This manual ‘Making Europe visible’ (EMEE Toolkit 1) predominantly focuses on the first of the three Changes of Perspectives of the EMEE concept: by re-interpreting museum objects and topics the trans-regional European perspective shall gain access to national and regional museums. The trans-regional multi-perspective approach is thereby especially important, meaning previous (national or local) interpretational approaches to the objects shall not be negated by the new additional level of meaning, but presented in a parallel way. In an indirect way, the approach also serves to illustrate the visitors that meanings presented in museums are not based on ‘objective knowledge’, but constructed from specific perspectives. In this way, the re-interpretation of the objects guides training the own perception and reflecting on the own patterns of the construction of meaning, because several, also opposing levels of meaning are presented together.
Further toolkits are:
Toolkit 2: Integrating multicultural Europe. Museums as Social Arenas The Toolkit provides an idea of the museum as a public, noncommercial space that offers possibilities for people to meet, to discuss and to get in touch with the cultural heritage. It shows how these enhanced functions of museums can be used for presenting and discussing trans-regional and European topics especially regarding current issues and present-day problems. In that way, it contributes to integrating multicultural Europe.
Toolkit 3: Bridging the gap. Activation, participation and role modification The Toolkit deals with the development of different levels of the participation and activation of the visitor (for example hands-on, minds-on, user-generated exhibitions, guided tours conceptualized in the form of a dialogue, participation of different focus groups in the museum work, etc.). It develops programmes to encourage non-visitor groups to get to know the museum’s world. It also provides best practice examples with a focus on trans-regional/European topics.
Toolkit 4: Synaesthetic translation of perspectives. Scenography - A Sketchbook The Toolkit offers ideas how to present different perspectives not only as text but by means of designing the space, including ideas how to use music, light or even scent. It translates perspectives into other ‘languages’ and allows visitor participation.
Toolkit 5: Social Web and Interaction. Social media technologies for European national and regional museums The Toolkit shows that the social web can be used not only for public relations but also for interaction (museum with visitors, museum with non-visitors, visitors among themselves, museum with other institutions). With this Toolkit, visitors and other interested persons will be given a possibility to get involved with the museum’s topics, to discuss, to exchange ideas, to reflect on exhibitions, etc. It offers ideas how to integrate the possibilities of web 2.0 in exhibitions in order to promote more visitor participation.
Toolkit 6: European perspectives on museum objects. Selected examples on the Change of Perspective The goal of the EMEE project is to uncover the implicit and often hidden European dimension of local museum objects and to visualize the intertwined character of local, regional, national, European, and trans-European layers of historical meanings of museum objects. This approach requires the practice of the Change of Perspective in all areas covered by the five EMEE toolkits. Furthermore, it demands the combination and linking of these five facets. As an illustration of the practical implementation of the work with the toolkits the EMEE partners developed so called ‘exemplary units’ to test the concept of Change of Perspective on single museum objects (or object groups).
Further information about the project: