Combating Covid-19 through Museum Exhibitions in Cameroon
Keywords:Cameroon, Combating, Covid-19, Exhibitions, Museum
The global pandemic caused by the dreaded Corona virus (Covid-19) first hit Africa in December 2019 and then pounced on the rest of the continent by March 2020. Within weeks, governments trembled and virtually every public service was grounded. Soon, the entire continent was in panic and confinement. The butchery was comparable to none in human history. In Cameroon, where face masks were before now, a luxury; where government policy towards pandemics remained reactive rather than proactive; where doubt and skepticism still surrounded the existence of the virus; and where research on new brands of beer took precedence over healthcare, basic education and infrastructure, the cacophony was total. Virtually every television and radio slot carried horrifying news of the pandemic, its latest victims, traumatized medical staff, abandoned patients, mass burials, shocking images and lost hope for a vaccine. However, one sector yet to paint its picture of the pandemic in Cameroon has been that of museums. Like the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC and the Apartheid Museum in Pretoria, Cameroonian museums have the capacity to immortalize ground-breaking events, pandemics and genocidal occurrences. They could also sensitize, orientate and communicate dramatic messages to diverse audiences. The present museographic study captures the role that Cameroonian museums could play in combating this gruesome monster through visual exhibitions, sensitization and outreach programs. It answers a central question: What legacy has the corona virus left in Cameroon and how can Cameroonian museums contribute to erasing it? A blend of qualitative research, art criticism and participatory observation, analyzed on thematic and chronological parameters provided grounds for our findings. Governments the world over have learnt that however powerful they might be, we all need God to survive. Secondly, national emergency plans need to be reviewed for greater pro-activity for the pandemic to be conquered.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Victor BAYENA NGITIR
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