Seychelles’ National History Museum launches new exhibition to commemorate International Museum Day
The museum is located in the former Supreme Court building in the capital city of Seychelles. (Salifa Karapetyan)
(Seychelles News Agency) - The Seychelles’ National History Museum is for the first time launching an exhibition through projection as part of activities to commemorate this year’s International Museum Day on May 18.
The projection, which will be on the outside walls of the new museum, is how the institution is interpreting the theme “hyper-connected museums: new approaches, new public”.
Beryl Ondiek, director of National Museums, told SNA on Monday that “hyperconnectivity is a term invented in 2001 to design the multiple means of communication we have today.”
These, according to Ondiek, include “face-to-face contact, email, instant messaging, telephone or the Internet. In the hyper-connected world of today, museums join the trend.”
She added that “thanks to technology, museums can now reach way beyond their core audience and find new public when approaching their collections in a different way: it can be the digitalization of their collections, adding multimedia elements to the exhibition or something as simple as a hashtag that allows visitors to share their experience in social media.”
Ondiek explains that the projections will start in the evening of May 16.
“What we will project are different objects which will feature in the new museum. Let’s say this will be like a teaser giving members of the public an insight of what will be on display, once the newly renovated and refurbished National History Museum opens at the end of September.”
The projection will stay on every night all through this year.
Located in the former Supreme Court building in the capital city of Seychelles – a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean - the museum has its place in the heart of the city opposite the iconic Victoria clock tower.
Once open the museum will house several galleries covering the history of the island nation from the slavery days up to modern time. The exhibits will also include artefacts and maquette.
|The history of Seychelles including the slavery days will be displayed in Galleries in the museum once it opens. (Joe Laurence, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
“As museums strive to maintain their relevance in society, they shift their attention to the local community and the diverse groups that make it up. As a result, these past years we have witnessed the birth of countless common projects organised by museums with the collaboration of minorities, indigenous peoples and local institutions,” explained Ondiek.
She added that “museums must find new ways of interpreting and presenting their collections.”
Another new activity this year is the launching of Skype in the museum. Ondiek explains that “the benefits of Skype in the museum is for staff, the public as well as students to socialize and interact with people outside of the classroom and worldwide.
This will provide a platform for deepening understanding and raise awareness of the importance of Seychelles biodiversity.”
An open debate “Koman Sava Nou Bann Savwar Viv” which will look at the Seychellois way of doing things, life values and etiquette which has been lost. “Modern Technology has taken over our young generation. The need to talk about it and see a way forward is of great importance” said Ondiek.
Tony Mathiot, a local historian said, "We are aware that what was practiced by the older generation or how they use to live are disappearing. We are aware that this needs to be returned and instilled in the younger generation."
Mathiot said that through this activity, awareness is being raised on the rich values which makes the Seychellois people.
"This is a social behaviour and there is a need to save these life values and etiquette. If we lose this it is unfortunate because we will lose our identity as well as our traditions and heritage," he added.
The International Council of Museums established International Museum Day in 1977 to increase public awareness of the role of museums in the development of society, and it has been steadily gaining momentum ever since.
In Seychelles, the National History Museum incorporates the Natural History Museum, National Museum of History as well as National Herbarium.