.  In the end, all three were able to produce a prototype but you could see the difference from those that embraced it with open minds.

    After the first sharing session, it was encouraging to hear positive and constructive feedback by most delegates.  This process isn’t to be negative or show jealousy to the other teams, it’s for everyone to remix their thinking on how to make positive changes in a museum environment.

    Everyone went back to their area to make any changes that were suggested before 7.30pm when each team demonstrated their prototype in situ.  This is when you really saw the pride in the teams shine – and you didn’t have to speak their language to understand it!

    IMG_6952 IMG_6937IMG_6935






    There are a few tweaks that could be made for the next time (and yes, I’m sure there will be a next time!) but overall, #музейныймиксRUS at The State Museum of the History of Religion was incredibly enlightening to everyone involved and I’m sure we a few more added to the Museomix Community!

    A very heartfelt thank you to the State Museum of the History of Religion for being extremely open-minded and brave in being the first to allow remixing to take place in Russia.  



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