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Museum Monitors School Classes

By Martin Gerster Johansen

11. Feb. 2010

Watch this headline on the front page of your tabloid. It may very well be true with the launching of the new educational offer from Post & Tele Museum. Because we go beyond telling about surveillance - we even perform it.  

The "Surveillance" exhibition presents the long, ominous and not least topical story about monitoring; about states monitoring the citizens and how safety and freedom instead of being two sides of the same matter are suddenly becoming parts of an insoluble dilemma.

Imagine the following: You are a 7th form pupil. You are visiting a museum in order to see the new surveillance exhibition. It is a nice day away from the old classroom and with no risk of being tugged to the blackboard. But wait a minute! What is that thing up there in the corner beneath the ceiling? A camera? And the museum official; isn't he behaving a little weird? There is something which is not quite normal in this museum... 

  

The symbol of the ancient organisation which allegedly has set up a surveillance centre at the museum.  

Dilemmas

Dilemmas may be good. They tickle curiosity and make people think. So when school classes are visiting the Post & Tele Museum in the coming period, they will not only hear about surveillance, but feel it on their own bodies. The educational offer for lower and upper secondary school is dragging the pupils into a carefully prepared story which contends the precedence with even the best conspiracy theories.  

The day actually began rather normally for 7th C with an excursion through the exhibition with pencils and pads. But the museum official has suddenly left - and what is happening now?

A voice echoes through the room: "You are in great danger... The Post & Tele Museum is not what it appears to be. It is merely a coulisse; a cloak for a cruel, ancient organization which has slowly spun their web and created a surveillance centre in the museum. You have already been registered!"  

Cipher key used by the Swede Magnus Stenbock (1665-1717). Every letter in the text is replaced by another letter, a cipher, or a symbol which appears from the cipher key. 

Fiction or Real Life?

The limits between fiction and real life will constantly be tested when the pupils are solving riddles and breaking codes on mysterious homepages and in dark corners of the Post & Tele Museum in order to defeat the mysterious organization which has infiltrated the museum and perhaps - if all goes well - make the world a safer and freer place.    

Surveillance experienced on one's own body gives relief in the end when the class is debating the question of good and bad conscience. Where are the limits to privacy, and how much freedom are we ready to sacrify to stay safe?  


"Surveillance" is targeted at 8th-10th form and 1st form of the gymnasium. The course lasts for 3 hours and costs DKK 600.-. Read more here

The educational course has been developed on the occasion of the museum's special exhibition about surveillance.  

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