I have always thought of a museum as a space that is truly democratic and that should have a mission of public service at its core -- but I am from Mumbai, India, a city with woefully unfrequented museums. In part, this is because the education and outreach departments in these institutions are relatively recent developments. I am interested in using digital strategies, interactive exhibitions and supplementary aids to make communities into stakeholders in their museums. The Smith College Museums Concentration has taught me to start thinking critically about how to do this.
A lot of the practical work I have done within the Museums Concentration has involved engaging communities, finding ways to make museum galleries more user-friendly, accessible and interactive. Through these experiences, I have come to realize that I am interested in transforming knowledge from static “facts” into a dynamic, interactive, educational exchange with visitors, particularly through oral history and other narrative-based projects. I am also interested in digital strategies, not just as outreach but also as part of curatorial practice.
Finally, I have realized how important it is for me to return to India at some point in my career, either as an academic or as a museum professional. I'd like to work with local cultural organizations, reaching out to communities and integrating their lives into the lives of museums through educational and other community-based programming.