International human rights museum experts meeting at Te Papa

21 September 2015

International experts from around the globe will gather at Te Papa tomorrow for the 2015 Federation of International Human Rights Museums conference.

The three day conference is tackling the theme of Access is a Human Right, and will explore and debate museums’ responsibilities regarding all aspects of access - intellectual, physical, emotional, cultural and spiritual.

“As a uniquely bicultural museum, it’s appropriate for Te Papa to host this discussion. We’re proud to be bringing such an engaging range of experts and delegates to New Zealand for this conference, and to take a leading role in this global conversation,” says Te Papa spokeswoman Tracy Puklowski.

“Social justice, human rights, and access are at the very heart of Te Papa’s genealogy, or whakapapa, and a commitment to human rights has been an implicit element of the bicultural museum since before it opened to the public.”

Alongside workshops and a dynamic programme of international guest speakers from New Zealand, Australia, the Americas, Asia and Europe, the conference will also feature stimulating presentations from two keynote presenters. Including Leicester University’s Professor Richard Sandell, who is currently exploring how museums engage with sexuality and gender identity, as well as how museums are developing progressive new narratives of disability.

And founding FIHRM President and National Museums Liverpool Director Dr David Fleming, a social historian with a passion for addressing the traditional silences in British museums, such as the history of the slave trade and the gap between the rich and poor in British urban life.

Chief Human Rights Commissioner David Rutherford says, “Human rights are about courageous conversations and Te Papa provides a way for New Zealanders to have courageous conversations about our past, and our shared future.”

Two New Zealand United Nations youth reporters have also been selected to cover the three day conference at Te Papa.

FIHRM 2015 is presented by Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and Victoria University of Wellington’s Museum and Heritage Studies programme, in collaboration with FIHRM, the Human Rights Commission and the Ministry for Culture & Heritage.

Media contact

Rebecca Edwards
029 601 0010