I know that now some of you are recovering from the Mumbai ITP workshop and I am also very excited to have seen my friends and colleagues after our interesting summer in London. But looking back, I would like to tell you about another very exciting experience in Leipzig and Dresden that I had in first week of November…
During this year’s ITP days in London I was surprised to find out that my participation is supported by one of the most prestigious museum organizations in Germany, the SKD (Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden), coordinating fourteen well-established and renowned museums in Dresden and Leipzig. It was an honour to me to be chosen as this year’s “Dresden Fellow’’ and to be invited to Leipzig and Dresden. On 3rd of September, during my ITP project presentation in the British Museum I also enjoyed meeting SKD representative Dana Korzuschek.
So, on 1st of November I arrived in Leipzig by invitation of SKD General Director Prof. Dr. Hartwig Fischer, where my base museum was GRASSI Museum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig (GRASSI Ethnographical Museum in Leipzig). I had a warm welcome by Christine Fischer, coordinator of museum events and cultural programmes, who perfectly organized my experience in the museum and shared her day-to-day experience, ideas and plans concerning museums generally and her activaties particularly. It was a pleasure and very useful for me to discuss with Christine my background and thoughts, and some suggestions. Particularly, I was engaged in some of Christine’s daily interviews and meetings. It was interesting for me to understand on-going changes in the museum, and how the museum is going to react to social issues, especially new waves of migrations.
I also had very productive and interesting talks and discussions with museum curators during guided tours of the museum galleries, where Birgit Scheps-Bretschneider and Carola Krebs gave very important insight on the concept and organizing processes of the current exhibition on Australia and Oceania, South Asia.
5th of November was my “Dresden day”. I arrived in Dresden with Christine and after a short visit to the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, we met Dana Korzuschek, who was effectively coordinating all my participation in SKD fellowship programme. After very interesting discussion with her then we had coffee with Gilbert Lupfer, Head of Department of Scientific Research and Cooperation, and Anne Vieth, Coordinator of the Europe/World Programme, also with two other current SKD Research Fellows Constantinos Vasiliadis (Greece, ITP 2014) and Ayman Al-Shweiki (Palestine, ITP 2012).
I enjoyed the second part of my Dresden day with the very famous collections and masterpieces of the different museums (Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Mathematisch-Physikalischer Salon, Porzellansammlung, Grünes Gewölbe, Rüstkammer, Münzkabinett).
On the last day of my programme I had a good experience in the Educational department of GRASSI Ethnographical Museum in Leipzig, where I was investigating how one of the programmes was being implemented for school children. After this programme I exchanged my thoughts with the museum educator, who also talked about her day-to-day work.
During my stay in Leipzig I also had a very good opportunity to visit other museums (Völkerschlachtdenkmal, Zeitgeschichtliches Forum Leipzig, Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst, Museum der bildenden Künste, Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Museum für Musikinstrumente der Universität Leipzig, Stadtgeschichtliches Museum, Bach Museum) in the city and became acquainted with different exhibition concepts, which I think essential for museum specialists who are interested in museum communication.
My Dresden Fellow programme ended with a nice city tour with Christine Fischer and one of her colleagues. Thanks to SKD I had this wonderful opportunity, which is a very useful professional experience to share ideas with colleagues and to get a deep insight into different museum concepts. I can also now compare or contrast different museum experiences, especially those I had in London and Glasgow during BM ITP 2015.