The goal of the AfroDigital Museum – Rio de Janeiro is to build a digital collection and host virtual exhibitions on the practices of those who identify themselves or are identified by others as afro-descendants. The Rio de Janeiro Gallery was created considering the importance of the city and state of Rio de Janeiro in the construction of a memory for black or African-Brazilian populations. Rio is not only a historical and cultural reference, but also the setting of prominent institutions such as the National Library and the National Archives, in addition to other education and research establishments that have delved into this topic. We strive to create a digital gallery of interdisciplinary perspective – a privileged space for the meeting of various types of knowledge on the arrival and standing of African populations and their descendants.
As a conceptual space, a digital museum can contribute to the inclusion of the black population whose cultural productions and identity representations are traditionally excluded from formal institutional spaces. Data digitalization is a tool that can facilitate the repatriation of certain documents and the publication of others of difficult access. We propose the AfroDigital Museum to democratize access to available data, decentralizing the means of knowledge.
We consider a wide range of records as documents: copies of printed material, such as newspaper cuttings; personal documents; letters; minutes; published and unpublished texts; poems; food and traditional medicine recipes; photographs; iconography; musical recordings and scores; testimonies; prayers; songs; copies of objects and artifacts; moving pictures; and recordings of cultural and political events.
The documents obtained thus far are available in exhibitions and archives. Since hypermedia language enables the exchange of ideas with a wider public and fosters interaction, our aim is to allow system users to produce knowledge by contributing with the selection, identification and classification of the documents. We believe that the enhanced system used by the AfroDigital Museum will motivate users to propose and create new exhibitions, as well as donate documents to the digital collection.
The AfroDigital Museum is coordinated by Prof. Dr. Maria Alice Rezende Gonçalves and Prof. Dr. Myrian Sepúlveda dos Santos (UERJ).