Historier får liv : En etnologisk studie av performans och kulturhistoriska kläder på friluftsmuseet Skansen

Detta är en Master-uppsats från Uppsala universitet/Institutionen för kulturantropologi och etnologi

Sammanfattning: Ever since the beginning, museums around the world have tried using different techniques to attract visitors. Some open-air museums have even started to create small worlds of their own, wherein they perform living history. The idea is that visitors will be able to step into history, and see different time periods with their own eyes. A prime example of an open-air museum that uses this kind of concept, is Skansen in Stockholm. There, visitors can walk around on cobblestone streets and go into old houses, where they are greeted by staff in historical clothing. This thesis examines how Skansen uses performance and historical clothing to teach history, in the quest to create an immersive experience for the visitors. The empirical material consists of observations and interviews with staff at Skansen, as well as visitors. Drawing upon Richard Schechners definition of performance theory, different parts of Skansen are dissected to determine how museums can use this kind of method in order to appeal to visitors.    Furthermore, the historical clothing is used as a reference point to gather and analyze the thoughts and experiences of the staff and visitors at Skansen. It became apparent that clothes can help you feel like a part of history, both in the sense that it makes you look different and move your body differently. This highlights how clothing can affect people’s bodies and minds. In that way, we see the relationship between humans and objects, and how they interact in different settings. The interviews also showed that people can have different approaches to the performance aspect. While some appreciate the playful nature of stepping into a role, others can feel uneasy about playing pretend. Nonetheless, many of the staff members stressed that they use the historical clothing to create a new persona, which separates their work life from their free time. This shows that clothing and performance can be used as tools in working environments, in order to protect one’s integrity.

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