Amos Rex has received a petition signed by several people working in the culture sector, calling for measures against racism and towards developing an equal museum. A warm thank you to the Call for Action working group for advancing important matters in the field of culture!
Amos Rex has already partly started carrying out work in this theme, and we have our work cut out for us – we are grateful for the good list of questions prepared by the working group. We will use it in our work to advance equal treatment, anti-racism, inclusivity and learning in our work community.
With this response, we want to demonstrate our commitment to developing our operations and place of work. We are launching an important development project to advance equality, diversity, anti-racism and accessibility, covering the entire museum. We promise to do our best, learn from our mistakes, consult experts and seek transparency.
We’ve put together some information about the current situation:
We aim to be a museum that is genuinely open for everyone and we work towards reaching under-represented audiences through measures of communications and collaboration projects, for example. The museum has defined certain audiences, which we target particularly actively: children, adolescents and tourists. We seek to consider these different groups in different ways in our outreach and programme. We display art created by young artists in the Generation exhibition carried out every three years, and the museum has a group of young influencers as part of a collaboration with the City of Helsinki. This focus is also reflected in our prices; entry is free for visitors under 18 and five euros for students and visitors under 30.
The goal of our communications is to be open, for instance, by using inclusive language, writing with plain language when possible and offering versatile content in several different languages. We communicate in Finnish, Swedish and English, and our offering also includes services such as guided tours and workshops, also in Russian, French, German and Japanese. We have started a multilingual series of guided tours this spring and offer guided tours in ten different languages. We will also develop our language selection in terms of minority languages.
We design our exhibitions and events to be physically accessible and seek to consider questions of accessibility in our content as extensively as possible. We have started a learning and training process to improve our customer service for those with visual impairment and will continue work in this area. We are a part of the Discrimination-Free Zone campaign, which we communicate on our website. We are also starting work around the principles of safer premises. Recently we have worked with content remarks, in particular, and sought to improve content accessibility through this work.
We seek to maintain a working culture where everyone can safely express criticism and opinions. We are grateful for any feedback and criticism and are ready to use it to learn and modify our operations.
We highlight extensive language skills in recruiting our customer service staff, and our goal is to have as much diversity in the group of people serving our diverse audience as possible. Different museum expert tasks have their own task-specific criteria, which vary greatly for each position. One criterion important for us is proficiency in Swedish due to our background, which includes being a part of Föreningen Konstsamfundet’s operations and supporting the position of the Swedish language. Our goal is to find an increasingly more diverse group of applicants in the future.
Amos Rex has a working group on equality, consisting of members of the museum staff, to advance matters of equality. All work related to equality and equal treatment is carried out during work hours and is paid.
Funding and collaboration partners
Amos Rex’s funding and collaboration partners are public information. Funding is announced annually in Museum Statistics, and our collaboration partners are presented on our website. We seek collaboration partners who share our value system.
The main focus area of Amos Rex’s exhibition programme is on experimental contemporary art and, in particular, holistic experiments which can find a unique setting at Amos Rex. The exhibitions are pointedly open to everyone’s own interpretation.
We are now displaying ancient Egypt, as we believe that understanding the present and building a future calls for knowledge of the past. Read more from our Frequently Asked Questions page. In our other exhibitions, such as the Generation exhibition carried out every three years, works often address universal and always contemporary subjects, including equality, diversity and gender.
We aim to examine our background and identity critically and to renew our ways of thinking and doing things. We have started a series of discussions around ethics, equality and diversity with employees who work with expert tasks. The discussion series will be continued and developed.
Art is many things, including a tool for seeing yourself through the eyes of another and setting yourself in someone else’s position.