The connection between ecomuseum and capitals


Previous research and work on ecomuseums have indicated potential in applying the theory of various forms of socio-cultural capitals when analyzing ecomuseum practices. The notion of capital used herein is derived in large part from Pierre Bourdieu’s work from the 1970s onward that focused on an extended notion of capital referring to the inherent structure of the social world. From this broadened sense, various forms of capital have been identified such as human, social, cultural, and identity. The different forms of capital interrelate in a ripple effect.

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Indicators of an ecomuseum: examples by Gerard Corsane and Peter Davis

ecomuseum indicators

In recent years, a few trends have emerged in the research practices and methods of those working with ecomuseums. The first trend is the use of 21 indicators identified by Gerard Corsane in 2006 as an evaluative instrument. These indicators are signifiers for the specific characterization of an ecomuseum. Below is the full list as provided in Corsane’s 2006 article, “Using ecomuseum indicators to evaluate the Robben Island Museum and World heritage Site” (article here)

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Ecomuseum beginnings: Hughes de Varine, Georges Henri Rivière, and Peter Davis

peter davis

The first use of the term, the beginnings of ecomuseum, or ecomusée in French, was in 1971. Hughes de Varine and Georges Henri Rivière were the two developers and foundational writers on the ecomuseum concept. They devised the name ecomuseum for Robert Poujade, the French Minister for the Environment at that time. The green movement was very fashionable in France during the early 1970s. So the term ecomuseum was selected not for its aptness for which it names but for mostly political purposes. Rivière and de Varine each contributed their own concentrations to the concept’s development.

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What is an ecomuseum?


The Ides of March is a significant date for arts and culture. It is a day on the Roman calendar that corresponds to 15 March. The Ides of March is notorious for one major event, the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BC. Yes, the one Shakespeare wrote a play about, the one with Brutus and the literal backstabbing. It is that one indeed. 

The Ides of March 2017 just so happened to also be the submission deadline for Chapter 1 of my thesis. So it seemed quite fitting to launch this long thought after blog on the same day. When seeing that Chapter 1 was somehow written and submitted, there was truly no time like the present.

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