Cultural democratization and regional action


A mediation policy towards all audiences

Democratizing access to culture involves making the rich collections held by the museum accessible to all. With this aim, the museum undertakes daily to facilitate access for all audiences and to extend dedicated actions towards targets of specific audiences: the audience called “distant” who never go on their own to the museum, the audience called “unable” (people in hospital, handicapped, in custody or part of the social sector), etc., a requirement that aims at lifting, one by one, the obstacles to visiting the museum, whether they are related to cost, geography or socio-cultural factors.

Since its inauguration, the musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac has conducted a dynamic policy of reaching out to all audiences, wherever they are and whatever their situation may be.

Actions in the Paris region

Meeting new audiences throughout the country is one of the most important priorities of the museum. Since 2013, the Ateliers nomades, a unique range of actions outside-the-walls, have been the spearheads of this policy.

With the “Ateliers nomades”, the museum developed an unusual form of relating to local communities by moving into areas familiar to the inhabitants (schools, associations, social centers, cultural areas, medical structures, etc.). Based on a true collaboration with local actors and partners, this arrangement also includes the transportation of the inhabitants to the museum to discover in situ the collections and mediation activities.

This itinerant operation is set up every year in a different community of the greater metropolitan area of Isle-de-France: Cergy-Pontoise in 2013, Clichy-sous-Bois and Montfermeil in 2014 and up to the summer of 2016.

Activities for people in custody

Since 2010, the museum established a policy of actions outside-the-walls for people in custody. There are two aspects to the cultural offering for this audience: activities in closed settings, including prisons, and activities in open settings, which mainly feature visits to the museum for detainees who are following rehabilitation programmes with a view to their forthcoming release.

Long-term partnerships have been created with La Santé Prison in Paris, the Paris Penitentiary Service for Reinsertion and Probation (SPIP Paris), the Melun Detention Center and the Réau Penitentiary in southern Ile-de-France. The museum has also approached the Juvenile Judicial Protection Service to make its cultural offering accessible to young people under legal protection. This heavy implication is also visible in the training provided to partners in the social sector.

Actions for people who are in hospital and in retirement homes

Because some people simply cannot visit us, we decided to bring the musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac to them! In relation with the exhibition Cheveux Chéris, frivolités et trophées [Beloved Hair, trophies and trifles] an activity in the 10th Arrondissement of Paris was designed in partnership with the Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux de Paris (APHP) [Public Assistance – Paris Hospitals] and the Saint-Louis Hospital around the theme of losing hair.

In 2010, a partnership was signed with the Medica Group. This made it possible for the residents of retirement homes to have access to the objects of the museum. It was the first initiative of this type between a national museum and a group dedicated to the care of dependent senior citizens.