Living Museum of Logan: what is it?
When the Living Museum of Logan opens its doors at the Kingston Butter Factory Cultural Precinct, there will be nothing else like it in Australia.
But what is a ‘living museum’?
Simply put, while traditional museums are about the past, research and study, living museums are about living people and living cultures.
Living Museum of Logan Curator, Sana Balai, says that, unlike traditional museums, the Living Museum of Logan won’t acquire artwork or have an art collection.
‘People can come and tell their stories through art and other forms – it is a place to see, hear and learn about other cultures too – and whatever we display, people take back with them at the end of the exhibition,’ Sana says.
The Living Museum of Logan includes a First Nations space, offering a place for First Nations peoples to tell their stories and for others to learn about First Nations culture and history. It is also a space for First Nations peoples to learn about other cultures of the people who call Logan home.
‘Museums are often seen as a place where their cultural material is stored in some dark place,’ Sana says.
‘I’ve spent the past 6 months meeting with local people and explaining the concept of this living museum. And, yes, museums do have collections of cultural materials, but this living museum won’t.’
“People can come and tell their stories through art and other forms – it is a place to see, hear and learn about other cultures too.”— Living Museum of Logan Curator, Sana Balai
A Bougainville Elder, Sana says Logan’s living museum is a place where the community can come and tell their stories, feel safe and feel they belong.
Sana was born on Buka Island, Autonomous Region of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea, and began her museum career in the Indigenous Department of the Melbourne
Museum. She went on to be Assistant Curator, Indigenous Arts, at the National Gallery of Victoria before joining the Living Museum of Logan.
‘I feel really privileged to have been given this opportunity to work on this project,’ she says.