chapter  10
19 Pages

Engaging the material world: object knowledge and Australian Journeys

ByKIRSTEN WEHNER, MARTHA SEAR

In producing Australian Journeys, we were centrally concerned with developing an ethnographic or ethnohistorical approach to experience. Like many museums around the world, the National Museum of Australia has a strong cultural mandate to engage its audiences with the complexities of living in a pluralistic, democratic society. We responded to this mandate by conceptualizing Australian Journeys as a programme that connects visitors to the richness and detail of others’ life worlds, that invites visitors to engage imaginatively with others’ subjective experiences and understandings and that asks visitors to consider how those experiences and understandings have shaped and been shaped by broader socio-historical contexts.