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Final Project for The Digital Museum Jon Bunge July 21, 2014

Digital museum final project 7 2014

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  • 1. Final Project for The Digital Museum Jon Bunge July 21, 2014

2. Proposal for The Metropolitan Museum of Arts Sierra Leone Youth Art Project 3. My Original Questions: Given the very unequal distribution of cultural riches in the world, how could they be better shared? How could the Internet and digital media be used to share the cultural resources of a great museum with people of impoverished countries, who have much less access to such resources? 4. My Client: The Met Because their encyclopedic collection would appeal to people of various cultures I wanted to be careful not to export only Western culture (the main focus of some U.S. museums) 5. My Target Country: Sierra Leone Why Sierra Leone? A mentee of mine, Mohamed Bah, is from there Small, impoverished nation in West Africa, population about six million One of the poorest countries in the world One of the lowest literary rates in Africa 6. My Original Idea Educational videos produced by the Met about art objects from the Mets collection that could be viewed online The Met staff would give background and explanation of various objects on the videos Videos would be translated into the main native language of Sierra Leone (Creole) or be subtitled Videos could later be subtitled in many languages to be used not only in Sierra Leonewith the idea that the Met is a global institution and in keeping with One Met. Many Worlds. For older children, videos could be a curriculum tool in schools Adults could learn about art and have their world expanded 7. What I learned from Mohamed My idea isnt a good one because it requires Internet access Less than 1% of the population of Sierra Leone is online (according to one figure on the net) Electricity outages are common, so Internet access is inconsistent Subtitles wont work well only 43% are literate and Creole is not really a written language No free public education in Sierra Leone, so only an estimated 25% of kids are in school (and thus wouldnt see videos) Mohamed himself didnt start school until he was nine Main takeaway: I didnt realize how big the digital divide still was. 8. New Proposal (in conversation with David) The Met would: Collaborate with a NGO in Sierra Leone which focuses on youth and education (the Met would not run the program itself) Solicit donations of computer tablets and solar chargers (the latter to address the electricity issue) Load the tablets with images of masterpieces of world art (not just Western) from the Mets collection Find someone fluent in Creole, perhaps a volunteer, to translate background information and discussion questions about the art objects Load translated information onto tablets 9. Example of Tablet Screen 10. Proposal (continued) An instructor from the NGO would run classes for children Instructor will lead discussion about works of art on the tablet (to address lack of art education in school) Children will then be taught how to take photos on the tablet Photo activities could be based on images studied from the tablets Children would then share their best photos on Facebook Facebook pages would be maintained in Creole (for audience in Sierra Leone and West Africa) and English (for audience in the U.S. and other English-speaking countries) 11. Facebook page (Creole version) 12. Proposal (final points) The Met would maintain a blog about the project on its website, with a link to both versions of the Facebook page and other social media With some funding and in-kind donations, exhibits of the childrens artwork would be mounted in both Sierra Leone and New York The children would help with prepping the work for the shows (such as matting and framing), thus learning more skills The shows would help to publicize and raise money for the project Some of the proceeds from any sales at the shows would go to the children and their families With increased visibility and funding, the project expands to serve more children 13. Thank you so much for listening!