Invitation to a project: Museum of Corruption

Hey hey!

I just got an invitation to partner with a project on a museum of corruption - for now, they’re looking at Europe for Citizens funding, not huge amounts, but it might be mature for Creative Europe by winter. I see a lot of space for this on our platform as well - let me know what you think, meanwhile I’m discussing it with the person from came up with the idea and wants us to join.

Here is the description:

Museum of Corruption (MoC) is an interdisciplinary platform for researching, contextualizing and displaying a virtual collection of corruption mechanisms. Apart from generating and showing its exhibits online, MoC is also physically present in various geographical, political and cultural contexts.

By means of contemporary museology, MoC reframes the notion of corruption from abuse of power to moral inability of individual to put the wellbeing of the community above their own interest. By thematising corruption, the project intends to redefine the concept of the museum as a place where art is collected and exhibited by promoting it into a cultural laboratory of controversial social phenomena.

ZMUC aims at fighting corruption by collecting corruption (or acts of corruption). As an initiative it has conducted numerous projects aiming at deconstructing the term of corruption and the mechanisms of its workings, with a goal of creating a data-base of corruptive practices.

Following up on the idea of museums as “cemeteries of art” (as held by Malevich, Soviet Avant-Garde, Italian Futurism). i. e. the places where art ceases to exist by being displaced from real-life contexts, the project intends to, by manipulating the notion of corruption, museum and contemporaneity, move corruption from real-life situations into a museum setting – and burry it there.

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Sounds great. Keep me in the loop for sure

Archives of political bullshit artefacts would be nice :slight_smile:


Absolutely, and it only enriches our discussion on populism :wink:

Hi. It’s an interesting project, I know Goran Denic & ZMUC, he’d invited me to participate with ENTROPIA in it sometime ago. Glad that’s again on the move!

Visited this one in Prizren (Kosovo) a few years back during the Dokufest, quite an experience! It was supported by the UNDP

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I’m calling Goran tomorrow, updates coming soon :slight_smile:

Report from the call - Goran is now building a partnership and we will prepare this application for Europe for Citizens, and then also Creative Europe.

I will create a folder in the Culture Squad folder where I will put the application they wrote two years ago for Creative Europe and which lost by 3 points only and based on that we can start developing our own ideas.

From the preliminary talk, we were interested in including:

  • a space for stories of corruption on the platform, an online archive/museum
  • research - political, philosophical, sociological, of corruption
  • artworks, displayed online, addressing the problem
  • gamification of the experience
  • pop-up physical iterations of the museum, with localised content, with workshops and community events

The good news is that Goran knows how to get money - there is state support for cofunding in Serbia, and there are some Balkan grants as well. The last time they applied, they secured 50.000 eur from other sources.

So, I’m looking for ideas for partners and collaborators, I’m starting the space on our drive and next week I will organise another call with Goran - let me know if you want to join it.

Hi! As I said to Goran, me and ENTROPIA Company, we’re interested in joining the applications’ process.
Let me know about when the call is and I’ll try to join in.

There will be a call tomorrow at 10 in the morning, CET time - if anyone wants to join, feel free. We will be discussing in detail the project description and new ideas, based on the documents I have shared with our team in the drive a couple of weeks ago.

@alex_levene and @Marilli_M, looking at you especially :slight_smile:

This looks hella fun. Wish time permitted me to join :frowning:

You can join later, for now the project is mostly written, we just have to decide on partners and submit it in December - it will start rolling mid 2020 if we succeed :slight_smile:

Ηi Νatalia! Unfortunately, I can’t join the call tomorrow, but I could have a look on the documents and come back to you all. Where can I find them? It seems I can’t locate the drive. Alternatively, you could send them to me to: Thanks!

The file is in our internal team drive, but I will ask Goran to send it to you directly - he mentioned you two agreed to work on the proposal, maybe he shared with you what we already have anyway :slight_smile: Will post the updates later on the platform.

I have talked with Goran this morning, here are a few updates on the process.

I have suggested a few additions to the project, based on the proposal they submitted in 2017 to creative Europe:

  • focusing on residencies in small places in countries where we will be working in, possibly hosting artists in local homes - as a way to connect art with out-of-the-city people and developing new audiences, something that creative Europe really loves. We could either tour with the artworks later back to cities or organize festivals good enough to bring people from the cities to these places

  • developing a gamified experience for the project with our TIP students - there already is a component of a digital game, which was supposed to be developed by Ministry of Games from Finland, but there apparently was a conflict in the organization and they might not be available anymore. I found a possible replacement in my network for that already - if we want to have both types of games

  • the museum is supposed to “kill” and archive corruption as a practice - but I was also thinking of adding some forward-thinking elements to it, some kind of workshop/intervention/talk model that would allow us to imagine post-corruption futures. I think there’s a need for utopian thinking and it would be a good opportunity to exercise that.

  • creation of the platform where stories of corruption will be collected - then some of these works will be taken by curators and artists who will turn them into “artifacts” - this can be done by edgeryders, we can develop a space where anyone can submit a case and then add a selection of actions people can take based on it. This could be our digital dump :wink: On top of that we can create a map of corruption and its monuments, which can be used by anyone in their travels - this was inspired by corruption tours taking place in Prague.

Goran would like to know if we would be up for leading the project - I said yes, but we have to agree on that. @alex_levene @noemi what do you think? Their organization is small and has a low turnover, so they can’t do it.

Goran is now checking with his former partners who stay in the team - Ministry of Games might be replaced by Liquid Democracy. I am scouting for 2-3 organizations that could join us as well - if anyone has ideas, let me know.

Later on, we will have to assemble a team of philosophers, psychologists, sociologists, etc who will collectively develop departments and sections of the museum - this will be the first phase of the project’s work - after which we will start collecting stories and then building the artworks.

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It sounds Nat, great work! I don’t have anything against leading, but I have a few proposals to avoid risks:

  • we spend time with the partners and make sure it is the right partnership. We see how differently things go in projects where the teams are aligned and real allies, and where people join to just tick boxes.
  • we build the proposal with an internal deadline of 2 weeks before the official one. We don’t rush and chase people.

BTW, is it OK to drop names of partners and potential ones before this is formalised? I’ll leave it to you, but perhaps check that they are confortable with this way of reporting work in progress…

Goran has actually read this thread already, I think if something’s not ok, he will let me know :slight_smile:

Just an important reminder:

The initiation of the project and the idea is - as there is a legal battle over the concept going on, I want to make sure the ownership is clear.

And Goran from ZMUC will serve as an artistic director of the Museum - so some structure is already in place.

Thank you Natalia for the update. There are similar initiatives to Museum of Corruption (MoC) worldwide, from South Africa to China, from Ukraine to the Balkans… I would like to mention just a few: in Bosnia there was Museum of Public Tenders (exhibition of various objects bought for public money at enormous price, like toilette roll for 5 euros, etc) in Romania but also in Montenegro run by organization that initially financed our project only to plagiarize it later Smjestimo korupciju u muzej! – Centar za građansko obrazovanje and named it after one of the artworks created within MoC. There was a plan to connect with initiatives from Croatia and Romania, but it never happen because of lack of funding. I am looking forward to our future collaboration.


Nice to meet you @zmuc, good to see you on edgeryders and happy for the connection :slight_smile:
I had heard about the one in Romania - I think the idea is great, but it would have had more chances were it an independent effort and not affiliated with a politician/ party. Do you know if it’s still active as a platform?

Ahead of the application, and if edgeryders is/ will be a partner, I’m happy to call and talk to some of the people involved and see what the lessons were. Ideas are great, I am a fan of those who make it further, and curious if the Romanians did :slight_smile: (disclaimer: I’m originally from Cluj, in Ro, based in Brussels now).