Las exposiciones internacionales como embajadoras cosmopolitas

Una nueva forma de pensar el propósito, práctica e impacto potencial de las exposiciones internacionales itinerantes.

Hace unos años me embarqué en la empresa de realizar una investigación binacional y a distancia, para averiguar más sobre las exposiciones internacionales: su razón de ser, sus prácticas y su impacto potencial. Así, durante unos cuatro años, en conjunto con mi colega Lee Davidson, de la Universida de Victoria en Wellington, llevé a cabo este proyecto, cuyos resultados vieron la luz en el libro: Cosmopolitan Ambassadors: International exhibitions, cultural diplomacy and the polycentral museum (Vernon Press, 2019). 

El libro salió a la venta a fines de 2018. Primero lo presentamos en la Escuela Nacional de Conservación, Restauración y Museografía del INAH (Ver); y pronto lo haremos en la Universidad de Victoria en Wellington, Nueva Zelanda. De esta forma las dos instituciones educativas socias de este proyecto, tendrán su respectiva celebración.

Hay mucho que contar de este camino, como he adelantado en otras entradas de este blog:

Cómo escribir un libro. A cuatro manos, a kilómetros de distancia

Cosmopolitan para ENCRyM

Cosmopolitan Ambassadors… un libro sobre exposiciones internacionales, colaboraciones y diplomacia cultural

Por ahora les dejo algunas miradas externas -comentarios y reseñas que se han hecho sobre el libro- y una relectura propia: el artículo Cosmopolitan Ambassadors In Travelling Exhibitions. A new way of thinking about the purpose, practice and potential impact of international touring exhibitions, escrito especialmente para la plataforma digital TEO, All About Touring Exhibitions.


Kathleen McLean

Independent Exhibitions principal. San Francisco; USA

“In Cosmopolitan Ambassadors Lee Davidson and Leticia Perez Castellanos examine the highly complex multifaceted domain of the international exhibition, with all of its diplomatic, mission-related, and market-oriented intentions and realities. By utilizing case studies of several large cultural exhibitions exchanged between Mexico and New Zealand, the authors ground their discourse in concrete practice and provide a compelling narrative of the creation and exchange process as experienced by a variety of participants, including host museum staff, lending museum staff, and visitors to the exhibitions. Through rigorous research, detailed analysis, and diversity of interviews, the authors shape a dynamic theoretical framework for considering international exhibitions as “mobile contact zones” which can generate more cosmopolitan intercultural communication among participants in museums. Although the book focuses on international cultural exhibitions, in particular, I found the clearly articulated descriptions of a more cosmopolitan approach and the arguments for dialogue as participatory thinking of value to a wider spectrum of museum exhibitions. The lessons learned will certainly benefit the museum field writ large.”


Nayeli Zepeda

Nodo Cultura

“En un momento en el que se ha sobrepasado el cuestionamiento sobre el rol y la función educativa del museo hacia la demanda de una responsabilidad extendida social y política, si hay algo que necesitamos es el documento que evidencie las posibilidades y retos de esta promesa. Cosmopolitan Ambassadors. International Exhibitions, Cultural Diplomacy and Polycentral Museum es una guía que presenta un panorama complejo y amplio sobre el desarrollo de las exposiciones internacionales, no solamente desde la perspectiva organizacional y estratégica sino como un modo de mediación cultural (p.22), es decir, de negociación y reconciliación de la cultura.” Leer más


Karen Wise

Informal Learning Review #156 (May/June 2019)

“It is the rare book that weaves together multiple strands of theory and practice in a way that is timely, practical, relevant to the wider museum field and yet remains readable and accessible. Cosmopolitan Ambassadors: International Exhibitions, Cultural Diplomacy and the Polycentral Museum is a book that accomplishes all this. As is made clear by the full title, the authors base their work on a fundamental assumption that museums can and should promote cultural understanding and a cosmopolitan world view. They assert that the production, professional interactions and visitor experiences of international exhibitions can, should, and do promote intercultural interest, understanding, and a cosmopolitan world view. They provide a theoretical framework for discussing their assertion, followed by practical and richly documented case study stories of the exchange of two exhibitions: The Maori exhibition E Tu Ake: Standing Strong and the Mexican exhibition Aztecs. … Cosmopolitan Ambassadors is a profound and deep book. Its presence is timely, thought provoking and even provocative – gently and in the best sense. The book moves across theory and practice again and again; its content and messages apply to a wide range of professionals, from the pure practitioner to the pure academic, and everyone in between. It will enrich conversations in the museum field, not only about international exhibitions, but about intercultural activities of all kinds, and as such it is relevant to every organization’s work on diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as to intercultural exchange projects” (Descargar aquí).


Lee Davidson y Leticia Pérez Castellanos

Cosmopolitan Ambassadors In Travelling Exhibitions. A new way of thinking about the purpose, practice and potential impact of international touring exhibitions.

“International touring exhibitions have become a regular fixture at major cultural institutions across the globe. They are, perhaps, the most complex, large-scale, expensive and specialised work in contemporary museums. Despite their growing popularity, investment and professionalisation, surprisingly little research has been undertaken to better understand why and how international exhibitions are organised, and what value they have. This article presents new ideas about international exhibitions that have emerged from our extensive research on the subject, recently published in the book Cosmopolitan Ambassadors: International exhibitions, cultural diplomacy and the intercultural museum (Davidson & Pérez Castellanos, 2019).” (Leer más)

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