What did we learn in the Middle East and Africa? (Recap)

Review and discuss the key ideas that came out of the day with co-leads and presenters. More about how this session will be structured soon. Track:Middle East/Africa


Museum Computer Network 14:15
Welcome everyone. Services are, it's the 1:15 or 15 past the hour for international time. Our Middle East and Africa session, recap, and the–It's kind of a new attempt at a new thing that we're doing here at MCN We're finishing each day, each track with whatever we learned, what are the two so that we can try to Capture some of the, you know, the trends insights or, you know, pearls of wisdom that we've generated into sessions, and we will collect Collette that all the way to the 10th of November and then we have a global recap of the conference so that we can send you off with, you know, what have we learned during what is digital now so this is an attempt at this particular day, so I obviously did not attend three sessions, because I was on to every session so I hope some of you have and are going to be able to help me in kind of sharing your impressions about what you've learned from those sessions in terms of how you know those regions are doing when it comes to digital or their museum practice, and any differences that you've noticed any challenges any opportunities any ideas, like oh we should do this, how come we don't do this. That's the purpose of the recap, and it's, it's not me jacking and facilitating so I would love to hear from all of you here, and just engage in a conversation and, and I take notes always and then to Capture down, who attended the two African sessions with me, I think, is Jack I think I might have seen you there. Who else, there's not a lot of people that Don I don't know if you if you attended to set those sessions but we had two sessions, one with representatives from the national entity for monuments and museums in Nigeria. And then we had a panel with the director of the EU. Want to pronounce this correctly, the director of the movie foundation in Ghana and gift, gas now who is the creator and founder of surface Gambia in Gambia. And so we then we talked about as well. What are some of the challenges and opportunities in digital, in those areas. And what I've learned. I just start is the incredible disparities, even among African countries. In terms of major infrastructures, our three speakers from Nigeria were connecting on Zoom on their cell phone, because that's, that's how to connect to the internet, I think, broadband penetration is about 40% I believe in Nigeria, so not unheard of in other African nations. What I've learned also from from them was, was lack of budget so knowing you have no money for infrastructure they need, they don't need a CMS, they don't need a collection management system they need computers, they need desktop, they need monitors they need audio visual equipment, audio video equipment. And the other thing that transpired from what the other session is that across the board. They are hungry for for meeting people with with expertise, digital expertise in, in areas that they lack. So MTN is a good, you know, entry point into that echo system because obviously we're a community of digital museum digital practitioners, and you know, we have the unseen farm we have our cigs, and we'd love to dish about or nerdiness, and so, um, you know, but I thought, so MANY questions that they had they could pose to either in the MC forum, or one of the SIG is it and get answers as well. And also there was an. Yeah, there was an, there was a discussion about social media, and especially after I mean, During COVID, but after 2020, and they felt that they were unsure if it was really an engagement tool, if they were using it properly, if they, you know that the, I think that that social media is seen as an opportunity, but not always. They're not always clear about how to properly use the different platforms. So I thought I was interesting. And that's kind of like my notes from the takeaways from those two sessions, I'd love to hear what happened in the Middle East. No one was to talk, who attend, they were like, there were three. Ready. Amazing. Our library you here, in February, I

Unknown Speaker 20:30
know I will I, selfishly, so I caught Kristof's, and I know he's here so I caught his conversation, and, and it was, it was helpful because we're working on, we're both working with Qatar museums but from sort of different different angles on some and some different projects and so we talk, occasionally, but it was really nice I think to, to, to hear, not only in the work more about the work that he's doing which is always great to hear but also the other projects that they were talking about in the in the context of the region and, you know, it's always helpful to to locate the work that you're doing within that, that broader context so you know I was very much on unfortunately missed all the Africa, you know presentations because we were in the midst of during our oh yeah that was, it was a, for me personally kind of fun to connect those dots so, but that's a personal perspective on that. Yes,

Museum Computer Network 21:27
drag drag, drag, thank you both K stuff, and Allegra for making that happen. And, And did you, did anyone attend the, the antiquities coalition session. No, there was a fabulous session. Also, At 715, we couldn't. It was called cultural preservation in conflict zones lessons from the Middle East and North Africa. So no one here attended that session. Okay, well, we'll have to remedy that. Any, any, so from the sessions you've attended today. Any insights, any trends, any questions. Where do you see as it's interesting because this is the first time that nCn has ever done this, Right, we've always been, by definition, you know, American auto centric North American with a small contingent of Europeans and Nicole a small contingent of Australian and New Zealanders who could afford basically to come to conference when we were in person. And last year, it dawned on us that we had quite a few attendees from overseas that we've never seen in normal times, so we thought this year since we were doing a kind of much longer integration but shorter in days and time to do a focus, kind of a follow to sign. During the four weeks of October, just to highlight the work of other regions of the world that in museums in digital, and also for them to know that we exist because from what I'm seeing, they could use our help. So I think it's it's a good, it's an, it's a nice, it's a nice experiment, I don't I'm not sure if it's useful, but I find it nice, so

Unknown Speaker 23:39
I'm happy to say hi, Francis here I'm very happy with having these regional days because it helps me understand more about what's going on outside my own space I am, I'm doing some work right now with the Liga on the Qatar things, Microsoft met you in a previous meeting, I appreciated the, the sort of mythbusting around the, you know, sort of Arabian myths that we have that Christoph and his co presenters, shared, and I think, you know, across the board, it's, it's important for us to understand what the playing field is and very interesting I also wasn't able to make the, the African sessions due to other commitments. Here at work but, but to understand how differently. The Middle Eastern context is from the African context that you were describing Eric in terms of, you know, digital capabilities at the moment. I think is really important for us to understand so yeah I personally really appreciate these opportunities to hear more from different regions of the world. I'm looking forward to the other ones,

Unknown Speaker 24:52
and then add to that too I think it's it's helpful for the, you know, working here with the teams, it's also I think really useful for them to have that that context and get get out there because it is so far away so when we were in person, you know, it was hard to do the right way, or get all the way over there so I think, I think it's helpful from both perspectives and you know from that American centric perspective to broaden broaden our horizons, but also for the different regions to have, have a bit more of a voice in those other contexts. So, you know, I'm, I'm all for doing that it you know it's it's interesting because I normally in New York timezone but here it is on the Qatar timezone so it's a little bit of a head game of what's happening when, during the conference but, yeah, but I have a really, really important thing to do. So thank you to you and the team.

Museum Computer Network 25:51
Sure, yeah, I think if you think it was, it was the right time to do it and, and it's also to give an opportunity for museum professionals in those regions to, you know kind of showcase and give them visibility because basically I mean, even, even Chris Lee who is the Assistant CEO of the National Gallery of Singapore. I connected with him. I think over the summer, and he spoke at one of the Asia panel last week, and he had never heard of Mtn. And didn't you know so basically you went about doing some digital, you know gimmicks for his museum completely out of the blue, without ever consulting with, you know this, this community that, that, that has years of projects under its belt in digital museums. So, if anything, you know that that will save him time. Next time he is looking for a project. But, but it's really the aspect of, you know, reaching out to other museum professionals around the world and having them join him so again. Now that we're bored of that sufficiently. I'm

Unknown Speaker 27:15
good. May I say something,

Museum Computer Network 27:17
Eric Yes,

Unknown Speaker 27:18
yeah I found interesting because I brought on my, on the panel I was part of I brought some some people who had been working on the same project, and we also have here status, who has worked on the same project with us, may have also some some interesting feedback to share I would like for image to pinch your your mind and statistics on what you heard. And what I found amazing with Allegra presentation is that without really consulting, about our presentations in advance we ended up, mentioning some recurring themes in the presentations. That was so quiet, not really surprised but okay we all see the same things about not being from the US at nCn I had this feeling, the first time and the few times I went to nCn in person. As I was a French person living in Brazil. At the time that it was very US centric, very interesting for that because what you expect to be at the top of what's going on, but I really also appreciated when I visited in person, the scholars program where you give very young, talented, museum professionals, the possibility to attend the conference and who were bringing some fresh ideas. I remember also meeting one scholar from South Africa, maybe, yep. Yes. And that was great, but to have this to open it up to other regions like you're doing now, it's great because I think there's, there's also some kind of lack of awareness about MTN in other regions. And even in seasoned professionals, who, who may thought it was very complicated to apply to join or to take baths. And that's it. As you see I have turned into my sports here after presenting because I'm working for the Sports Museum now and I am making sports, part of my daily routine, but first, satisfying. What what did you make out of the presentations because, you know very well Qatar you studied in Qatar, and you, you heard it from a different point of view.

Unknown Speaker 29:41
Yeah, actually it was very interesting, I listened MANY new things as well and mostly for like this because then I knew actually for the project on the new website that they were working on working with fabric but I wasn't aware of the DX, it was interesting also learned the tools that they use and also those that other museum professionals use as well in the, in the industry and in your presentation I like a lot, that you focus in the 40 Middle East region and not only in Qatar. So it was interesting seeing different mega projects actually because all these projects were attracting MANY professionals from all around the world to work in these projects and I believe, for people who haven't visited Middle East was a brief introduction of all the work that is being very limitless.

Unknown Speaker 30:58
Yeah, and it's funny because we worked on the same projects before. Then we see a lot of people we've been working with, who spread out at the end of the project to other museum projects in the region. And, and for me to have more rich to emcee and it's great because bringing people who get it in the organizations we work for, is a way to spend a lot of time. I would like to have, like, also some people from the organization, take part in MCA and to get exposed to all the ideas that we usually discuss and so it's.

Museum Computer Network 31:43
And in terms of what you've heard, and foreign from the Middle East, sessions, and if anyone attended them. Any, any, things you'd like to share iturra No,

Unknown Speaker 32:06
I was, I wasn't able to attend so I just thought I'd join you now

Museum Computer Network 32:11
and give the lowdown, of course, but yeah, yeah, yeah, I guess

Unknown Speaker 32:16
what's been said about you know for me here in here in Norway. Yeah, the museums don't know so much about MCS and I think it's really a very unique network. Yeah, so inspired, inspirational to connect and get that kind

Museum Computer Network 32:34
of as winter hit Norway, already

Unknown Speaker 32:37
know it's just I've been working okay

Museum Computer Network 32:45
yeah yeah no absolutely MC n is the best kept secret in museum technology. Yeah, you know, and I just thought it would be a nice thing to do to expand our reach and and do something a bit more global.

Unknown Speaker 33:01
I really appreciate that you, that MC n is doing this, I joined MC n at a time when I was using digital art to draw stories of areas of conflict from a feminine perspective. And I would have loved to have seen that presentation actually read the schedule wrong because of my own time zone dyslexia. But, um, what I gained from learning new perspectives in areas of all around the world, means that our stories connect and combine and support each other. Today Better World Museum is only in virtual reality and our museum community is global and diverse and knowing and understanding the rich stories within cultures is integral to supporting and representing the members of our community. We're currently creating a collaborative project which is rebuilding the destroyed site of Palmyra Syria inside of Facebook horizon horizon worlds, right now, using primitive shapes and using art history to spark non art historians to research and learn more about history and the sites by actually being the world builders themselves. So I really appreciate these sessions, and this wrap up. Because just connecting and being together is is critical for making a better world. Thank you, MC N and Eric, the presenters that I was sorry to miss today,

Museum Computer Network 35:14
but look forward that's going to be, they were recorded so exactly you just need to give us like a week for us because it's a lot of work for Anna to put out these videos on Vimeo, but they're available on Vimeo for attendees. So, since. And if you don't have any more insights, trends, or takeaways, learning, or anything about just sessions that we've attended today. That's fine. I'm going to call the meeting off and I will listen to the three of UC sessions because that note something that I need to do to sort of recap for for the global recap, but I'm glad you're here, you showed up and glad you enjoyed it and thank you. Allegra, thank you to staff for putting your sessions and, yeah, thank you.