The museumisation of witnesses

On the role of contemporary witnesses in exhibitions



Registration required!

Nowadays, contemporary witnesses and their accounts play a key role in communicating past events and are a natural part of exhibitions on contemporary history and recent cultural history. Whether in person, in the form of written interviews, in sound documents, or in videos, those who were there attest, depict and illustrate. They stand for the concrete vs. the abstract, the private vs. the official, the human vs. the political, and the first-person perspective vs. the master narrative. Whereas historiographical representation sometimes seems distanced, witnesses appear authentic, moving and immediate. But do they really fulfil their expected role in the museum?
On the basis of specific projects, we would like to discuss the roles and functions in which contemporary witnesses appear in exhibitions today. How are they related to the museum’s traditional bearers of meaning? How can their accounts be integrated into the overall design and which contextualisations suggest which interpretations? What does the biological end of those generations that experienced the event mean and the transition to new forms of communication for those responsible for exhibitions and for those who view them? With respect to this topic, how should we discuss museological concepts like authenticity and authority, representation and aura, and knowledge and example? 


Conception and design
Jörg Skriebeleit Director of the Flossenbürg Concentration Camp Memorial Site (D) 
Bettina Habsburg-Lothringen Head of the Museumsakademie Joanneum, Graz (A)





Linz and Mauthausen (A)


€ 180, reduced price € 150


Registration and info
Museumsakademie Joanneum
T +43 (0) 316/8017-9805, Fax -9808 


Please register via e-mail or fax.  

Museumsakademie Joanneum

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