How public are public programs in museums? Rethinking care via “Jamaika is Portugal too”

  • Joana Almeida Flor dos Santos Rato (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Care encompasses numerous aspects of our lives and reflects our mutual interdependencies (Chatzidakis et al. 2020, 5). The 1970’s Ecomuseum movement brought to light the great power museums hold to create caring spaces, as well as to amplify the voices of the communities they serve, through practices such as accessibility, inclusivity, and representativeness. These can focus on visitor engagement, decolonization, or public programs, for instance. The latter may serve as a tool for care in those institutions, curated to engage with targeted audiences, embracing them as collaborative visitors rather than clients and providing a more human-centered approach (as opposed to an object-centered one). This dissertation seeks to discuss the relationships and connections between art museums, care, and public programs, in addition to the analysis of “Jamaika is Portugal too”, a 2021 public program at the maat (museum of art, architecture and technology), through the lens of care. Inspired by Model of Jamaika (2021), a collaborative piece between artists Paulo Moreira and José Sarmento Matos and CHÃO, with the residents of the Jamaika neighborhood, the event aimed to discuss the uncertain housing and rehousing experiences of the inhabitants over debates, performances, and informal talks. A program not about Jamaika but with Jamaika as an example of a care practice in the museum.
Date of Award9 Apr 2024
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorLuísa Santos (Supervisor)


  • Care
  • Museums
  • Public programs
  • Inclusiveness
  • Representativeness
  • Accessibility
  • Decolonial practices
  • Ecomuseums
  • Storytelling


  • Mestrado em Estudos de Cultura

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