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University, socio-economic history and identity – The Museum of Foreign Debt, a museum without a collection

Author(s): Graciela Weisinger Cordero | María del Carmen Maza

Journal: University Museums and Collections Journal
ISSN 2071-7229

Volume: 5;
Start page: 65;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: identity | university museum | foreign debt

How did a topic linked to macroeconomics come to be part of the cultural identity of a country and have a museum? The idea of its creation arose in the mid-2001, when a group of graduate students and professors from the Faculty of Economic Sciences of the University of Buenos Aires began to hold meetings and discussing the matter of foreign debt. In 2003, the task on creating "a space to illustrate in a didactic and attractive way the history of Argentine debt" was commenced; initiated by the Managing Council. The first exhibition “Foreign Debt: Never Again” was opened in April, 2005. This museum was created with the aim – according to the director’s thinking – of cooperating in the construction of citizenship in the frame of the historical memory and spreading the problematic of the foreign indebtedness, a topic that identifies all the Argentineans in their daily life. Opened to the general public and to the university students of all faculties, it has a permanent exhibition that is complemented by the resources of comic strips and a series of changing videos. In addition, its center of documentation offers investigators the most complete documentary base on the topic in the country. The important question is: does it allow the visitors who do not have a thorough knowledge of the subject to think about the facts from an objective point of view or does it impose an ideological message on them? This paper investigates the originality of the topic and analyzes the mission of this museum, in relation to its museological discourse, its contribution to the construction of citizenship and the promotion of critical thinking.

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