SJAM launched at Museums Association conference

22 November 2013

Social Justice Alliance for Museums logoThis week lots of National Museums Liverpool staff have been busy at the UK Museums Association’s annual conference, held this year in Liverpool. We are told this was the biggest ever MA conference (and it’s been around for more then 100 years!) and possibly the best, with lots of topical sessions.

MA President David Anderson, who is Director General of National Museum Wales and host to the 2014 conference in Cardiff, said that the Liverpool conference:

“Was the most successful MA conference ever – or at least that I have attended.  The programme had real bite, was intensely topical, and gave space for debate for many of the most pressing issues that the museum sector is currently facing. It was also a great success in terms of numbers and national profile.  Everyone that I spoke to was buzzing with enthusiasm, and that included overseas delegates.”

Among my favourite moments were the launch of the Social Justice Alliance of Museums (see forthcoming blog) and presentations by Judith Vandervelde of the Jewish Museum and Phil Sayers (artist), both of whom were addressing the subject of emotion in museums.

Better still were the answers to the Great Scousetastic Quiz questions from a multi-ethnic Balkan team; their answers bore little relation to the questions, eg “The Ottoman Empire Strikes Back”, “The Balkan Who Loved Me” and “Sarajevo Rangers” (no, me neither), but they seemed to have fun putting traditional Balkan tensions behind them!