HOW FEMININE IS CULTURAL HERITAGE?
The 2018 is the European Year of Cultural Heritage, so for that reason we posed a question How feminine is cultural heritage?
We discussed that subject,on the last Saturday in August, together with our colleagues from the mentorship programme “Share your knowledge”and with great women, professionals. We referred to the cultural heritage in Serbia, museums and exibitions that try to preserve and revive alternative / feminine and not only dominant / patriarchal histories, to women leadership and its impact on the field of heritage and tradition, and to the forgotten women who left a trail in our past, dealt with then taboos and were pioneers in the specific fields and ventures.
As an introduction to the discussion,the participants, mentors and mentees of the both mentoring programmes, had a walk through Novo groblje (New Cemetery) with the guide, who unfold stories of well-known and important women in Serbian and Yugoslav history, who rest at the particular cemetery: Nadezda Petrovic, Anica Savic Rebac, Katarina Ivanovic, Milunka Savic, Katarina Milovuk, Draga Ljocic, Milica Krstic and other. This visit was possible thanks to the corporation Beogradska groblja (Belgrade cemetaries) and guided by dr Violeta Obrenovic.
In the following discussion “How feminine is cultural heritage?” that took place in the cultural institution Parobrod, participated:
- dr Katarina Živanović, curator, Museum of Yugoslavia
- Helena Hiršenberger, phd candidate in managing conservation and restoration projects at the Faculty of technical sciencies in Novi Sad
- Gordana Grabež, operations director, National Museum in Belgrade
- dr Aleksandra Jovanić, co-author of the exibition “Brave women travel through time”
The discussion was moderated by dr Milena Jokanović, an art historian and cultural manager.
All the participants are alumnae of the “Creative Mentorship” programme, some of them as mentors, and some as mentees. It was our great pleasure that they accepted our invitation to share their knowledge with participants of the two mentoring programmes.
Our history neglects the achievements and merits of women, having in mind the patriarchal society in which they lived and we are still living in one. We could say that the exception is the contribution of the women in the WWII, while their work in the field of culture art or science is forgotten. The artistic project “Brave women travel through time”that one of the participants in discussion, dr Aleksandra Jovanić designed toghether with Čarna Manojlović, tries to change this image from our history, present women who are important for our cultural heritage and draw attention to their achievements. To learn more about this project, please visit: http://hrabrezene.com
Dr Katarina Zivanovic, curator of the Museum of Yugoslavia, pointed out the exibition “Woman’s side” that was opened in the Museum of Yugoslavia in 2010 and was dealing with question of women emancipation in the period from 1940 to 1960. She mentioned also lot of other, similar exibitions that had an impact on the permanent exibition of this museum, which has been made in the last 10 years.
Helena Hirsenberger, phd candidate at the Faculty of technical sciencies in Novi Sad, emphasized that, according to the statistical data, the number of women in the scientific field is increasing. Still, only a few women are in leading positions, even at the educational institutions, where they are more numerous than their male colleagues. In her team, there are 70% of women, but the topics and objects that they are dealing with are not gender determined, so it is not relevant to give data related to the interpretation of the feminine cultural heritage.
Gordana Grabez, operations director of the National Museum in Belgrade, refered to its recent opening and their plans to draw attention to women cultural heritage through regular programmes, exibitions and guided tours.
The audience was interested to hear more about how the Museums, permanent and special exibitions, programmes and guided tours indicate the importance of women heritage. On the other hand, we should question whether this term is convenient, or it is driving away a part of potential male audience and visitors… You can find answers, on this and lot of other questions, by listening the recorded discussion on the Mixcloud channel of the “Creative Mentorship” programme.
We thank all the participants who took part in this discussion and in the programme “Share your knowledge”, for the opportunity to point out this important topic. You can find more about the programme “Share your knowledge”, that was our partner in organizing this event, on its website or Facebook, that we would recommend to follow.