As the new semester begins here at KU Leuven, we have kicked it off with a small surprise for the students: from the 13th until the 15th of February, two Pop-up Museum photographic exhibitions have been on display in Agora, the learning centre for the students and staff of the university.
Pop-up Museum (https://www.mupop.net/) is an outcome of the Europeana Space project and offers an innovative yet simple way to easily create pop-up digital exhibitions anywhere you want. In fact, you only need a screen with an HDMI minicomputer and a browser in kiosk mode to set up your exhibition. Users will then do the rest by controlling the exhibitions with their smartphones: after entering the URL on the screen, they are able to explore the exhibitions by performing various types of intuitive touch-screen interactions such as swiping, selecting, pointing, zooming, changing languages, answering to quizzes and so on. All of this, while listening to entertaining and descriptive audio fragments.
In our case, we showcased two photographic exhibitions on the Belle Époque: “Man meets world” about travels and must-see places of the time, and “Cuisine” on kitchen discoveries, eating habits and favorite dishes. As our aim was to display photographs and unveil their stories, we picked for both exhibitions the same main feature: a slide show of a selection of photographs illustrating the main themes (cuisine and travelling) accompanied by audio fragments describing the narratives behind the images on screen and placing them in their historical context. For every photograph, additional audio fragments can be unlocked by pointing to specific details in the images.
The exhibitions have raised positive reactions from the students, who found the Pop-up Museum a great way for digital heritage to be shown and engaged with.
Clarissa Colangelo, KU Leuven