Consultations with stakeholders in Finland
27 November 2023
The workshops included representatives of different kinds of Finnish museums and memory institutions. The organizations involved in these two workshops were (along with Forum Marinum):
- The Finnish Heritage Agency
- The Finnish Maritime Museum
- The Finnish Aviation Museum
- The Rauma Maritime Museum
- Museo Militaria
- The Finnish Infantry Museum
- The Digimuseo virtual exhibitions platform
In both workshops, Forum Marinum Foundation seeked to boil down the core issues the COVID-19 pandemic represented for Finnish museums, how the crisis affected our museums, and what solutions tried and proposed were. In the September workshop, it was also discussed what the role of museums is and should be during crisis situations in general, and what are the different sides of digital resilience and organic connections for improving Finnish museums’ ability to withstand different kinds of crises and emergencies.
In these two workshops, Forum Marinum Foundation mainly focused on digital resilience and organic connections. In the August workshop, one focus was Forum Marinum’s existing virtual exhibitions’ role in improving the museum’s resilience. In the September workshop, the focus was on feedback gained from our virtual exhibitions, based on a questionnaire organized for their users gaining about 100 individual answers. It was also discussed how this information will then be used for the benefit of Forum Marinum’s pilot in the project.
In addition to the workshops, interviews were also organised. Forum Marinum organized interviews for four people representing different organizations. The interview subjects represented a national-level volunteer NGO, the Finnish Coastal Artillery Heritage Association, a small NGO-run museum, the Rauma Maritime Museum, an NGO-run museum with a national level focus, the Finnish Aviation Museum, and a government-run museum, the Finnish Police Museum.
The joint goals for all interviews were:
- To discuss topics to do with general issues encountered and solutions adopted during the recent years of crisis
- To gain perspectives about using different digital tools for improving museum resilience in different conditions
- To get views and feedback about using virtual exhibitions in particular as a tool for museums, as that is the focus of our own pilot in the project
The results of the interviews supported the information gained from the joint questionnaire held in the beginning of the project, and gave new kind of individual insight into the issues of addressing the COVID crisis in different museums. Some themes of digital resilience in museums, like the increase of digital work in general and a focus on digitization efforts and increased accessibility gained broad agreement among the interviewees, but then other themes like the long-term conservation of digital information were seen in very different light by those interviewed.
New professional points of view for the development of digital exhibitions to increase the museum’s resilience was gained, ranging from the optimistic to more critical assessments. The contrasting views gave new perspectives to question what digital resilience can mean for museums.
The information and insight gained from the workshops and interviews organized in August and September was used to develop the first version of the BaMuR toolbox, and will be developed further in our pilot in the next part of the project.