Friday Heirloom 113: The Milk of Life (Sanity in the Age of Coronavirus) ENGLISH/ITALIANO

Friday Heirloom 113: The Milk of Life (Sanity in the Age of Coronavirus) ENGLISH/ITALIANO

How does it feel to be on your own, with no direction home, like a complete unknown, like a rolling stone? (Bob Dylan)

#iorestoacasa Rome, March 20th, 2020

If anyone had told me that I’d have spent the start of the spring in my room I’d never have believed it. And yet, only a couple of months into 2020 and we’ve seen fires devastating Australia, a World War III threat and the spread of Coronavirus all over the world. And I feel the weight of all this heavily on my shoulders, both personally and professionally.

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Friday Heirloom 111: In 2020 A Museum is a Business of Happiness ENGLISH/ITALIANO

Friday Heirloom 111: In 2020 A Museum is a Business of Happiness ENGLISH/ITALIANO

Transformative change begins to happen in our institutional cultures when we examine, interrupt, decenter, and replace harmful and oppressive organizing structures and habits of mind. (Mike Murawski)

Yamamoto at Fondazione Pastificio Cerere, Rome
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Friday Heirloom 110: How Museums Unite People During the Holidays

Friday Heirloom 110: How Museums Unite People During the Holidays

It’s finally December! What a great time to be alive. 

As entire cities dress up for the holidays, museums can play a huge role in bringing people together through exhibitions and special programs.

And that’s why, for instance, they should be open late during the holidays! Spending that extra time in museums allows for new perspectives to be formed and shared, as shown multiple times in museums across Europe and (more) in the United States.

I once went to Vienna over the Christmas holidays. Aside from the beautiful sceneries and snowy trees, the city has a fascinating aura surrounding it due to its royal history and musical roots. I loved it and would go back any day!

Once upon a time (at Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna)
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Friday Heirloom 109: #Museum30 And The Beauty Of Being Online ENGLISH/ITALIANO

Friday Heirloom 109: #Museum30 And The Beauty Of Being Online ENGLISH/ITALIANO

Spending quite a part of my days online (yes, I’m talking about Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and even TikTok) I have the chance to bring most of my life experiences into new mediums, where the old meets the new and my life crosses everyone else’s life. Mostly: real-life strangers! And it’s a life of adventures, constant validations and time-sensitive connections… (is it good?)

Anyways, one of the ways these connections happen online is through initiatives like #museum30, which was created by my dear friend Gracie and brings all us museum nerds together under one hashtag, both on Twitter and Instagram.

If you’ve been following (and hopefully participating to) the challenge, you can’t deny how fun it is! I believe most millennials fancy an occasion to post their greatest museum finds, photos and experiences online, making November a little less dark and a little more fun.

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Friday Heirloom 107: A Museum Is (Unlearning and “Unsummering” in Rome) ENGLISH/ITALIANO

Friday Heirloom 107: A Museum Is (Unlearning and “Unsummering” in Rome) ENGLISH/ITALIANO

There’s no inspiration. There’s just work.” (Tahar Ben Jelloun)

As far as I’m concerned, it’s still summer.

While picking out my outfit this morning, I realized I couldn’t let go of my yellow flowered jumpsuit which I bought back in July while on vacation in Sicily. Has it really been that long? Where did it all go? The fun, the nights out, the sea? And, if summer is a state of mind, are we all more or less “summered”?

It is said that we get all laid back in summer. Summer makes us do things that we wouldn’t do any other time of the year. So yes, this summer I have felt ecstatic and heartbroken, just like some of you. But the best thing this summer has left me with is Rome.

Ristorante “La Dispensa”

R-O-M-A. And yes, I know I thought I had found myself somewhere else. I know I’ve gotten lost so many times far from home that I thought I’d never come back. But here I am now, in Rome. Because all one needs is Rome (and a glass of wine, possibly.)

Enoteca Trimani – dal 1821

What does all this have to do with museums? You may be wondering. Well, when it comes to museums and heritage, Rome is the pulsing heart of the Western world. As we know, the city has been extremely arrogant over the centuries and its inhabitants, although friendly and warm, still think they have it all, in Rome. The supremacy of Rome is still real, in some of its tiny alleys and busy plazas, but in all honesty the city is one of the warmest I’ve ever seen. You’re home everywhere in Rome because Rome is everywhere! And if you love it, Rome will love you back incessantly.

Altare della Patria (il Vittoriano) – Balcony
Altare della Patria (il Vittoriano)

In Rome I often think about how much as a white person I have to unlearn and how much as someone from the West I owe, rightfully and unrightfully, to my ancestors.

And, as the museum community struggles with “defining” museums in the 21st century, I still see some Romans hold on to the belief that a man is a man and woman is a woman, and that their identities and their behaviors are what they are and they are not interchangeable.

Villa Adriana

And then I think, wow. We still have a long way to go and before getting to the big things we should start from the little things, embracing the tiniest positive habits, first.

Same thing with the museum definition. Let’s start with “a museum IS”, before getting to define what is that it is. The “bird by bird” (Anne Lamott) method is something I learned to accept over my life and career and it suits me well.

So if you ask me, a museum simply is. It’s there for itself, to care for the collections it holds, but above all it is there for the people it serves through those collections.

Let’s not try to make museums too many things as they will end up being nothing and lose meaning. A museum simply is. Let’s not fight for wordy definitions but for action.

Museo Nazionale degli Strumenti Musicali

And I will keep on doing that myself, while unlearning and “unsummering” in Rome.


Friday Heirloom 107: Un Museo E’ (Mentre Disimparo e “Mi Disiestato” a Roma)

“Non esiste l’ispirazione. Esiste solo il lavoro.” (Tahar Ben Jelloun)

Per quanto mi riguarda, è ancora estate.
Stamattina, mentre stavo scegliendo i vestiti, mi son resa conto che non potevo ignorare la mia tuta a fiori gialli comprata a luglio durante una vacanza in Sicilia. È passato davvero così tanto tempo? Dov’è fuggito? Dove sono andati il divertimento, le nottate in giro, il mare? E se l’estate è uno stato d’animo, siamo tutti più o meno “estati”?
Si dice che siamo tutti più rilassati in estate. L’estate ci fa fare cose che non faremmo in nessun altro momento dell’anno. Quindi sì, questa estate mi sono sentita tanto estatica quanto infranta, proprio come alcuni di voi. Ma la cosa migliore che quest’estate mi ha lasciato è Roma.
R-O-M-A. E sì, lo so che pensavo di aver trovato me stessa altrove. So di essermi persa così tante volte lontana da casa che pensavo di non tornare mai più. Ma eccomi adesso, a Roma. Perché tutto ciò di cui abbiamo bisogno è Roma (e un bicchiere di vino, possibilmente)!
Cosa c’entra tutto ciò con i musei? Vi starete chiedendo. Bene, quando si tratta di musei e patrimonio, Roma è il cuore pulsante del mondo occidentale. Come sappiamo, la città è stata estremamente arrogante nel corso dei secoli e i suoi abitanti, sebbene amichevoli e calorosi, pensano ancora di avere tutto, a Roma. La supremazia di Roma è ancora reale, in alcuni dei suoi vicoli stretti e piazze affollate, ma in tutta onestà la città è una delle più calorose che abbia mai visto. Ci si sente a casa ovunque a Roma perché Roma è ovunque! E se l’ami, Roma ti amerà incessantemente.
A Roma penso spesso a quanto, come persona bianca, devo disimparare e a quanto devo, come occidentale, giustamente e ingiustamente, ai miei antenati.
E, mentre la comunità museale lotta per “definire” i musei nel 21° secolo, io vedo ancora alcuni romani aggrapparsi alla convinzione che un uomo è un uomo e una donna è una donna, e che le loro identità, la loro persona ed i loro comportamenti sono ciò che sono e non sono intercambiabili.
E poi penso, wow. Abbiamo ancora molta strada da fare e prima di arrivare alle grandi cose dovremmo iniziare dalle piccole cose, abbracciando prima le più piccole abitudini positive.
Stessa cosa con la definizione di “museo”. Cominciamo con “un museo È”, prima di arrivare a definire cos’è. Il metodo “bird by bird” (di Anne Lamott), passo dopo passo, è qualcosa che ho imparato ad accettare nella mia vita e carriera, e mi sta bene.
Quindi, per quel che mi riguarda, un museo semplicemente è. È lì per se stesso, per prendersi cura delle collezioni che detiene, ma soprattutto è lì per le persone che serve attraverso quelle collezioni.
Evitiamo di cercare di rendere i musei troppe cose perché finiranno per non essere niente e perdere di significato. Un museo semplicemente è. Non combattiamo per definizioni prolisse ma per l’azione.
E continuerò a farlo anche da sola, mentre disimparo e “mi disiestato” a Roma.