Having Their Say

Concepts for contemporary witnesses in exhibitions




Registration requiered!



More and more exhibitions are giving people the chance to speak. As contemporary witnesses, they help make individual historical experiences visible, establish overarching historical contexts, and are often the key pillars of the exhibition’s narrative. Frequently, these are voices that would otherwise go unheard: former refugees, members of minorities, activists, and direct witnesses of often marginalised histories. Directly integrating their perspectives has the potential to distribute the power of definition and introduce a multitude of historical voices into the exhibition space.


From this perspective, we would like to reflect on fundamental methodological, technical, and ethical questions that arise in working with contemporary witnesses. How can we give people a space to be heard? What social processes does this set in motion, and how is the way in which the interviews are conducted related to scenographic decisions? What alternatives are there to ‘talking heads’ that reveal the construction and context of historical narrative and make it possible to reflect on concepts of authenticity, representation, and the diversity of historical voices? And how do we deal with the key ethical problem of ‘exhibiting’ personal histories? The workshop will attempt to map current methods and examine the potential of new media, artistic, and sometimes (semi-)fictional approaches.






Organisers of the workshop

Niko Wahl, historian and curator, Vienna (A)

Eva Tropper, Management Team, Museumsakademie Joanneum, Graz (A)



Bregenz (A)



€190, reduced fee €140*

*The reduced fee is available to students, trainees, unemployed people, and employees of this year’s cooperation partners.


Registration and info
Museumsakademie Joanneum

T +43 (0) 664/8017-9537


Please register via e-mail or registration form.

Museumsakademie Joanneum

Sackstraße 16
8010 Graz, Österreich
T +43-664/8017-9537