The Silesian Museum, Katowice, Poland – October 4-8, 2021
The educational meeting in Poland. After the Covid break participants from the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium and Finland met together in Katowice to learn about the participatory museum and to talk about volunteers, amenities for people with disabilities and communication by sign language.
The special guests on the first day were the students from the Academy of Fine Art in Katowice. They presented their projects inspired by deaf culture and polish sign language, as they aimed to represent the deaf community in Poland. In their presence, the project team had the possibility to discuss the communication between the deaf and the hearing and to ask questions. A prominent part of this meeting was a workshop which gave the participants a brief introduction in the International Sign Language.
Diversity of perception is a tool for understanding and discovering new alternative ways of communication. The members of the “Inclusive Museums” project attended a multisensory workshop, named “Blackout”. Thanks to this workshop they could find out what audio description means, and how to communicate and create an experience based on sensory activities. They also learned how it could be used in programs for people in the autism spectrum. Another important activity for the project members was the “Touch Tour” in a dark gallery at the “Important Place” (Katowice), led by a blind guide. Thanks to this experience in the dark, they could imagine what the daily life of a blind person looks like. How they are guided by sounds, how they experience the public sphere and how important the accessibility of all public places truly is.
The cultural-heritage part of the educational meetings in Poland was a visit to the Museum of Auschwitz (Memorial and Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau) and the Center of International Education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust. There we talked about history and its meaning for contemporary Europe. “Auschwitz did not fall from the sky” – this sentence reminds us how important education about diversity and inclusion is. There is no way of understanding postwar Europe and today’s world without an in-depth confrontation between our idea of mankind and the remembrance of Auschwitz.
The last day the group visited Nikiszowiec – a place with significant,\ traditional silesian architecture. The group also visted the “Zimbardo assosiation” and a social restaurant called “The Door called a Horse”, where people, including persons with special needs, work on equal terms.