ICMA announces the lecture The Value of Community: Real and Symbolic Economy in South American Museums by Prof. Viviana Usubiaga, on May 9 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., at the Faculty of Visual Arts and Design – Corp A – Aula A.0.11.

The COVID-19 pandemic made patently clear the crisis of certain models of cultural financing, especially when it comes to museums. A number of the world’s major museums had to rethink their economies; budget cuts in the wake of the pandemic brought a reduction in both staff size and public and educational programs. In South America there is a vast network of museums subsidized by federal governments, the private sector or a combination of the two.

The lecture focuses on three case studies in South America: the Museo Regional de Pintura “José Antonio Terry” in Argentina, The Museo Nacional de Etnografía y Folklore in Bolivia, and the Fundação Casa Grande in Brazil. These museums challenge the limits of the traditional museum by proposing a model of local and sustainable development linked to the vernacular cultural heritage and community-based tourism. Its models look to community engagement to drive other types of cultural economies.

Viviana Usubiaga (b. 1972, Buenos Aires, Argentina) is researcher at Centro de Investigaciones en Arte y Patrimonio at the Universidad Nacional de San Martín – CONICET in Argentina (Research Center in Art and Heritage – UNSAM – National Scientific and Technical Research Council), Associate Professor in the Latin American Art History master’s programme at the Escuela Interdisciplinaria de Altos Estudios Sociales – UNSAM (Interdisciplinary School of Higher Social Studies) at the Universidad Nacional de San Martín, and Assistant Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art History at the Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA).

She was Director of the Dirección Nacional de Gestión Patrimonial, Secretaría de Patrimonio Cultural, Ministerio de Cultura de la Nación Argentina (National Division of Heritage Management, Office of Cultural Heritage, in the Argentine Ministry of Culture, 2019-2023).

She holds a PhD in art history from the Universidad de Buenos Aires, and has worked as an editor, curator and author. She participated in the CAA-Getty International Program in 2019. Her many articles and books include Imágenes inestables. Artes visuales, dictadura y democracia en Buenos Aires (2012) and Activar Patrimonio: proyectos de investigación eimaginación de sentidos comunes (2023).

Research and teaching expertise: Contemporary Art, Cultural Heritage, Museum Studies, Latin American Art and Literature, Argentine Art History critical approaches, Art Market, Politics and Arts performances.