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IMD Think Piece by Mohamed A. Cissé, independent curator and art advisor, Senegal

Crises, whatever their nature may be, require change, transformation and, indeed, adaptation.  The COVID-19 health crisis will necessarily also impose such.

Over the past two months, the culture sector, like other industries, has had to cope by rethinking its model.  Therefore, I think that in the future, for more inclusion and diversity, a few points will have to be invested in by museums, which have particularly been affected:

– Free admission for a certain segment of the population

It is here a question of allowing everyone to get familiar with visiting museums.  This already is the case, in France, for example, where the unemployed benefit from a significant discount, and students, youth and children benefit from total free access.

– Investing in public space

In order to democratize the arts in all their forms of expression and let it no longer be just an elite affair, museums must invest in public space.  Again, whilst navigating the process of visiting a museum may not come naturally to everyone, exhibitions and displays outside of the museum may be a great transition, attracting and drawing new audiences.  This has been the case, in Senegal, for some editions now, of the Dak’Art biennial.

– Digitize, but not too much, because:

 Never can the pleasure and emotion that come from a physical visit to a museum, and being in contact with the works exhibited, be completely replaced.  However, the access to digital tools is not the same everywhere, and… are we not thinking inclusion and diversity here?

ICOM UK