Partner – MO Museum
Location – Ignalina, Kalvarija, Kybartai, Marijampolė, Riešė, Šalčininkai, Šilutė, Švečionėliai, Švenčionys, Tauragė, Trakai, Visaginas and Vilnius regions
The Visual Thinking Strategy project aimed to develop critical thinking skills and promote dialogue through contemporary art in schools and ethnic communities in Lithuania. During the implementation period, museum educators sought to employ artwork from exhibitions in the MO Museum in order to develop the participants’ skills in creativity and intercultural communication. Through its strong focus on visual thinking, the project furnished participants with the methods and tools necessary to assess information critically and objectively, while empowering those from socially excluded backgrounds with the 21st century skills of critical thinking, creativity and dialogue. Through the educational activities, the educators also encouraged the participants to collaborate on the exhibition narratives and experience different approaches to these themes via the medium of art.
In addition to the Visual Thinking Strategy training project, the Traveling Museum project was implemented in various Lithuanian towns and cities. The MO Museum thus extended its reach beyond the framework of the institution by travelling to communities where art is not typically accessible with ease. The museum educators met with the local communities and conducted visual thinking-based experiential sessions, encouraging engagement by posing the question: “What is happening in this picture?”. The urban residents were thus able to identify new means of relating to art through viewing works of art from a variety of perspectives, discussing and expressing their opinions, distinguishing facts from the interpretation and constructing their ideas.
In 2021, the project commenced with the exhibition “Why is it hard to love?”, created by the renowned British director Peter Greenaway and Dutch artist Saskia Boddeke. The exhibition analysed a particularly relevant and universal theme of opposites in a narrative of inequalities such as social-, racial- and gender-based, raising the principal question: “Why is it hard to love another?”.
In 2022, the project commenced with the exhibition "Meeting that never was", which opened broad opportunities for examining the topic of gender equality, resilience and critical thinking. The project revealed the challenges that some teachers encounter in terms of discussing such topics, whereby although outwardly conveying tolerance, at the deeper subconscious level their actions and decisions are considerably influenced by attitudes formed during childhood, the environment in which they live and the cultural context in which their pedagogical activities take place, thus clearly underscoring the importance of discussing such topics in wider contexts.
During the project:
More than 200 schools in ethnically diverse regions of Lithuania were engaged
Reach-out to 10 different communities in Lithuania occurred through the Travelling Museum initiative
Over 400 teachers and 1,000 pupils participated in various educational sessions and training delivered both locally, and at the MO Museum