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Refugee legacies in museum and heritage sites

Learn about refugee legacies and how they impacted individuals and communities, their stories and material culture as well as their collection and representation in museum and heritage sites

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CIVIS focus area
Society, culture, heritage
Open to
  • Bachelor's
  • Master's
  • PhD
Field of studies
  • Social Science and humanities
  • Blended Intensive Programmes (BIP)
Course dates
19 January 2023 - 19 May 2023

This BiP is the second in a set of three training programmes on Museum and Heritage Studies organised thanks to a partnership of three CIVIS universities (NKUA, AMU, TU). The programme is highly challenge-based since it will engage students with the emerging critique around museums positioning on key societal phenomena as refugee crisis, their legacies and contemporary realities, as well as the power of collective memory and historical empathy. The involved partners understand the BiP as a starting point for a museum and heritage network within CIVIS that grows over the years and integrates members from other universities, museums, civic organisations and different disciplines. They also want to document the whole process of co-creating this community of learners, and record it as an innovative pedagogy, both during the virtual and the physical meetings as well as after, assessing its imprint with a follow-up group discussion and written shared thoughts.

In 2022-23, Greece commemorates 100 years since the end of the Greco-Turkish War and the Treaty of Lausanne which officially settled the conflict that had originally existed between the Ottoman Empire and the Allied forces (France, Great Britain, Greece and others), and provided for a massive Greek-Turkish population exchange as a result of the disastrous end of the war. The centenary of these hugely transformative historical events together with the recent and current refugee crisis due to wars in Syria, Afghanistan and now in Ukraine, and the geopolitical positioning of Greece in the cross-roads between east and west make Athens a focal point to not only explore the subject academically but also to have living experiences of refugee communities and their heritage both of the past (1922 onwards) and of the present (2015 onwards). Due to this dual positioning of Greece in the history of refugee crisis, as historic home of millions of Greek refugees from Asia Minor and their descendants and as contemporary transient territory for millions of refugees, Athens offers multiple heritage resources and social encounters to reflect on the subject (i.e. rich academic record of undertaken research, historic collections, museum exhibitions, oral history testimonies, contemporary community engagement practices etc.).

The second edition focuses on the subject of forced displacement and will consist of two parts: a set of six (6) online lectures organised virtually between January to end of April 2023 and a five-day intense training in situ, taking place in Athens and Eleusis in May 2023.

The fact that Eleusis will be the 2023 Cultural Capital of Europe and part of the programme will be realised in connection to this hugely important institution adds extra value to this BiP.

Main topics addressed

Refugee bio-stories in museums; Refugee legacies in museums and in cities; Empowerment of refugee communities through culture; museums and social inclusion; community engagement in museums.

Learning outcomes

  • Students will get familiarised with the challenges museums are facing when researching and narrating experiences of forced displacement;
  • They will approach several examples of different museum practices about past and contemporary refugee stories in order to understand possible convergences and divergences on the dealing of this subject-matter in Europe;
  • They will get trained to prepare a pop-up exhibition on the subject by unlocking the storytelling potential of objects with forced displacement identity;
  • They will learn to reflect critically on the value and use of historical empathy as a way of understanding forced displacement;
  • Students and teaching staff as a community of learners will come into contact with descendants of refugees as well as contemporary migrants and refugees through focused actions developed within this programme and learn a lot about such difficult life experiences and how they have been overcome;
  • The entire learning community of this BiP will get empowered to revisit the subject with new critical lens.
Dates: 19 January 2023 - 19 May 2023 Total workload: 180 hours
Format: Blended ECTS: 6*
Location: Eleusina/Athens, Greece Language: English (C2) 

*Recognition of ECTS depends on your home university.

Physical mobility 

Day 1 - Monday 15 May 2023 Morning

  • Introductory session
  • Team building exercises
  • Refugees’ bio-stories in education, in museums, in communities: Theoretical outlines (Part 1)

Day 1 - Monday 15 May 2023 afternoon

  • Refugees’ bio-stories in education, in museums, in communities: Theoretical outlines (Part 2)
  • Tutorials - Group work (Part 1)

Instructors: Marlen Mouliou (NKUA), Thaleia Dragona (NKUA), Maria Iakovou (NKUA), Vassiliki Chrysanthopoulou (NKUA), Philia Issari (NKUA), Villi Fotopoulou (Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports), Andromachi Katselaki & Olga Sakalli (Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports) and others

Day 2 - Tuesday 16 May 2023 morning

  • Visits to museums (National Historical Museum, National Museum of Contemporary Art)
  • Discussion with curators and museum educators (Reggina Katsimardou, Natassa Kastriti, Marina Tsekou)

Day 2 - Tuesday 16 May 2023 afternoon

  • City walks related to the theme of the programme
  • Visit to the Museum Philio Chaidemenou, Nea Philadelpheia (Guided tour, participation in an educational activity)
  • Tutorials - Group work (Part 2)

Day 3 - Wednesday 17 May 2023 morning

  • Visit to Melissa Community Centre for Migrant and Refugee Women (Dr Nadina Christopoulou and other representatives of Melissa Network)
  • Discussion with the team of the Community Centre and Representatives of Migrant Women

Day 3 - Wednesday 17 May 2023 afternoon

  • City walks related to the theme of the programme
  • Museum visits
  • Tutorials - Group work (Part 3)

Day 4 - Thursday 18 May 2023 all day (in Eleusina)

  • Eleusis Cultural Capital of Europe 2023 – All day programme together with the Eleusis 2023 team, led by Prof. Michael Marmarinos, Artistic Director of Eleusis 2023 (talks, museums and heritage sites visits, discussion with community representatives with refugee background, workshops, etc.)
  • Tutorials - Group work (Part 4)

Day 5 - Friday 19th May 2023 morning (in Eleusina)

  • Group work presentations
  • Assessment discussion and Wrap up
  • Closure of the programme

Virtual part

1st online talk (January 19, 2023, TO BE CONFIRMED)

  • Prof. Boris Nieswand, Prof. for Sociology with a specialisation in Migration and Diversity for January, University of Tübingen (Germany)

2nd online talk (January 24, 2023, TO BE CONFIRMED)

  • Olga Zabalueva & Armando Perla (Museum of Movements, Sweden)

3rd online talk (early February 2023, EXACT DATE TO BE CONFIRMED)

  • Julia Ferloni (Curator at the Mucem, France)
  • Mohamed El Khatib (artist, France)

4th online talk (mid February 2023, EXACT DATE TO BE CONFIRMED)

  • Stefan Bastina, Migrantour network (France)
  • Dr Andrea Delaplace (Sorbonne, France)

5th online talk (March 2023, EXACT DATE TO BE CONFIRMED)

  • Prof. Michael Marmarinos (Professor at the Aristoteleion University of Thessaloniki, Artistic Director of Eleusis 2023, Cultural Capital of Europe)

6th online talk (April 2023, THE EXACT DATE TO BE CONFIRMED)

  • Amina Krvavac (Executive Director, War Childhood Museum, Bosnia and Herzegovina)


This course is open to Bachelor's, Master's, and PhD students at CIVIS member universities.

Students must have a background in Museology or/and Heritage Studies or Sociology or History and Archaeology or Law.

Application process

Send your application by filling in the online application form by 30 November 2022 with the following documents:

  • Motivation letter (400 words)
  • CV (whereby candidates will show their academic background as well as previous seminars or experience in the museum field/cultural field)

Applicants will be chosen according to their ability to explain their motivations for taking part in the summer school, suitability of previous experience with the summer school programme, and suitability of their study/research/professional project with the summer school programme.


The students will develop a small scale pop-up museum intervention in a small community museum, based on the input gathered along with the programme (Virtual and Physical) as well as the critical review of the exhibitions visited during the physical part of the programme.

Blended Intensive Programme

This CIVIS course is a Blended Intensive Programme (BIP): a new format of Erasmus+ mobility which combines online teaching with a short trip to another campus to learn alongside students and professors across Europe. Click here to learn more about CIVIS BIPs.

GDPR Consent

The CIVIS alliance and its member universities will treat the information you provide with respect. Please refer to our privacy policy for more information on our privacy practices. By applying to this course you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

  • Marlen Mouliou is an Assistant Professor of Museology, Faculty of History and Archaeology, NKUA. She is Member of a Cross-Faculty Committee for the Postgraduate Programme in Museum Studies (NKUA), responsible for the Public Archaeology activities of the NKUA excavation in Marathon and the NKUA Coordinator in CIVIS WP3 on Open Labs (2019-2022). Prior to her work at NKUA, she worked for 16 years at the Hellenic Ministry of Culture. Internationally, she has been member of the jury for the European Museum of the Year Award (2016-2022) and for two years Chair of the Jury (2020-2022). 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, museum history, museum archaeology, city museums policies, etc. In 2020, she developed the online 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.
  • Judith Dehail is an Associate Professor in Cultural Mediation of the Arts at Aix-Marseille University, France. She is a member of the Laboratoire d’Etudes en Sciences des Arts (LESA). She is Head the Bachelors’ and the Masters’ Degree in Cultural Mediation at AMU. Her research is in the field of critical museology and cultural mediation, focusing on the political dimension of exhibitions and museum mediation, the relationship between cultural institutions and audiences, and the question of “participation” in cultural action. She is currently an AMU Fellow at the Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies (working on the Project REMED – Mediation of Minority Narratives in the Museum).
  • Prof. Dr. Thomas Thiemeyer is Professor at the Ludwig-Uhland-Institut für Empirische Kulturwissenschaft, the Department for Historical and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Tübingen. From 2003 to 2006, he worked as a curator at HG Merz, an architecture and museum design firm, where he aided in developing the concepts for the Mercedes-Benz Museum (2006) and the Porsche-Museum (2009). From 2006 to 2009, he completed his PhD on the topic of the presentation of WWI and WWII in museums. From 2009 to 2012 he coordinated the museum studies research project wissen&museum (Knowledge and the Museum) at the Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach.
  • Anna Leshchenko, MA, academic assistant at the Ludwig-Uhland-Institut für Empirische Kulturwissenschaft, the Department for Historical and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Tübingen; vice chair of the International Committee for Museology (2019-2022), associate editor of “Curator: the Museum Journal”. Between 2009 and 2020 she worked as a lecturer in the Department of Museology at the Russian State University for the Humanities and between 2010 – 2012 as a researcher at Museum Encyclopedia sector at the Russian Institute for Cultural Research. Her research interests are linked to the topics of museum ethics and decolonization of museum practice and theory.