• Международный фестиваль Квир-культуры в Санкт-Петербурге

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Museums on LGBT

Today the for the first time within the festival the employees of Russian and Swedish museums were discussing the problems of preserving and presenting to the audience the LGBT history and culture.
In general the presentation or hiding of this culture strongly depends on political situation.

"Museums don’t define, what is important to preserve and what is not”, - Dmitry Dubrovsky, research worker of the Russian Museum of Ethnography announced. Moreover, we can’t but mention high level of homophobia among Russian museum employees. The only way to exhibit queer-related projects in this situation is collaboration not directly with museums, but with the particular supervisors of spaces for exhibitions, galleries and museums. This opinion was shared by all participants of the discussion.

During the debates Ulf Peterson, the supervisor of Paragraph 1 exhibition, shared the experience of creation of LGBT-exhibitions in Swedish museums: the national museum of Science and Technology, the Police Museum, the Museum of Sport, the National Historical Museum, the Nobel Museum. He noted that, in spite of far more tolerant conditions, the idea of similar exhibition was approved only by 6 of 50 Swedish museums.

His colleague, the supervisor of the Police Museum, Susanne Nyman noted that it is really difficult to talk about LGBT with children, but it is necessary to explain them that the world is complex and every person is complex too, so we can’t be squeezed into the rigid standards.

The supervisor of the art center “Pushkinskaya 10” Anastasia Pazey drew attention to the educational function of museums: “The young generation of supervisors believes that the projects presenting LGBT-culture teach the audience to be tolerant, but the older generation of museum workers tends to see homosexuality propaganda there”.

Finally, Nils Olander, who is in charge of the Swedish Museum of Science andTechnology exhibitions, noted that museums themselves must be grateful for the invitation for dialogue and the impulse to become better. He expressed willingness to assist in bridging communication with the supervisors of Russian museums from his side.

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