Minutes – Steyr Conference 2014
Worklab General Assembly
Museum Arbeitswelt, Steyr, Austria
5th September 2014
1. Minutes from the latest meeting
The minutes from the last meeting, 12 July 2013 at Ironbridge, UK, are available to all Worklab members on the website: www.worklab.info
2. Matters Arising
No additional matters were raised
3. Worklab: past, present and future
Kalle Kallio, Chair, gave a short presentation about Worklab
- Worklab was founded 17 years ago in 1997 and now has 40 members across 4 continents. The main activities of Worklab are to facilitate meetings, conferences and projects.
- Some of the previous projects that Worklab has been involved with include: Migration, Work and Identity (2000-2004), A Taste of Europe (2009-2011) and Work with Sounds (2013-2015)
- Conferences have included Tampere in 2010 (a joint conference with TICCIH and ICOHTEC) and meetings in the UK in 2012 and 2013
- Publications made by Worklab include the International Journal of Heritage Studies, Vol 19, Issue 5, 2013
- Worklab has no membership fees or accounting practices and more information can be found on the website www.worklab.info and on Worklab’s facebook page
For Kalle, Worklab is:
- A network for like-minded museums
- A tool for developing EU projects
- Friends and colleagues in other countries
- Useful when presenting international work
- Interesting conferences and excursions
- A forum for sharing ideas
- Common publications
- Learning from other museums
- Something of our own
Some strategic points about Worklab that Kalle outlined are:
- It is good when generating projects
- It is important to change ideas with like-minded organisations
- It is small and informal, and sometimes ineffective
- It’s not very scientific
- The network should not be restricted to the top levels of organisations
- It needs active members to succeed
4. Next conferences
The next conference in 2015 will be the final conference of the project, Work with Sounds, in Dortmund between 19 and 21 August 2015. At this conference there will be a launch of the Work with Sounds website and the opportunity to share the project with a wider audience. There will be a call for papers to complete the programme which will be shared by email with Worklab members.
In 2016 it is proposed to combine a Worklab meeting / conference with the ICOM General Conference which will be in Milan that year. The overall theme of the ICOM Conference is ‘landscapes’ and Worklab could encourage papers under the sub themes of social or industrial landscapes.
5. Future plans
It has been proposed to create an online publication from this conference and all speakers will be asked to submit their papers if they would like to be included. Kalle will be in touch with all speakers with more details.
Worklab will continue to develop ideas for conferences, projects, the website and facebook and this work will be led by the Board
6. Future projects
Kalle asked everyone present to share their ideas for projects with the rest of the group. Some organisations were unable to commit to leading European projects due to other commitments including major redevelopment of museums and exhibition spaces. There were a number of project ideas that were discussed by the group:
Project to explore the stories of working migrants from the former Yugoslavia
Niklas from the Museum of Work in Norrkoping introduced this project idea and his museum would be interested in hosting this project after Work with Sounds has been completed.
The project idea has come from a contact in Belgrade and would involve countries who had a bi-lateral agreement with Yugoslavia. The project would focus on telling the personal stories of migrants although the project outputs (eg. Exhibition / website / online resource etc) have not yet been agreed.
A number of other museums at the meeting were interested in this project and people can contact Niklas to discuss the project further.
Project looking at working migration from Belgium to the UK during the First World War
Geert from AMSAB is planning a project exploring cross-cultural encounters between Belgium and the UK during and after the War. People’s History Museum has agreed to be a UK partner. The project will include crowd-sourcing events to collect material from people and an exhibition in 2017. The project will link to contemporary issues and examples of migration at times of war.
Project about ‘job circus’ and industrial education
Niklas also discussed an idea for a project building on a previous project at the Museum of Work in Norrkoping on the issue of young people not wanting to take part in industrial education. Niklas felt that this would be of interest to governments, unions and employers who are all wanting to attract young people into industry. This project could have a European dimension across a number of countries and some other museums were interested and could discuss this further with Niklas.
Human Machine Project
Sofia talked about the Human Machine project which has funding and is due to begin with 5 countries involved. The project will explore what is human and what is machine at a time when it is possible to almost replace every part of the human body. The project will involve workshops with artists, researchers, young people and media producers and will create digital artwork, a website and an exhibition in all venues
Other themes for projects were discussed, but would need a museum to take the lead in developing the project with partners and securing funding. Themes included:
Work / Life
Votes for women
Radical / Mass protest
Kalle encouraged everyone to think about these project ideas, share contact details and talk to each other about potential projects.
7. Future funding bids
Creative Europe funding
The next deadline for funding is 1 October 2014 and there will be another round in 2015.
Geert mentioned that there was another network which has a sub-committee who monitor funding opportunities between annual meetings. Kalle receives this information and can share with Worklab members where appropriate.
It was agreed that these Board members would continue in their position:
- Katy Archer, secretary (People’s History Museum, UK)
- Kalle Kallio, chairman (The Finnish Labour Museum, Finland)
- Dagmar Kift (LWL-Industriemuseum, Germany)
- Irena Marusic (Technical Museum, Slovenia)
The following Board members have agreed to step down:
- Louise Karlskov Skyggebjerg
- Sofia Seifarth
- Udo Wiesinger
They will be replaced by:
- Søren Bak-Jensen (Workers’ Museum, Denmark)
- Torsten Nilsson (Museum of Work, Sweden)
- Katrin Auer (Museum Arbeitswelt, Austria)
9. Any other questions
Geert shared information about a workshop taking place in Berlin in November to discuss the ILO centenary in 2019 – Geert will follow this up and share the details with Kalle.
Geert let everyone know that Europeana will continue and they will be looking for 5 new partners who want to share their digital collections on the network. Details will be circulated to Worklab members.
10. The General Assembly was closed.