Every year on the third Wednesday of January, the whole world celebrates Museum Selfie Day – a holiday for all fans of Instagram, Facebook, and now Tik Tok. Today, a trip to the museum is not considered real if the viewer does not post a few photos from there on their social networks. After all, when, if not in the times of virtual communication, does the slogan “no one saw – therefore it was not” work best?
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On the other hand, art critics and museum “snobs” have a rather negative attitude towards this: why come to museums to turn your back on masterpieces and take pictures of yourself?
So, the world is divided into those who visit museums “correctly” and those who “not so much”. But Museum Selfie Day has a nobler purpose in these controversies. The journalist tells about how Museum Selfie Day is celebrated in Ukraine – a country where most of the masterpieces are hidden from the war, and what useful things we can get from this holiday UP. Culture Anastasia Bolshakova.
Museum Selfie Day in Ukraine
In Ukraine, the idea remains the same: visitors take selfies in the museum and publish them on their social networks with the hashtag #MuseumSelfieDay. The main rules: don’t use flash and be creative.
For example, in Kyiv, the Art Arsenal invites you to visit the exhibition “Coexistence with Darkness” on January 17 and take a selfie while walking through the exhibition space. In addition to the main hashtag, a more personalized #MystetskyiArsenalSelfie was also added, and the most creative photos are promised to be published in stories on the Facebook and Instagram pages.
|At the exhibition “Coexistence with Darkness”. Photo: Art Arsenal.
The National Museum of Decorative Arts in Kyiv, the Literary and Memorial Museum named after Ivan Kotlyarevsky in Poltava, the local history museums of Chernivtsi, Transcarpathia, Lviv and even Kherson also offer selfies. Yes, yes – the same museum, which, despite the shelling and theft of the collection, is holding a museum selfie day. The truth in a way appropriate to the situation. Here is what he writes about it on his Facebook page:
“Museum Selfie Day at the Kherson Museum of Local Lore has been unconventional for the second year in a row. Of course, we could have asked you to share old photos. But we live in the hope that we have many more meetings with the museum’s guests ahead of us. Therefore, today, when mostly its employees come to the museum, we decided to show their selfies in the ruined halls of the museum, but with new museum exhibits that were collected during the past year.”
In the museum, selfies were shared with shrapnel from shells flying from the left bank of the city and destroying houses, with ancient exhibits that were washed away by the waters of the Kakhovskaya HPP, and with a flag signed by soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Swipe to see all the photos!
Employees cannot invite visitors to the museum, but they ask to support the museum and share saved selfies with the tag #kherson_museum on their pages.
The Kherson Art Museum cannot open its doors to visitors either. To participate in the Museum Selfie Day, he suggests taking a photo with any mention of it: museum catalog, booklet, postcard, photograph, calendar, magazine or newspaper with material about the museum, invitation or museum ticket, reproduction of a painting, stamp, patch.
|Poster from the Kherson Art Museum.
Ukrainian museums were used to overcoming difficulties in their work long before the full-scale invasion. In 2021, the Khanenko Museum was unable to receive visitors due to the pandemic, but this did not prevent the celebration. The museum created a virtual mask on Instagram, thanks to which even from your own bed you could be transported to the Red Living Room with exhibits.
How the festival of the museum selfie came about
She is considered the founder of the Museum Selfie Day Mar Dixon, a London-based museum and culture blogger. This day was celebrated for the first time in 2014.
Dixon proposed the idea of holding this holiday in January 2014, after visiting several museums with her daughter. She believed that such an initiative would increase people’s awareness of the exhibits and collections held in national and regional museums.
|Beyonce takes a selfie in the Louvre. Photo: Beyonce.
Mar Dixon suggested the hashtag #MuseumSelfieDay to mark the photos, so that all publications would be easier to find and to add more and more participants to the impromptu flash mob.
“Even if one person comes to the museum today who has never been there, just to be a part of this hashtag, wouldn’t that be great?“, the founder of the holiday said in an interview with CNN.
|Katy Perry takes a selfie with her own portrait at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington. Photo: Paul Morigi/AP Images for National Portrait Gallery
Since then, Museum Selfie Day has been celebrated not only in the United Kingdom, but all over the world. Art and natural history museums join the initiative, so don’t be afraid that selfies with artistic masterpieces compete with selfies with dinosaurs under the mentioned hashtag.
You can scroll through the gallery and see what wonderful photos we have collected for you.
Of course, museums are visited by different people with different intentions. For some, it is a place for a photo session or a “report” for friends who have never been there. For others, a trip to the museum is almost a meditation, immersion in art in all its manifestations.
However, in any case, there is no such thing as a “wrong” trip to the museum, as long as you follow its rules. So let’s go to the nearest museum and let the power of creativity come with you!
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