Authors: Dr. Alina Gromova, Theresia Ziehe
In 2016, the Jewish Museum Berlin launched Object Days. This project was targeted at enlarging the museum collection through objects which are connected to contemporary Jewish migrations to Germany from the former Soviet Union, but also from Israel, various Eastern- and Central-European countries, North- and South-America, as well as Australia. Next to the extending of the museum collection, Object Days acknowledged the social and political role of the museum and the responsibility coming with it: the objects and stories of Jewish migrants – especially those from the former Soviet Union – could no longer remain invisible and their owners could no longer be ignored a substantial part of the Jewish society in Germany. During the last two years, since the beginning of Object Days, a whole bunch of topics came to light.
The team of Object Days has realized the huge potential of this collecting work for a) re-thinking the traditional role of collection and collecting methods in order to make stories visible, and b) establishment and development of the dialogue with communities in order to identify mutual goals and to empower communities through the work of the museum. Bearing in mind museological and sociological arguments of Nina Simon and Pierre Bourdieu, we aim at exploring benefits, gaps and limits of Object Days by raising critical questions concerning the role of the communities for the work of the museum and visa versa.