Multaka international network
The Multaka International Network is a network of five different project and is operating in Germany, England, Italy and Switzerland. The network was created in the June 2019, as all members met in Berlin, Germany.
The network’s members are Multaka Berlin, Multaka Oxford, AMIR Project in Florence, Multaka Bern and the Initiative: Lucky who speaks Arabic in Turin. In total, these projects are active in 15 Museums around Europe, of which: The Museums of Islamic Art and the Ancient near East Museum in Pergamon Museum, The German historical Museum in Berlin, Bern Historical Museum, The University Museum of Oxford, Museo Egizio di Torino, Museo Civico Archeologico e Area Archeologica, Fiesole, Museo Bandini, Fiesole, Museo e Giardino Primo Conti, Fiesole, Museo di Palazzo Vecchio, Firenze, Museo Novecento, Firenze, Museo degli Innocenti, Firenze. The total number of individuals, who were trained into Guides or cultural mediators involved in this network is over a hundred newcomers, who have different cultural and professional background.
The main objectives of the network is, as well as its member projects, to diversify the museums structures by including people with migration backgrounds, thus different perspectives and to provide a safe space to engage in intercultural dialogue between both newcomer community and local community while exploring art, history and even one’s own cultural heritage.
GERMANY - BERLIN
Multaka: Museum as Meeting Point – Refugees as Guides in Berlin Museums
The project was initiated in 2015 by the Museum of Islamic Art (Pergamon Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin) in cooperation with the Museum of the Ancient Near East, the Bode-Museum and the German Historical Museum and their educational departments. As part of "Multaka: Museum as Meeting Point – Refugees as Guides in Berlin Museums", 21 Syrian and Iraqi new arrivals were trained as museum guides in order to offer interactive tours for other new arrivals in their native language. Since 2016, the guided tours have also been available in German and English. On the one hand, the guided tours transfer questions about historical objects to current debates in order to establish a link between the past and the present. The 21 guides involve visitors in the process of viewing and interpreting objects. The visitors thus become active participants through mutual dialogue and taking into account their own history. The project "Multaka: Museum as Meeting Point" hopes to facilitate access to the museum for new arrivals through low-threshold addressing and peer-to-peer communication and to help them find social and cultural points of contact as well as to increase their participation in public space. The project also conducts intercultural workshops in which people from different cultural backgrounds experience museums together and produce artefacts inspired by museum objects and personal encounters.
Museum for Islamic Art
Museum of Ancient Near East
German Historical Museum
Salma Jreige - Project coordination
Multaka: Treffpunkt Museum
c/o Museum für Islamische Kunst
10117 Berlin – Germany
ITALY - TURIN
My Museo Egizio. Migrant women tell about the Museum
Since November 2016, eleven women from Northern Africa took part to a training course consisting in 10 lessons at the Museum, both in classroom and in the galleries. They were taught about some aspects of the daily life in ancient Egypt. As a final work, they produced a nice booklet about the topics discussed, in Italian and Arabic. Thanks to this basic knowledge, they are able now to guide short thematic tours in the galleries. Some of them are currently active part of the Association ACME (Friend of the Museo Egizio) and they lead special tours in Arabic, Italian, French and English during special events. The same are also involved in the “Welcome Tours” offered to migrants and newcomers, in the framework of the European project “New Roots”.
MIC – Mondi in Città Onlus
Alessia Fassone - Curator
via Accademia delle Scienze, 6 – 10123 Torino
It is a joint project overseen by the Municipality of Fiesole, the Municipality of Florence, Associazione Mus.e, Istituto degli Innocenti, Fondazione Primo Conti and Stazione Utopia and supported by Fondazione CR Firenze.
Launched in September 2018, this project has trained 40 foreigners from 20 different countries —some of whom are long-time residents, while others are refugees—to lead visits through some ofFlorence and Fiesole’s principal museums. The concept for AMIR derived from the desire to find a way for foreigners to be able to not only visit our museums, but also train them to lead guided tours to Italian, European and extra-Eu visitors. This opportunity essentially transforms them into active stakeholders in narrating our common cultural patrimony. In the summer of 2019, Amir | like travelling seeds, a special edition of the project, was launched. This tour, in collaboration with Boboli Gardens and the Botanical Garden in Florence, explores the botanical and cultural diversity that resulted in gardens as well as their impact on cultures, cultivations, arts, and cuisines.
Museo Civico Archeologico e Area Archeologica, Fiesole
Museo Bandini, Fiesole
Museo e Giardino Primo Conti, Fiesole
Museo di Palazzo Vecchio, Firenze
Museo Novecento, Firenze
Museo degli Innocenti, Firenze
Giardino di Boboli, Firenze
Orto botanico, Firenze
Collezione Fondazione CRF
Chiara Damiani – Stazione Utopia
What stories are hidden behind the objects in the Bernisches Historisches Museum and how can we relate them to the present day? How can we look at familiar things with new eyes, or approach things that are “alien” to us? With questions like these people who arrived as forced migrants have been acting as guides through selected areas of the museum’s history, ethnography and archaeology sections since April 2019, raising with visitors such issues as culture, history, shared cultural heritage, migration and flight. The interactive visits take their cue from the personality of each Multaka guide, their place of origin and their personal associations with the items selected.
Multaka-Oxford is a programme delivered jointly by the History of Science Museum and the Pitt Rivers Museum. Starting in 2017, Multaka-Oxford creates cultural places where people can meet and share experiences, knowledge, heritage and skills together. The programme develops collaborative volunteering activities to enhance the understanding and use of museum collections, and to aid intercultural dialogue and two-way integration. The project has focused on two collections (Islamic astronomical instruments and textiles from the Arab World) as a platform to find personal connections between objects in the museums. Volunteers have been using collections to curate and share objects, stories and narratives from their cultural heritages. So far the vibrant programme has included: enhancement of object records on the museums’ databases, museum tours, a co-curated exhibition, a cross-sectoral networking day (bringing in professionals from the volunteering, refugee and heritage sectors), high profile public events, English language courses, performances, a fashion show and a blog which captures the team of staff and volunteers’ perspectives.