Museums – and the collection pieces they contain – are more than just a fun activity for the family on vacation. These collections are critical for promoting social justice issues by showing us an in-depth view of the world’s history.
The buildings, rich with historical treasures, are portals through which visitors can walk into another moment in time and experience circumstances through the eyes of others.
This view into history, complete with placards of relevant information, can educate visitors beyond what is possible with conventional textbook histories, shedding light on common misconceptions and idealized versions of history.
Museum displays hold the key to unraveling the truth in stories told throughout history. The art that adorns the walls, the sculptures displayed on pedestals, the tools or ancient fossils that are secured behind glass cases within these buildings each tell a story about humanity and how it has shaped the world we know today.
Museum curators and executives have a duty to remain unbiased when selecting the pieces on display. These stories must be honest without omitting important information, acknowledging the historical evidence, and piecing together as clear a picture as possible with the surviving artifacts to represent the truth.
Taking a Stand Against Neutrality
The oppressed, in all their forms throughout history, have always fought the same two battles: one against the oppressor, and another against neutrality.
Neutrality can appear as a lack of bias, making it a common standpoint for many museums to take. Instead, however, this often results in curators omitting important artifacts that alter the story, trying to maintain the lack of “us versus them” mentality.
History is rarely so cut-and-dry; these stories must be told from both sides whenever possible.
This is a difficult line to straddle that might not be clear in every circumstance. Through a consistent effort to uphold a truly unbiased standpoint, museums can inspire a sense of commonality between visitors.
Encouraging Visitor Dialog
By shedding light on significant stories and through the dedication of staff members, museums can help foster new viewpoints and encourage healthy discussion among visitors about social justice issues of the past and present.
Past actions are worthy of unbiased discourse as parallels are often drawn in modern circumstances. These histories told from all sides, have affected how cultures live today and will live in the future.
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The noble cause of promoting social justice deserves protection. The hundreds of accidental bumps and mischievous touches of curious visitors can degrade the quality and longevity of humanity’s history.
Art Sentry is the leading surveillance solution for museums across the country, providing innovative security for priceless objects, ensuring the preservation of world history, and the invaluable education it provides is protected.
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