Contested Space: Activism and Protest

  • Tula GianniniEmail author
Part of the Springer Series on Cultural Computing book series (SSCC)


Fueled by social media and activism, the museum world, onsite, online, in galleries and public spaces is being held to account by social movements and causes such as MeToo, the opioid crisis, climate change, environmentalism, women’s rights and LGBT. Museum space has become contested space as increasingly the public more than ever is paying attention to the meaning and impact of the message museums are sending, embedded in collections, exhibitions and programs from education to performances. Museum audiences are envisioning a new type of museum for the 21st century, one that now goes beyond participation and interaction, to having impact and representation in museum identity, and importantly one that demands a new social order of museum values that break down past hierarchies creating a more level playing field, where diverse cultures and media of artistic expression are respected and included. This speaks to the very nature of museum space, experience, and meanings. At the heart of this new phenomena of contested public space, a seeming battleground of ideologies, is the Internet, a new social frontier of rapidly expanding space and number of users. A place we describe as a digital ecosystem connecting physical and digital life, and where a new social order is emerging that is changing human relationships, behaviors and values and where everybody is a player, from large corporations, such as Facebook and Google, to cultural institutions and individuals.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of InformationPratt InstituteNew YorkUSA

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