MEET THE JUDGES
The jury functions autonomously from the EMF Board of Trustees with respect to decisions of nominations and awards. A chair of the jury is appointed by the board of trustees and is an ex-officio member of the board of trustees.
The EMYA judges represent different professional disciplines, high level practical and theoretical museum experience and museological competences, as well as a diversity in gender and age, national, regional and cultural background. They bring extensive knowledge, enthusiasm and expertise to the judging debate, ensuring that each years the winning museums are truly outstanding and diverse.
Judges observe clear rules of conduct and rotate on a strictly defined schedule of 3 (x2) years of service. They are not remunerated for their services, but expenses for travel are covered. They are bound by a strict confidentiality agreement and are required to declare any conflict of interest, to protect the integrity of the judging and selection process.
AGNES ALJAS, ESTONIA
Agnes believes that museums are relevant to people and that participation supports cultural institutions to be relevant to visitors and users. She is interested in knowledge based technological solutions and cultural and economic creativity that heritage can support.
Agnes Aljas is a Research Secretary of the Estonian National Museum. She has studied history, ethnology and communication (University of Tartu, University of Turku and University of Aix-en-Provence).
Agnes is giving lectures on memory institutions at the University of Tartu. Her research interests and recent publications focus on audience studies, cultural participation and contemporary collecting. She was part of the team of the new building project of the Estonian National Museum (EMYA 2018, Kenneth Hudson Award).
Agnes is the chair of ICOM Estonia and a board member of ICOM’s International Committee for Museums and Collections of Ethnography (ICME). She joined the EMYA judging panel in January 2021.
AFŞIN ALTAYLI, FRANCE
Afşin is particularly fascinated by museums’ potential in contributing to social and environmental justice. He regards promoting the social role of museums as an aim and means to deepening the dialogue around contemporary societal issues within the international museum community and to integrating them in museum and heritage policies.
Afşin Altaylı is an independent museum professional. He coordinated different projects for public and private museums and institutions specialising in museology, cultural heritage and cultural policy management. Among them were Istanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture, Turkish Ministry of Culture, EU Culture Programme, Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University and Istanbul Bilgi University where he lectured in museum studies.
Afşin assumed different roles in various ICOM bodies as the Secretary of the International Committee for the Collections and Activities of Museums of Cities (CAMOC), member of the Museum Definition Working Group (MDWG) and the Museum Definition, Potentials and Prospects Standing Committee (MDPP), member of the editorial board at “Museum International”, and most recently as Museums and Society Coordinator at ICOM Secretariat.
Afşin is a member of the editorial board at “Curator: the Museum Journal” and has been a founding member of the Association of Museum Professionals, Turkey. He joined the EMYA judging panel in January 2021.
DR CHRISTOPHE DUFOUR, SWITZERLAND
Christophe is devoted to museology and the creation of exhibitions, favouring topics on the side lines of traditional natural history.
Christopher Dufour served as the Director of the Muséum d'histoire naturelle de Neuchâtel, Switzerland from 1981 to 2016. Under his direction, the Natural History Museum of Neuchâtel has become reference in Switzerland and Europe in the fields of research and museology. His PHD thesis in entomology has set up a methodology for processing biological data with the help of computers. It was followed, in 1985, by the opening within the museum of the CSCF (Swiss Centre of cartography of the fauna) to promote automated cartography and monitor the fauna of Switzerland (www.cscf.ch).
Temporary exhibitions produced by the Natural History Museum of Neuchâtel under the direction of Christophe Dufour have gradually drawn national and international attention. The museum has indeed gained recognition as an important centre of creation. Several of its exhibitions have travelled in Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Québec. The museum and its exhibitions were honoured by several distinctions.
METKA FUJS, SLOVENIA
Metka is following Pamuk’s advice to read museums as novels and observe their impact in socialisation and cultural participation.
Metka Fujs is a historian and sociologist, museum councillor and since 2013 director of the Pomurje Museum Murska Sobota - Slovenia (EMYA 1999 Special Commendation) where she started her professional career as a curator in 1983. Since then she has been a member of different national bodies in the field of history, museums and cultural policy in general; a chair of Slovenian Museum Association (2006 – 2014), and an officer/board member of ICOM- ICR/ International Committee for Regional Museums (2004- 2016).
Metka is an author of over 200 bibliographic titles about local history, cultural-history, regional development, museology and national legislation in the field of museums and cultural heritage protection; editor of several museum journals and newsletters and author or co-author of numerous museum exhibitions. Metka received three highest Slovenian national awards for achievements in the field of museums (Valvasor award) for two permanent and one temporary museum exhibition. Her favourite are themes in which she can capture the complexity of human life as a time, closed and disclosed spaces, bridges. Under the direction of Metka Fujs the Pomurje Museum has been or still is a co-operator or leader of several national or cross-border projects with partners from Croatia, Hungary and Austria and other cultural projects co-financed by EU.
AMINA KRVAVAC, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
Amina believes in museums as spaces for social action and drivers of change, and she is particularly interested in unlocking the potential of museums in transitional justice processes.
Amina Krvavac is the Executive Director at the War Childhood Museum in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Amina was a member of a small inaugural team that led a two-year grassroots campaign culminating in the opening of the War Childhood Museum back in 2017. The War Childhood Museum has since been widely recognised and praised for its capacity to contribute to a better understanding of war-affected childhood as a complex social phenomenon.
Amina studied International Relations at the International University of Sarajevo, and Children’s Rights at the University of Geneva.
She is committed to creating exhibitions and workshops that support open and conscious dialogue, and to promoting the idea of museums as platforms for societal healing and reconciliation.
Amina is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Coalition of Site of Conscience Europe – a network of museums, historic sites and memory initiatives connecting past struggles to today’s movement for human rights.
BERNADETTE LYNCH, UNITED KINGDOM
Bernadette has long been interested in whether museums can be ‘useful’ to contemporary society – useful in a troubled world. She challenges notions of ‘helpfulness’ as ultimately disempowering, and favours instead the idea of the ‘useful museum’.
Bernadette Lynch is a writer, lecturer and researcher in museum theory and practice. She has thirty-five years’ experience in senior management in UK and Canadian museums. Formerly Deputy Director at the Manchester Museum, University of Manchester, she has an influential international reputation for ethical, innovative participatory practice focusing on decolonisation; power; democracy; debate; conflict; contested collections; difficult subject matter and activism. She is known for examining the everyday ethics of museums in their relations with others. She’s interested in museums that are consciously transcending being ‘helpful’ and thus dis-empowering. She looks for museums that are co-creating social change through close collaboration with those existing in society’s margins.
Bernadette, actively promotes those museums that are mutually ’useful’ collaborators in a way that is transformative for all concerned. Her writing, research and consultancy concentrate on democratic social change through critical collaboration with diverse communities, and in leading museum transformation. She publishes widely on participatory democracy in museums, and on ‘useful museum’ practice. She is Honorary Research Associate, University College London.
MARLEN MOULIOU, MA, PHD, GREECE (CHAIR OF EMYA JUDGING PANEL)
Marlen believes in museum activism, in the role of culture for societal well-being and the key role museums can play in social change.
Marlen Mouliou is Assistant Professor of Museology, Faculty of History and Archaeology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA), member of a Cross-Faculty Committee for the Postgraduate Programme in Museum Studies (NKUA), supervisor of dozens of post-graduate students of Museology and 11 PhD research projects (3 of them awarded grants from the Greek State Scholarships Foundation). She is responsible for the Public Archaeology activities in relation to the NKUA’s excavation project in Marathon and represents NKUA in WP3 on Open Labs under CIVIS Academic Consortium. Marlen studied Archaeology and History of Art at NKUA and Museology (MA, PhD) at the School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester. Prior to her work at NKUA, with a 16 year-long career in state positions as archaeologist-museologist at the Hellenic Ministry of Culture, she accomplished numerous museum-related projects.
Internationally, she is member of the panel of judges for the European Museum of the Year Award (2016 onwards). She has served as Vice-Chair of the European Academic Heritage Network (UNIVERSEUM) (2016-2020) and as ICOM-CAMOC’s Secretary and Chair (2010-2016). She is member of the Editorial Advisory Boards of several academic national and international journals. Her interdisciplinary research focuses on the social value of museums and heritage, museum history, museum archaeology, city museums policies, museum professionalism and training, museum accreditation, archaeological ethnographies and local communities and others. In 2020, she developed the social initiative The Museum Inside Me. Together with Mark O’Neill and Jette Sandahl, she is co-editor of the book Revisiting Museums of Influence, published by Routledge, 2021.
ADRIANA MUÑOZ, FD/PHD, SWEDEN
Adriana is interested in the relationship between museums as institutions and the current political situation around the world, in how museums construct discourses and ideology using collections and objects, and what their underlying purposes are.
Adriana Muñoz is a curator at the National Museums of World Culture, Sweden. She wrote her PhD in Archaeology about the relationship between collecting, labelling and political structures. She has long experience of working in museums and has worked on numerous exhibitions.
She works with ICOM (International Council of Museums) on problems around the illegal import/export of archaeological plundered objects from Latin America. Further, she has participated in several research projects in different countries since 1998 and has collaborated with a number of universities in Europe and Latin American, not only concerning archaeology, but also questions of heritage. She is a member of Americanist and museological groups; and a referee for the Journal of Museum Management (Canada) and for the Nordisk museologi (Scandinavian), as well as for the Argentinian Fund for Scientific Research and Technology.Recently she has also worked with questions of repatriation.
MARK O’NEILL, FMA, PHD, UNITED KINGDOM
Mark is interested in the social purposes of museums and in the health benefits of cultural participation.
Independent Researcher & Consultant; Associate Professor, College of Arts, Glasgow University, Research Fellow, Museum Studies, Leichester University; Adviser, Event Communication, London.
Mark was Director of Policy & Research for Glasgow Life, the charity which delivers arts, museums, libraries and sports services for the City of Glasgow from 2009 – 2016. As head of Glasgow Museums from 1998 – 2009 he led the teams which established the St. Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art, refurbished Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum and created the Riverside Museum (EMYA 2012).
DHIKSHANA TURAKHIA PERING, UNITED KINGDOM
Dhikshana had to withdraw from being an EMYA Judge, due to personal reasons. While being honoured and glad to have been asked to join the EMYA Jury, she will continue to provide her support to the EMYA community in other forms. The EMF Board thanks Dhikshana for her engagement and will be looking for another judge to fill in her place starting from the next season.
Dhikshana fell into this world of museums, changing her life personally and professionally. Not wanting where you grew up, your education opportunities or who you know to dictate whether you connect to or work in a museum. With a focus and passion on making the sector representative of the society we live in, connecting to the issues of today and exploring the challenges of the future, she wants to go beyond making collections or content accessible, but making this sector for and by everyone.
Dhikshana has been the Head of Engagement & Skills at Somerset House, London since January 2020, just as a pandemic engulfed the world. In her initial months, she focused on a new strategy for the team, with a stronger importance on young people’s engagement and skills development, coproduction with their onsite creative community and content development around their cultural programme. During 2020 she led on what a post Covid-19 engagement programme would look like and the organisation’s Anti-racism Pledge.
Dhikshana’s career has been built in London over 14 years, working in learning and engagement across the Science Museum, London Transport Museum, and Brent 2020 – London Borough of Culture. She has led teams and worked with different audiences, but has found her interest lies with young adults, skills development and coproduction, and exploring the use of digital mediums and public space in a cultural context.
Dhikshana holds two master’s degrees in History and Art History from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland and in Museum and Gallery Education from UCL Institute of Education, London. She has been an elected Trustee of the Museums Association since 2016, actively working on sector-wide workforce developments and most recently co-led and launched their Learning & Engagement Manifesto. She has lectured and given talks on master’s courses, and at national and international conferences, looking to share and learn from best practice, and actively be part of the change she desires to see. Dhikshana joined the EMYA judging panel in January 2021.
DINA SOROKINA, RUSSIA
Dina's interests include fostering development of multicultural dialogue and cross-cultural exchange among museums, museum professionals and museum enthusiasts, especially in the context of global cooperation. She is keen to see how difficult topics find their representation in museums across the world and how museums engage their audience in discussion about important and often unresolved questions of our lives.
Independent researcher, curator and producer. From 2016 to 2021 Dina Sorokina was the Director of The Boris Yeltsin Presidential Museum, an integral part of the first presidential centre in Russia and winner of the EMYA Kenneth Hudson Award in 2017. She studied in Novosibirsk, Russia and graduated from St. Francis College, New York and received her Master's degree in visual arts administration, as well as a professional certificate with qualifications of appraiser in the field of fine and decorative arts from New York University. Among other professional engagements, she previously worked in the office of the General Counsel at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York on various aspects of the museum work.
She continues to be involved in a number of social and philanthropic projects in Russia. She joined EMF/EMYA as a member of the judging panel in May 2017.