In challenging times, women’s museums are resilient and responding…
Vietnamese Women’s Museum’s Adapts to the Covid-19 Pandemic
The pandemic has made it difficult for visitors from around the world to visit Vietnam and the Vietnamese Women’s Museum. Therefore, the Museum has diversified its activities to adapt to the situation, adopting the motto: When visitors cannot come to the Museum, we bring the Museum to their homes.
Using different platforms to promote the Museum
The Vietnamese Women’s Museum has shifted focus to online platforms as a means of connecting with domestic and international visitors. The first project was upgrading the Museum’s website. The Museum also created interesting educational content during the lockdown. For example, it produced a series of five video clips on YouTube to tell stories behind the Museum’s artifacts and introduce the history and culture of Vietnamese women to viewers of different demographics. Using social media platforms such as Facebook to tell stories about objects at the Museum has been an effective way to attract and engage a wider audience during the time of social distancing.
The hand washing dance video by the Museum’s staff received more than 4,900 views on YouTube. The dance was popular in Vietnam during the Covid-19 pandemic and helped encourage people to wash their hands regularly:
One of the highlights of the Museum’s activities before and during the Covid-19 pandemic was the production of the documentary Making Our Place. The documentary was produced as part of the TRYSPACE Hanoi Project – a research project about public space in Hanoi. The documentary helps raise awareness about building a safe city for women and young girls. It was selected and screened at the World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi, organized by UN-Habitat, and was shown at the 2020 Better City Film Festival in Detroit (USA). It won the prize for the Best Next Gen Film at the Better Cities Film Festival Awards. This recognition was an honor for the Museum and an opportunity to promote the Museum and its activities to international audiences.
Because of the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic for traditional exhibition activities, the Vietnamese Women’s Museum created and launched three online exhibitions on its new website to share information about the history and legacies of Vietnamese women with a wide range of audiences. The exhibitions help educate younger generations about patriotism and pride through content and images carefully designed and edited by VWM’s curators.
Collecting cultural and historical artifacts through distance networking
As Covid-19 hit, VWM’s plan to travel to different provinces in Vietnam to collect cultural and historical artifacts was dropped. During the social distancing period in Hanoi, the Museum’s staff developed an initiative to build a network of organizations that have common interest in collecting cultural and historical artifacts. One of these organizations was the Soldiers’ Heart Club in Vietnam. Thanks to the initiative, the Museum has received donations of hundreds of valuable objects and memorabilia from soldiers and their families. The Vietnamese Women’s Museum is actively collaborating with the soldiers to broaden its acquisitions for the current time as well as for the future.