MUTARE Museum has scored a first by taking its audience on a virtual tour of the museum as part of this year’s International Museum Day commemorations.
With Zimbabwean museums closed due to the Covid-19 national lockdown, Mutare Museum on Monday launched a virtual tour of one of its galleries on Facebook.
International Museum Day is observed on May 18 every year to raise awareness about the museums. Museums are an important means of cultural exchange and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among people.
This year’s commemorations ran under the theme ‘Museums for Equality: Diversity and Inclusion’.
The commemorations seek to celebrate the diversity of perspectives that make up the communities, as well as identifying ways in which museum personnel can overcome bias in picking the items they display as well as the stories they tell.
National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe (NMMZ) eastern region officer, Mr Lloyd Makonya said, “Cultural exchange will always be an important means to understand each other better. Such values are more urgent now amid a global health crisis that has brought prejudice against certain people.
“This is a first for a Zimbabwean museum. Probably it is time for the NMMZ to consider digital migration instead of continuing to depend on the physical audience.”
NMMZ has been striving to diversify programmes and correct historical blind spots. They have also been working with various communities through cultural festivals like the annual Matendera Festival in Buhera.
Some of the efforts being made also include actively involving source communities in the management of colonial era collections and revising outdated and potentially offensive terminology.