From the 2nd till the 4th of September 2011 the 3th Cartoon Museum Directors Meeting took place in Zemun – Serbia. Mr and Mrs. Najhold were the hosts for this important international meeting between cartoon museums, centers and houses.
The theme of the meeting this year was ‘How to improve the collaboration between international cartoon museums?’
First of all the participants wanted to remember Atila Ozer, who took the initiative for the first Cartoon Museum Directors Meeting two years ago. Unfortunately Atila passed away at the beginning of this year. We were all very happy that his wife did come to this year’s meeting. The cartoon heritage of Atila is very important for the international cartoon scene, so all participants did agree to write a letter to the head of Anadolu University of Eskişehir to underline the importance to continue Atila’s work and museum in Eskişehir.
We all agree that contacts between the museums are very important and that initiatives like these international meetings help us to built bridges between the different organizations all over the world. But it isn’t sufficient to see each other once a year, collaboration between museums must be continuously. Exchanging experiences about the development of the museums, knowledge about interesting lectures and jury members, school projects and exhibitions are crucial for all museums. Collaboration on exchanging cartoon exhibitions from one museum to another seems a very important activity in future. As well as stimulating the exchange of cartoon books, study materials and other documentation about cartoons. Promotion of our work is important. First of all cartoon museums, houses and centers should exchange more information about their activities. This information can be distributed to a larger public by publishing it on each other’s websites. The different organizations have to take a more pro-active role in this international promotion. At the beginning of 2012 a ‘Feco News’ special will be released on the different Cartoon Museums. On the other hand museums have to stay close to the cartoonists themselves. They should f.e. take part in discussions on the different cartoonists Facebookgroups and promote their activities on cartoonist sites. The different museums did engage themselves to work on the development of national cartoon history galleries. In that way the international cartoon history will be preserved for next generations. In the future museums should consider new artistic projects and exhibitions in the form of ‘shared events’ (at the same time at different places). Also working together on international fund raising seems an important action point.
The next meeting will be held in the European Cartoon Center of Kruishoutem Belgium in September 2012. All participants expressed the wish that in future more museums would participate, because they are all convinced of the value of this cooperation. And just a final word to say how important it is not only to talk about collaboration, but to really get started, even if we are not sure yet where this collaboration will bring us in the future. Because, as Henry Ford already knew at the beginning of the previous century: ‘Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”