MUNTREF project to learn about multiculturalism from art

The Museum of the National University of Tres de Febrero launched a distance education proposal for elementary and secondary students that addresses the richness of migratory movements in Argentina.

MUNTREF‘s new virtual proposal is aimed at primary and secondary schools throughout the country to think about the contributions of immigration in Argentina through an intergenerational approach. Titled Immigrants. Past, present and future, the initiative brings together online elders, teachers and students to review the history of immigration in our country, exploring family trajectories and, finally, to be able to turn them into an artistic language.

Taking as a starting point the permanent exhibition For All the World’s Men at the Immigration Museum, it delves into the diversity of origins and reasons that the immigration process went through throughout its history with a journey focused on three axes: the journey, the arrival and the insertion, and the legacy. As pointed out by the Extension Coordinator of the MUNTREF Headquarters at the Immigrants’ Hotel, Valeria Traversa, the project combines the educational, the cultural and the playful, focusing on primary school’s middle grades and all the secondary years’ grades.

“We aim at those ages because the proposal coincides with the school curricula’s contents, and we think it is important to work together with teachers on the specific contents”. Traversa also said that, so far, they have been working with 13 schools of the City of Buenos Aires and the Province of Buenos Aires, both public and private and of various communities. They have already held 12 meetings that began in May, which will continue until the end of the school year in November, where students will present a creative visual production based on everything they have learned. As she explained, they are holding two meetings per week and schools that wish to join can do so by writing to  

At the head of these virtual sessions are cultural mediators Beatriz Krasnov and Emilce Cassinelli, who belong to the Group La Otra Mirada, a collective made up entirely of seniors who develop activities and projects with different museums in the City of Buenos Aires. The group began collaborating with MUNTREF in 2016 by making special guided tours of the Immigration Museum for elders, and that was one of the germs of the current project. Krasnov and Cassinelli explained that in these tours they mixed historical explanations with anecdotes, songs and some typical dance of the land where the visitors came from, to end singing a tango, as a symbol of integration.

“With this experience and the one that MUNTREF had with the visit of groups of schoolchildren, it occurred to us that there was an opportunity to propose an intergenerational work between children and adolescents with their grandparents, where they could know the immigration process, and then investigate the family histories and thus establish links with their roots” they said, detailing that the project was realized by obtaining the financial support of the Williams Foundation within the framework of the Call-to-Test Museums.

On the ages of the students to whom the activity is oriented, the cultural mediators expressed that “they are the most fruitful years in the personality’s formation and precisely that is when the importance about knowing the family history can be raised, which as a whole shaped our conformation as a community”. Immigrants. Past, present and future is one of the many virtual pedagogical proposals offered by MUNTREF, which also highlights documents, videos, trivia and didactic video games, all available on its website.