Ausstellungsexperiment
project-dah

Experience the History of Migration Digitally

German Emigration Center

The team in Bremerhaven is testing digital storytelling formats as a means of creating experiences online and inside the museum of the rituals, ideals, and debates around migration.

In the German Emigration Center, real family stories and reconstructions of historical settings illustrate diverse facets of migration. We also examine our visitors’ attitudes toward the subject of migration in the museum. However, society’s debates are increasingly taking place on the Internet. Virtual realities are no longer limited to computer games and can render past events or unknown things experiential. Taking account of these developments in the sub-project, we ask: How can digital technologies contribute to stimulating a dialog on migration? Do they amplify the experience of the biographical and emotional aspects of emigration and immigration?

Can Empathy Be Digitally Conveyed?

Our aim is to facilitate a more intense exchange between the museum and its visitors. We want to support their willingness to examine migration in detail. At the same time, we are defining the potentials and limits of immersive digital storytelling formats for the transfer of knowledge on cultural-historical topics.

Emotions Through Virtual Realities

One way in which we approach these goals is to use virtual and mixed reality installations to convey biographical and emotional aspects of immigration. Instead of merely constructing physically inaccessible rooms or historic places, information about these spaces is transferred via interactive situations.

Tony, Hildegard and August Schlicht, ca. 1912

Elements of the new technology are tested with visitors in an exhibition experiment. The museum tells the story of the Hamburg-based Schlicht family during and after World War I. © collection Deutsches Auswandererhaus Bremerhaven

Within the context of

Within the context of "museum4punkt0" selected objects from the collection will be digitized. © Deutsches Auswandererhaus Bremerhaven / photo: Manuel Krane

Original objects or completely digital - it is examined which level of understanding the respective presentation type evokes with the visitors.

Original or digital objects? The project examines which level of understanding each presentation type evokes with the visitors. © Deutsches Auswandererhaus / photo: Andreas Heller

The results are incorporated into the concept of the sub-project.

The results are incorporated into the sub-project future iterations. © Deutsches Auswandererhaus / photo: Andreas Heller

“Dialog Migration”: Museums as Places of Communication

Via an online portal, we would like to create a digital space that supports a vigorous exchange between museums and their visitors. In the process, we will test survey and interaction formats on the current political debate and on historical migration themes as well. For example, users will collect and present their family histories and objects of remembrance online.

women with smartphone using the communication platform

Communication platform "Dialog Migration" © Deutsches Auswandererhaus Bremerhaven / photo: Manuel Krane

Findings on Digitally Supported Communication in the Museum Context

The challenges in inspiring visitors to engage in this exchange and guiding them to the relevant places within the museum’s own channels – such as a website or social media page – will be extensively documented and ultimately made available to the public as experiential knowledge. In this context, we will also document the technical challenges mastered in the process of setting up the communication portal and in guiding users to relevant online offers. This also includes discussions on viable options for using open source software in scientific surveys.

We will augment our interpretation methods via virtual and mixed reality with detailed tests in various exhibition settings. These exhibition experiments will be part analog and part digital. From concept development to installation, all our steps will be documented and accompanied by extensive scientific studies. The result will be a complex analysis in which the opportunities and limits of virtual and mixed realities are discussed and tested.

In Development

A user is taking part in one of the first surveys on the platform

A user is taking part in one of the first surveys on the platform "Dialog Migration" © Deutsches Auswandererhaus Bremerhaven / photo: Manuel Krane

Dialog Migration

The communication portal will facilitate interaction with visitors before and after their museum visit. Access the platform “Dialog Migration” (in German)

Poster for the exhibition experiment

© Deutsches Auswandererhaus Bremerhaven

Exhibition Experiment

Since August 2018, we have tested various interpretation methods in an exhibition experiment on the subject of prisoner of war captivity during World War I – digitally and virtually on the one hand, and via original objects on the other hand. Informationen on the exhibition experiment (in German)

Sub-project team

Dr. Simone Eick

Sub-project lead / Director of the German Emigration Center Bremerhaven

Birgit Burghart

Sub-project coordinator / Assistant to the Director

+49(0)471 9022 00 b.burghart@dah-bremerhaven.de

Manuel Krane

Spokesperson & communication platform „Dialog Migration“

Janina Schneider

Research trainee

Katie Heidsiek

Visitor research & communication platform „Dialog Migration“

Johanna Knoop

Research trainee

All sub-projects

Experience the History of Migration Digitally

German Emigration Center

The team in Bremerhaven is testing digital storytelling formats as a means of creating experiences online and inside the museum of the rituals, ideals, and debates around migration.

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