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Mediation as a documentary practice: an ethnography at the Museu Nacional de Brasília

Some of the questions to start this dialogue are: how to do research in museums as a documentary practice? What are the tools and methods to carry out participant observation as a mediation practice with audiences? These questions serve as a compass that crosses different social actors and in which educators are directly involved. Understanding the movement of these actors and the effects of meetings on mediation is the purpose of this research.

From this broader context and my personal research trajectory, I made some thematic and methodological choices for the development of my practice as an educator-researcher, who uses ethnography as a method of participant observation in the museum with the public and other social actors.

However, I believe it is essential to describe, in more detail, my background and how it affects my performance. I am intimate with museums and cultural spaces as a result of my studies in Art History and Visual Arts (Bachelor's). This training facilitated my dialogue with Art.


Furthermore, my MA in Social Anthropology contributed an ethnographic perspective to my point of view. In this research, I use precisely the combination of these two disciplines in the observation, description, and interpretation of the process carried out during my practice in the Education program at the National Museum (MuN).


Rádio Educativa

Considering the concept of mediation as research and documentary practice, the Educational Program team of the National Museum of the Republic created Rádio Educativa, a podcast series exploring different aspects of the exhibitions.

For this specific series called "Conversation with curators," we invited the creators of the National Museum of the Republic exhibitions for a brief discussion on the curatorial proposals.

Lilia Schwarcz is a historian and anthropologist. She is a professor in the Department of Anthropology at USP, since 2015, she has been an assistant curator for stories and narratives at Masp and is a columnist for the newspaper Nexo.

Academia de Curadoria is a research group composed of researchers from different cities in Brazil with multiple skills. Its proposal is to be a laboratory for curatorial practices and art criticism in contemporary art, in addition to offering support to cultural institutions, foundations, independent spaces, museums, galleries, and artists.

Ralph Gehre is an artist and independent curator. He was born in Mato Grosso do Sul and has lived and worked in Brasília since 1962. He graduated in Architecture and Urbanism at UnB. He currently works with painting, visual media, drawing, and photography.

Carlos Lin is an independent curator and visual artist, historian. Master in theory and history of contemporary Brazilian art, professor of art history, art educator, poet, writer, and essayist. Carlos Praude is a researcher, artist, professor, and software developer. He holds a postdoctoral, doctorate, and master's degree (2010) in Art and Technology from the Postgraduate Program in Art at UnB.

Divino Sobral is an artist, researcher, and independent curator. He writes critical texts published in Brazil and several other countries. His work, which moves between drawing, painting, writing, object, sculpture, installation, and performance, brings together elements of his personal memory intertwined with mythology.

Sabrina Moura is a curator, researcher, and writer. She received her Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Campinas. She has conceived and organized seminars and public programs presented by a number of institutions, including Videobrasil, SESC-SP, Goethe Institut, and the World Biennial Forum, among others.


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Brasília, DF, Brazil
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