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Arna-Jharna Museum
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Concept

Arna-Jharna: The Desert Museum Rajasthan embodies two principles in its philosophy and practice:

One, the museum can be regarded as a laboratory of the ordinary, a testing ground of all those basic structures of life that facilitate the art of survival in the desert.

Two, the museum celebrates the fact that the 'folk' is contemporary. The so-called 'traditional communities' holding on to skills and modes of knowledge from earlier times are also part of a dynamic, changing present.

In order to test its principles in a rigorous and organic way, the Arna-Jharna Museum devotes the first three years of its existence to a single object: the broom. It is not the panoramic display of hundreds of brooms from the far corners of Rajasthan that is the priority here. Instead of ethnic spectacle, the focus is on the interrelationships of the broom to a wide variety of contexts:

Khejur Brooms

Through its three-year concentration on the broom, the Arna-Jharna Museum hopes to clarify its interdisciplinary methodology, combining research on material culture; alternative curatorial models for grass-root cultural practices; and the cultural dimensions of development, whereby 'culture' is not merely instrumentalized or objectified, but viewed as an integral part of what it means to be human.

The clarification of these three interrelated tasks through actual practice will provide the ground for the future projects of the museum.

 
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