TRANSMIXR made a significant impact at the recently concluded “Museums: The Future of Diaspora Engagement” congress held from September 20th–23rd, 2023, in Banská Bystrica, Slovakia. The congress, as an international educational opportunity on diaspora-related emerging topics, is a product of the Idaho Museum of International Diaspora’s (IMID) Academic and Research Program.
This year’s co-hosts included IMID, Matej Bel University (MBU), City of Banská Bystrica, and MBU Faculty of Arts. From TUS, project coordinator Niall Murray will be speaking on the panel “Ireland’s Greatest Resource: Irish Diaspora and Cultural Heritage”, which was chaired by Trevor Ó Clochartaigh from TG4, TRANSMIXR use case lead. The panel discussion took place on Wednesday, 20 September and was introduced by His Excellency, Dermot McGauran, Ambassador of Ireland to the Slovak Republic.
The panel “Ireland’s Greatest Resource: Irish Diaspora and Cultural Heritage” featured other speakers from Ireland who are working on innovative projects that use the arts and politics to build networks to connect with the Irish diaspora. They explore how the Irish experience can inform and inspire other European countries and regions that are interested in developing their own diapsora policies and networks.
Dr. Murray’s discourse on how TRANSMIXR is harnessing the power of Social XR and AI for the Creative & Cultural Sector was particularly enlightening. He elaborated on the application of the Living Labs methodology by TRANSMIXR, emphasizing its importance in ensuring that the technologies being developed are in sync with genuine industry requirements and user feedback.
The IMID’s inaugural signature global conference – a congress style conference – Museums: The Future of Diaspora Engagement – is intended to become an annual event that brings together museum professionals, academics and researchers, policy makers and stakeholders from the diaspora field. The congress aims to explore how museums can engage with diaspora communities, foster intercultural dialogue, promote social inclusion and contribute to sustainable development.
The 2023 edition of the congress in Slovakia focused on the theme of “Museums as Agents of Change”. It explored how museums can use digital technologies, innovative practices and participatory approaches to address the needs and expectations of diaspora communities, as well as enhance their visibility, recognition and empowerment.
One of the main organizers of the congress is Dr. Palina Louangketh, a former refugee from Laos who is now the founder and executive director of the Idaho Museum of International Diaspora, and a professor of multicultural studies at Boise State University. She said: “We are delighted to have Niall Murray as one of our speakers at the Museums congress. He is a leading expert in XR technologies for the Creative & Cultural Sector and his work with TRANSMIXR is very relevant for our theme of Museums as Agents of Change. We look forward to hearing his insights on how Ireland and their European partners are utilising these technologies to engage with diaspora communities and preserve cultural heritage.”
The successful presentation by TRANSMIXR and the heightened interest it garnered is a testament to the groundbreaking work being done by the team. The congress not only provided a platform for sharing knowledge and insights but also paved the way for future collaborations and innovations in the realm of museums and diaspora engagement.
For those who wish to delve deeper into the discussions and insights shared during the congress, more information is available on the official website: https://www.idahomid.org/conferenceslovakia.
Next years conference will be held in Galway, Ireland in September 2024 and will be hosted by TRANSMIXR partner TG4.