The Museum of Capitalism is a citizen initiative set up in 2012 by some fifteen volunteers aged 24 to 31. The idea of creating such a museum came during a visit to the Museum of Communism in Prague. Back in Belgium, it soon became clear that there was no Capitalism Museum in the world (Today there are at least 3!).
What is it?
Since 2012, the citizens’ initiative Musée du K/Capitalisme has grown into an official Youth Organisation (under the regional government Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, Belgium) in 2022. It offers punctual events and expositions on the mechanisms of the current system defining our society. Through a thought-through approach, it focuses on themes like ‘healthcare’, ‘finances’, ‘well-being’, ‘energy’, ‘work’ and many more.
A series of pedagogical tools, debate methods and the traveling exhibition create a place in time and space to put question marks and find answers for current societal issues of all sorts and with specific attention for an audience from 15 years old onwards. The exhibition is engaged but not party related, it is a tool at the service of active citizenship.
So far the bilingual exhibition (French & Dutch) has traveled through more than 15 different cities in Belgium, reaching about 25.000 visitors, connecting many schools, local NGOs, collectives and citizen initiatives.
To popularize the functioning of the economic system around us and to allow the public to better understand it.
To create a dynamic space for debate and reflection on a sometimes difficult subject.
To reach other audiences (non-academic, schools, young people,…).
To promote active citizenship.
By creating a travelling museum: since October 2017, a lighter version of the exhibition has been created. Its purpose is to be quickly and easily assembled, to allow a shorter term installation and thus to meet the many requests for reception.
By carrying out activities, projects and awareness-raising in the associative, youth (Maison des Jeunes de Namur), cultural (Centre culturel d’Anderlecht, MOC Hainaut) and school (Anderlecht) sectors.
By establishing international partnerships with similar initiatives in Berlin and the United States that is supported financially by the European Union (Erasmus+ Programme).
In all our approaches, we encourage the expression and participation of each person who wishes to get involved. Following a popular education approach, we want to empower citizens who often feel excluded from the “political/economic” sphere, which is too often reserved for “experts”.
Our non-profit organisation, which is currently being recognised as a Youth Organisation, is fortunate to be able to finance three half time positions that allow for structural management.
Much more than an exhibition?
Launched at the start of the creation of the “Nomad Museum”, the ASBL now covers many other projects. Indeed, board games, class/association activities, Permanent Museum, Bike Beats,… are all projects that are developed daily within the collective.