Mexico City’s Memory and Tolerance Museum, Museo Memoria Y Tolerancia, espouses the mission to create awareness of human rights through the historical memory of genocide, discrimination and violence. The museum promotes the values of tolerance and respect through exhibits that encourage introspection, social action, and an awareness of the needs of the world’s most vulnerable populations.
Permanent exhibits use art installations, photographs, video testimonies, historical documents and displays of artifacts such as weapons to remember Germany’s Holocaust and genocides in Armenia, Rwanda, Guatemala, Cambodia, Darfur and the former Yugoslavia. Visitors pass through the Holocaust Hall, then on to separate rooms representing each of the most significant 20th and 21st century genocides.
Exhibits on tolerance are subdivided into areas of stereotype and prejudice, the power of media, diversity and inclusion, human rights, altruism and non-violence, and the specific story of cultural diversity in Mexico. Exhibits are designed to promote tolerance and encourage visitors to question stereotypes and the media’s portrayal of “others.”
A public library at the museum stores periodicals, books and audiovisual materials related to the museum’s topics of interest. Materials are available for internal loan only, and can be researched in the library’s reading room. A children’s education and activity area, called Panwapa Island, refers to a worldwide Sesame Street initiative that promotes global citizenship in children. Through play and lessons taught be Sesame Street characters, children learn the values of teamwork, respect and tolerance.
History: The Memory and Tolerance civil association was founded in 1999 and was the first to promote the idea of a museum designed to educate the world on the reality of genocide, and to educate children to prevent future atrocities from occurring. After years of collecting stories from survivors of Germany’s Holocaust, the museum was integrated into the reconstruction of Mexico City’s Alameda Central, a public square that had been heavily damaged in the catastrophic 1985 earthquake. Suspended within the modern, seven floor structure, is the ‘great cube,’ designed by the graphic artist Jan Hendrix. The cube is a memorial to all children who have lost their lives due to genocide. Hendrix worked in collaboration with Arditti RDT Arquitectos, who designed the museum. The Memory and Tolerance Museum opened to the public in October of 2010.
In addition to a number of architecture and design awards, the museum has won a 2010 Grand Order of the Reform Award, given annually to a foundation whose work benefits humanity. Museum founder Sharon Zaga Mograbi received the National Human Rights Award in 2016. Ms. Mograbi, President of the museum’s non-profit civil association, founded the museum with Emily Cohen as a memorial to all those effected by violence and intolerance, with the hope that by remembering our past, we keep from repeating it.
Ongoing Programs and Education: Group tours led by educated docents are available. The museum offers several free courses and activities for schools, parents and businesses. Each educational program is designed to increase awareness on the importance of diversity and cultural sensitivity. Most courses are one-month long and begin at the start of each month, although each is designed to be accessible to one-time drop-ins.
Past classes have included topics such as gender discrimination in every day life, sex and gender discrimination in schools, autism portrayal in the media, an academic perspective on the theory of feminicide, sexual health for adolescents, and the 21st century man’s resistance to feminism. Courses are also available online, and custom courses for tolerance training may be arranged for businesses and other organizations.
The museum’s award winning facilities may be rented for events and include classroom spaces, the library, an auditorium, and the galleries.
Past and Future Exhibits: Past temporary exhibits at the museum have included a special Martin Luther King Jr exhibit which ran from July through October in 2016. The exhibit focused on the non-violent campaigns that developed throughout the 21st century, and the influence of Dr. King and the United States’ Civil Rights Movement in popularizing this peaceful form of protest.
We Will Not Be Silent! is a past exhibit which addressed the issue of violence against journalists, specifically in Mexico, which is considered to be among the most dangerous countries for journalists who report on issues of corruption and cartel related violence.
Currently showing in the temporary exhibit space is LGBT + Identity. The exhibit aims to educate the public on the diversity within LGBT identification.
Av. Juárez 8, Centro, 06010 Cuauhtemoc, CDMX, Mexico, Phone: +01-55-51-30-55-55p>More Mexico Things to Do