“What if freedom were the ability to make up our minds about what it was we wished to pursue, with whom we wished to pursue it, and what sort of commitments we wish to make to them in the process? Equality, then, would simply be a matter of guaranteeing equal access to those resources needed in the pursuit of an endless variety of forms of value. Democracy in that case would simply be our capacity to come together as reasonable human beings and work out the resulting common problems—since problems there will always be—a capacity that can only truly be realized once the bureaucracies of coercion that hold existing structures of power together collapse or fade away.” David Graeber
The Museum of Care is an invitation, a possibility and a hope.
As our museum project continues to take shape, I have been thinking a lot about what it is, and how it may work.
We all want to do a collective project, which could form a kind of anti-institution, a project that might keep the spirit of David’s work alive.
While it seemed fitting to begin with some projects we were working on together – like our collective documentary or the reading group (which are still ongoing) – I have reflected, and realized that as a widow in grief, with all of the disruption to my life that has caused, I opened up space for everyone to come into… my living room.
This happened very quickly, and I am now feeling that there is a whole world emerging.
Still, I need not feel I lost my own space, more that we can build lots of extensions on this new common space to develop our projects and become a network. The Museum of Care itself as a project will be a network of self-directed projects, and because I want to open this up as a space that will absolutely not restrict any person’s freedom, I think it is more clear and honest if I say that I will run (and take care of) the very first Museum of Care that David and I once invented – and to which I invited you all – myself.
Individuals can form any new spaces (rooms/projects/museums), and I don’t want to control them.
I understand that I am holding soft power in the Museum, and I think it’s best to own that fact, get things moving with the website build so we can have a public interface, and make sure people are free to make whatever work they want to. There are already lots of amazing room/project ideas.
I formed a core group to start to get some work done, which would facilitate getting the project started, but I do not want there to be any permanent bureaucracy in the system design. Organizing reading groups and assembly meetups can hopefully be the limit of the central organizing, and once we have projects which are in work, individuals or groups can come to the Friday meetings and share ideas, show work, network with each other to find collaborators, etc.
If we get the framework right, we can make sure that there are minimum viable rules and maximum creative space for all. The framework will also be given away for free, so you can always start your own entire museum.
I am making this update with the aim of openness and with the intention of liberation for all.
At the moment, MoC is a private space of the widow of David Graeber – Nika Dubrovsky – that she opened to anyone who wants to participate, as long as they don’t violate our mission statement and are willing either to do their own projects or to observe and participate in the projects of the others.
The Museum of Care consists of a weekly Assembly, a mailing list, and museum members’ projects.
Museum projects can be either offline or online.
One of the Museum of Care’s projects is offline residences/rooms, which are frozen because of Covid. However, we are looking for partners in other residences and networks to invite co-hosts, help, get to know each other, and do common projects. The current understanding of the Residency program is here.
If someone doesn’t want to set up a project at the Museum of Care but is rather interested in opening a new Museum as a project, please use our CC shared-alike license and design your own space.
May there be more different Museums of Care!
Museums of Care of the world unite!
The Museum of Care is a space to meet and a place to hide, argue, and be friends. It is a place to take Care of each other and the place to be free.
It’s here to take and to make your own.
The Museum of Care is not here to raise funds, hand out jobs, vote, lobby, or build eternity. It is here to work on projects, take them away from the museum, and come back with altered versions to share and play.
by Clare Farrell and Nika Dubrovsky