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The research intertwines memory, non-formal educational spaces and identity.
The main objective is to analyze the educational dimension of the Maré Museum
in Rio de Janeiro and its possible contributions to the strengthening of the group
identity related to popular groups through appreciation and reinterpretation of the
history and construction of local memories. I approach the concept, the theoretical
assumptions and challenges of community museums as non-formal educative
spaces, by using the Maré Museum as a case study .
The community museums and ecomuseums emerge in Rio de Janeiro with
the Eco-museum of Santa Cruz in 1983, but became more visible with the Maré
Museum as of 2006, since this is the first museum in Brazil s slums created by the
The theoretical framework related to the concept of memory was essentially
based on work of Paul Ricoeur, Jacques Le Goff and Beatriz Sarlo. For the
theoretical framework associated with identity development, I have chosen the
studies performed by Stuart Hall, Manuel Castells, Vera Maria Candau and
Tomaz Tadeu da Silva. For the non-formal educational spaces theoretical basis I
have privileged Maria Gloria Gohn, Jaume Trilla and Elie Ganem. Finally, for the
concepts of New Museology, community museum and ecomuseum I rely
primarily on Mario Chagas and Hugue de Varine.
My methodological approach of ethnographic inspiration was based on oral
history. In the field research I used three types of approaches to the object of
study: observation of different activities in the Museum and of the community at
large, semi-structured interviews to fishermen of the Maré and to the directors and
staff of the Museum of the Maré and analysis of the institutional books of the Museum, namely the Book of Signatures and the Book of Testimonies from
As one of the main conclusions of my research on the educational
dimension of the Mare Museum I can state that this museum does have meaning
for the region of Maré and dialogues with the city, the country and elsewhere,
although it does not fully represent all its communities. However, this museum
has been able to develop a community related feature , as it was created by and
has the daily involvement of the social movement and the local community of
Moreover, the fact that the Mare Museum display a museographic language
which raises references of local history and allows visitors to reflect on them and
build local memories enabling a strengthening of identity, makes its educative
dimension particularly evident and significant.
Finally, the Maré Museum generates visions of ourselves and others by
establishing a more subtle and constant dynamic between individuals identities
and their constructed memories and narrated stories.