Traditionally, museums have been attributed considerable power. This is due to their ability to tell stories and attract audiences, but also to the fact that museums are generally seen as reliable institutions and repositories of knowledge. In considering power in relation to museums, however, we should not focus only on the power of museums, as has often been done, but rather on the power in museums.
Giulia Russo, 2022
Let's first consider the internal structure of a traditional museum in its hierarchies, be it in relation to different roles (archivist, cafeteria, cleaning staff, curator, director, intern, IT service, museologist, photographer, reception staff, registrar, restorer, shops, vice director, etc.) or contracts (voluntary work, internship, short-term, long-term). Who of all these people, and I am certainly forgetting other figures, has the power to speak – and to be heard – in museums? Or rather, how do these hierarchies hamper communication and participation within museum structures and decisional processes? And how do the socio-cultural, ethnic, and financial backgrounds of the museum staff reflect that of the society in which their museum is located? In short, how can museums offer or promote inclusivity in their internal organization - and thus be socially sustainable in the process?