@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
  • The story of how one tweet at a conference can make a difference #FaroNet #playkortrijk

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    November 12th, 2018mardixonCulture, International, Personal

    I really want to write up about the who conference but this is vital for everyone going to any conference – BE SOCIAL and take a risk to explore new areas! Thank you so much Ann Vanrolleghem for letting me explore @8500Kortrijk

    From Ann:
    I never felt the urge to write a blog post. No, that’s not 100% true. I already felt the urge before, but this time, I feel I really have to do it. I have to write this down. I have to share this. This is my story of how one tweet at a conference can make a difference.

    ***

    Last Friday I attended a conference about participation in Brussels organized by FARO, the Flemish interface centre for cultural heritage. In the afternoon I attended the workshop “yes, you can, participation through social media” by Mar Dixon, a well-known social media star within the cultural world. For us, museum people, she is divine. Trust me. It was an inspirational and hands-on session and I left Brussels to head back home to Kortrijk with great enthusiasm.

    The following morning, I checked Twitter. Part of my morning routine as a social media lover I suppose and there I saw a tweet of Mar Dixon. Saying she wanted to visit some museums and if anyone hanging around #faronet wanted to join her…

    Me, being more impulsive than I thought, replied, saying she should come over to Kortrijk to visit Texture, the museum of flax and river Lys where we have a great temporarily exhibition called BIOLACE. And also to sniff the ambiance of the last weekend of our city festival PLAY. I suggested to come play in confetti…

    And I don’t know if it was the confetti that pulled her over, or that is was something else… but she quickly replied… and in just mere minutes we talked about how she could come to Kortrijk by train and how to organize it all. It was just one tweet that started a rollercoaster of events.

    ***

    In the afternoon Mar arrived by train in Kortrijk. And you are not gonna believe this. But she stepped out of the doors of the train, exactly where I was waiting for her. It was surreal… and that was just the beginning of a great afternoon!

    Texture, museum of flax and the river Lys

    Our first stop was off course museum Texture. We took a quick tour of approximately an hour to explore the museum and to visit our exhibition BIOLACE. I suppose I overloaded Mar with a lot of info and I also realized that I’m not a trained guide. Mar pointed out to me that being passionate is more important than knowing every little detail. It is more important to know the little stories behind the object than knowing hard facts. Mar was moved by the story behind the wedding veil, for the first time displayed at the museum during BIOLACE. And also the installation of the doilies, being memories of not so long ago, opened up a beautiful story by Mar about how doilies can trigger people with dementia. I can honestly swear, in my few hours with Mar, there was never a quiet moment. Also, the several pigeons in our museum, part of the Tex Lab of Christien Meindertsma, made Mar laugh a lot. Yes, you can laugh at a museum. Yes, museums can be fun. It was as if the pigeons where spying upon us… they are everywhere in the museum. So I told her the story behind those pigeons, of how this building during the Great War became a prison for pigeons. Story-telling cannot be underestimated in a museum. At the end of the visit, Mar fell in love with a pigeon in our museum shop, so she adopted one. Now, there will always be a part of Texture in her heart and home, I hope.

    The Broel Towers, PLAY and the Béguinage

    A walk to the historical heart of the city lead to the Broel Towers. As we passed around the corner, the two towers appeared. For Mar, it was the very first time she saw this view. I saw how she paused. She had to stop to take this image in (and also to take a photograph). I saw how genuine her heart for culture is. I think she fell in love with those two towers, right at that moment. Her eyes gleamed when she asked me how often I saw this majestic view. At that moment I realized how for granted we take the beautiful places of the city we live in. When we are abroad, on holiday we discovers cities as true tourists but we sometimes forget the amazing places nearby. We should cherish our local heritage more and be truly proud of it. Being more passionate, showing it and sharing it.

    Inside the Broel Tower was THE surprise for Mar. As part of the art city festival PLAY, the tower was filled with big lime green balloons. An artwork by Martin Creed, titled ‘Work No. 262/Half the Air a in Given Space’. The physical experience creates a childish joy, along with an underlying sense of claustrophobia. Mar plunged in… as did I. And we just had fun like children do.

    Our next stop was the Academy. I had promised her confetti… and here it was. 150 kilograms of confetti was spread across the floor. The equivalent of the weight of the artist Markus Sixay when he first created the installation ‘I am prepared for you’ in 2003. Mar plunged in again… I wisely didn’t since I already knew the confetti would get stuck everywhere, really everywhere… Mar would soon experience this tricky sticky part of confetti.

    After all the excitement I suggested to go through the Béguinage, UNESCO world heritage. A place of peace and quiet within a dynamic city. Off course we ended up in the Béguinage experience centre where Mar was again impressed by the cultural heritage of our city.

    ***

    And we ended the day where we started. We headed back to museum Texture to have a drink in our museum bistro Kaffee Damast. I hope Mar had a great afternoon in Kortrijk. For me, it was an honor to take her on a tour in our museum and in my town. I hope she comes back one day, with a bit more time… because now I kind of rushed her from point A to point B because I wanted to show her so much of our city.

    Just one day after attending a conference about participation, Mar made me feel what participation through social media could really mean… just go out there and do it! Know your passion, show your passion, share your passion.

    Thank you, Mar, for your wise lessons about being passionate and sharing your passion. About using social media to meet people. About the importance of knowing the face of who is behind a social media museum account. About just talking to people in your museum and finding out what they think about it. About so many things. Thank you!!!

     

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