This month, the Centro Cultural y Museo de la Memoria (MUME) in Montevideo inaugurated a space to support its new digital inclusion initiative, “Memoria en Red” (“Memory in the Network”).
MUME, located in the former mansion of nineteenth century dictator Máximo Santos on the tree-lined Avenida de las Instrucciones, has operated for the last five years to commemorate Uruguay’s recent history of civil unrest and state repression, which culminated during Uruguay’s 1973-1985 civil-military dictatorship.
The “Memoria en Red” initiative supports MUME’s overall objective of promoting human rights and building links with the surrounding community, not only by educating the public about Uruguay’s past, but by giving new generations the tools they need to become human rights advocates in the present.
The initiative, designed to promote technical skills and computer literacy, is sponsored by ANTEL, Uruguay’s state telecommunications company. In December 2010, the company called on Uruguayan organizations to propose new initiatives that would promote information and communications technology (ICT) initiatives for underserved populations. ANTEL will provide computers, wireless Internet, and office furniture and equipment for MUME's new Digital Inclusion Space. Montevideo's municipal government will provide personnel and support the operational costs of human rights workshops and digital literacy courses at the museum for neighborhood residents and visitors.
MUME plans to use ANTEL’s funding to build its website and blog. Eventually, the museum hopes to offer online human rights courses, as well as multimedia activities for visiting school groups. Plans are in the works for a “CEIBAL classroom,” featuring the distinctive white-and-green laptop computers that the Uruguayan government has provided for public school children since 2009.
The museum is located in the working-class neighborhood of Prado Norte, far from Montevideo’s city center and the upscale Pocitos and Punta Carretas neighborhoods. MUME’s main building and extensive grounds harken back to a time when the area was used as a country retreat for Montevideo’s wealthy. Turning the historic building into a fully digitalized museum will allow MUME to fully insert itself into the present and future of the neighborhood.
MUME is open Mondays through Saturdays from noon to 6pm and hosts a range of exhibitions, cultural events, and discussions.