Tuesday, August 24, 2010

This Mission, Should You Choose to Accept it...

I am at the end of my first day of work. I tossed and turned the night before because I was frankly terrified about the prospect of working exclusively in Spanish. Well, at least I don´t have to answer the phones, right?

But after a day working here, I have come to accept that my working Spanish is sufficient. I am perhaps not the funniest conversationalist during the tea and cake break, but I am able to have pleasant chats and to do my job. Which leads to me to the job itself. Basically, the museum has been in existence since 1961 and there are extensive records of the museum´s formation. My job is to work with Reynaldo, the chief archivist and Valeria, the museum director to create an EAD, and a finding aid (known as lineamentos here, guidelines, literally) to help both outside researchers and the museum staff itself have a central record of its activities, exhibits, practices, staff, directors, art donations, official correspondences and holdings for both the public record and public memory.

Notably, the museum opened after the Revolution of 1952 and was created from the ashes of a national uprising. The works of art in this museum as well as its formation represent an important part of the formation of a national identity. The Museum is located in Plaza Murillo and is across the square from the Legislative Palace and the National Congress. Riots and protests happen here, and the Revolution of ´52 went down here as well. There were massive protests here in 2005. It is a location with the dust and blood of Bolivian poltical history. And there is an awesome salteñaría across the street. Just sayin´. Yum. Yup. President Evo and salteñas. I am satisfecho.

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