New Questions/Readings at the Ethnographic Museum

Folkloristics 8/1-2 (2023):
Author: Marko Stojanović

In modern societal and museum environment, the past ethnographic work on the representations of a national culture heritage should inevitably question its field of work and its reach. Seen in such a light, the new/old readings of the standardized topics and critical expositions referring to the modern cultural context and challenges stand in opposition to the endeavors of the more prominent integration of the so-called citizen culture into the exhibition sphere, as well as some other, border or “across‒the‒border” domains of heritage with respect to ethnographic museology and its manifestations. This work is aimed at the initial, somewhat comparative showcasing of the expographic results and messages resulting from the exhibition activity of the Ethnographic Museum in Belgrade in the last, colloquially put, project period of four years. The parallel paths of joining the modern exhibition approach and interpreting the ethnographic material and people’s culture in general have been indicated and critical pundits have been presented, in fact, firstly with some of the possible (posed) questions regarding the limits and purposes of the possibility of redefining the ethnographic museum activities of the Ethnographic Museum as the core institution of ethnographic material on Serbian soil.

Keywords: ethnographic museology, the Ethnographic Museum in Belgrade, exhibition projects, museum folklore.