In the Spring of 2022, the War Childhood Museum joined the LILLIPUT PLUS project with the aim of testing and eventually introducing a new set of tools that aim to enliven and transform the Museum’s exhibition space for children ages 5 to 10 and their families.
The LILLIPUT PLUS project was started by the Lilliput Network from Italy and the International Coalition of Sites of Consciousness – Europe with the idea of strengthening participative practices and approaches of European museums and cultural sites, promoting them as spaces of interactive, engaging, and accessible learning in which children and all family members partake together – central to this museum experience is the “Lilliput kit” which includes a notebook, coloring pencils, magnifying glass, and tangram pieces, as well as one activity sheet.
Working with the Lilliput Team, the WCM’s educators modified the Lilliput methodology and instructions to suit the particular context of our Museum. Through different forms of creative expression, including drawing, singing, acting, and theater of shadows, children can interact with and understand the exhibited stories and personal belongings in a way that is most suitable for them, and guiding them in their exploration is a special animal companion – a giraffe inspired by one of the objects found in the WCM’s collection.
“…My sister and I wanted a giraffe, but we did not have a pattern so we described to our grandmother Jovanka what we wanted it to look like. First we built a wireframe, then we covered it in sponge and rags. Only after that did we sew its “skin”. Its neck was too long and it would always topple over…”
Amra, b. 1986
”In the context of the WCM's exhibition, the Lilliput methodology allowed us to gradually introduce several difficult topics related to war childhood, highlighting some of the more positive aspects of memories and their corresponding objects. Moreover, through a range of different creative activities it was possible to ignite a conversation about the objects on display without instantly arousing strong emotions or opening discussion on more difficult aspects of the experience in question.Merima RazanicaCoordinator of Educational Activities
The project was implemented in several phases in three European museums that are also members of the European branch of the International Coalition of the Sites of Conscience, dealing with contemporary issues in relation to the past – the War Childhood Museum, the Our Lord in the Attic Museum, and Mu.MA Genova. Each of these institutions has demonstrated dedication towards including diverse audiences and promoting an innovative, child-friendly, and family-friendly approach while tackling complex themes relevant today.
Between April and July 2022, the WCM welcomed over 70 families with children up to age 10 who enjoyed a more memorable, interactive, and age-appropriate visiting experience. Merima Razanica, the coordinator of the WCM’s educational activities, will have the opportunity to share the insights we gained during the project’s implementation, while also presenting our Museum’s work at the “Museums and Families for Change” international conference this September.
Museums and Families for Change Conference
The 2022 edition of the Conference, organized by the Lilliput Network and the International Coalition of the Sites of Conscience – Europe (ICSC-Europe), will be held at the Galata Museo del Mare in Genoa from September 28 to 30. All conference events and discussions center around the fundamental role of museums as agents of social change and spaces of active citizenship, with a special focus on how complex issues of migration, freedom of religion, and war are presented to children.
In addition to the three European Sites of Conscience presenting at the LILLIPUT PLUS roundtable, professionals from Italy, Albania, Spain, Finland, as well as Northern Ireland, Portugal, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Netherlands, who work daily on these topics, will share their expertise and offer strategies for engaging families and children in deeper and more reflective ways.
More details about the program can be found here.
About the Project
The LILLIPUT PLUS project is led by the Lilliput Network, together with the International Coalition Sites of Conscience – Europe Network and cofounded by European Union through the Erasmus Plus program. Alongside the WCM, the implementing museums are the Our Lord in the Attic Museum, Netherlands, and Mu.MA Genova, Italy.