Dubai Culture’s ‘Hacking the Museum’ opens at the Etihad Museum

  • 17 winners were awarded free seats in upcoming interactive workshops
  • Engaging young generation with Etihad Museum’s rich bank of historical information
  • Overall aim to challenge perceptions of museums and their role in society

Dubai, UAE, September 17, 2019 // Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) reached out to engage a wider public at the Etihad Museum through a new initiative titled ‘Hacking The Museum’. Participants were asked to apply for a series of interactive workshops designed at breaking down the wealth of information available in the museum.

More than 100 people registered for the programme and 60 were selected to participate in a one-day event at the Etihad Museum. They were asked to complete a series of five-minute games where challenges included tasting Arabic coffee, smelling spices to guess the name, creating an Instagram video, sewing their own bags and writing the shortest short story. From the winners of these games, 17 participants were chosen and given the chance to apply for four workshops to be taught under the supervision of 16 mentors. The workshops will run over the course of three months and each one is designed specifically to introduce new skills to aid understanding about how best to engage with a museum. The overall aims of the initiative are to consolidate museums as incubators of heritage, culture and history and to enrich the visitor experience whilst simultaneously reminding them of the active role museums play in society.

The first workshop, beginning on October 5, is titled 3D Printing of Seals and Stationery: Inspired by Arabic Calligraphy. Participants will use 3D printing technology to produce replicas of the stamp seals used by the UAE’s Founding Fathers. This hands-on workshop will instil a love for the Arabic script as well as increased appreciation for the nation’s heritage.

On October 12, the second workshop will focus on storytelling. Participants will be asked to write children’s stories suitable for their own children and those around the world. Those leading the workshop will be published authors, to give first-hand knowledge in writing as well as artists who will illustrate the stories. The final product will be sent off for publishing and given to participants as a keepsake.

The third workshop, on November 16 continues the theme of storytelling but in a digital format. Participants will be asked to stretch their content creation skills to create a short video summarising the rich and diverse content that fills the museum.

Finally, on December 3, participants will hone their baking skills in a practical session learning how to prepare Emirati cuisine. Titled Emirati Afternoon Tea and open to adults and children, the mentors will guide the students through the tradition of hospitality in Emirati culture and after the food is prepared, children will distribute the afternoon tea to the adults and to visitors in the museum.

Abdulla Alfalasi, director of Etihad Museum commented: “Museums are an integral part of our civilised society. They are a place where minds and spirits converge to learn about the past and become inspired about the future. Hacking The Museum is an important initiative primarily because it reinforces the Etihad Museum’s status as a key part of our cultural landscape and injects it with vibrant energy. True to the museum’s personality it brings together citizens, residents and tourists to learn more about the UAE and to develop knowledge and national pride. We, at Dubai Culture, look forward to engaging people in continually new and innovative ways to shed light and awareness about our rich culture and heritage.”

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