Vest-Agder Museum (VAM) is one of the nominees. The museum is participating with a complementary approach by combining the visiting place D/S Hestmanden and “Identity on the Line”. D/S Hestmanden is a large steamship that sailed in the Norwegian merchant navy in both WWI and WWII, that functions today as the country’s official war sailor museum. On the other hand, “Identity on the Line (I-ON)” (www.i-on.museum), is a large-scale cooperation project between six cultural history museums and one university, working together to explore the long-term consequences of different migration processes, forced or voluntary, which took place in Europe over the last 100 years. The project is a broad cooperation between VAM, museums in Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Slovenia, and Croatia, and a university in Lithuania.
“VAM is an innovative forum for cultural debate. We have been continuously focusing on sensitive, taboo-related, or controversial topics and conveying them in the best possible way, highlighting individuals or minorities with opinions and experiences that have not been shared. We want to promote a sense of belonging, reflection and learning among our visitors and local society, says John Olsen, Director of VAM.
The organization giving out the awards is the European Museum Academy (EMA), which is a non-profit foundation representing museums at the European level. The EMA has members in more than 38 countries and promotes advancement, excellence, and innovation concerning museological philosophy, museographical language, and practice. The academy encourages museums to become meeting places and forums for developing scientific debate, creativity, social cohesion, and cultural dialogue.
The main fields of activities of the European Museum Academy include the judging and awarding of several European museum awards.
Among the EMA awards, the most recognized are the Luigi Michelleti award and the DASA award. The Luigi Michelletti award is organized in cooperation with the Luigi Micheletti Foundation to highlight best practices in museums. For more than 20 years, the award has been focusing on innovative museums and exhibitions of 20th-century history, science, technology, industry, science centres, eco-museums, and interpretation centres.
The Luigi Michelletti Foundation is a research centre on contemporary history and specialized in collecting and spreading material and immaterial heritage of the 20th and 21st centuries.
The other European prize is the DASA award, which is supported by DASA Working World Exhibition in Dortmund, Germany. For ten years, this award has honoured museums dedicated to education and communication in innovative ways. This includes fresh concepts, extraordinary exhibition design, and scenography, as well as special methods of knowledge transfer.
Internationally renowned museum experts from the European Museum Academy compose the jury for both awards. These experts will finish gathering together in June and will decide the winner who will be announced in the gala ceremony that will take place during the EMA international conference in September 2022.