The Emotions Museum of Childhood is unlike all the other children’s museums in Athens. Located in Plaka, the neighborhood underneath the Acropolis, the unique museum focuses on the emotional world of children and teenagers from ages 5 to 15. As stated by the museum: “the emotional development helps them to become creative, sociable, tolerant and happy adults”.
When visiting the museum, children can view and interact with the exhibition “In Anger’s Palace,” which will be available until 2020. The exhibition introduces children and teenagers to the emotion of anger, what it means when someone feels angry and how we can use it and transform it into a creative force. This exhibition is in both Greek and English.
The museum doesn’t have a permanent exhibition; its temporary ones are on display for four years and change after that. Some of the other exhibitions dealt with subjects such as the emotion of fear, children’s own self and how they can get to know themselves better and understand their uniqueness and lastly about the emotions hidden inside.
Furthermore, the museum offers a variety of programs for schools, families for summer holidays, Christmas and Easter, even for birthdays and name celebrations. The workshops give the opportunity for children and their parents to work with museum animators in order to discover different types of feelings like jealousy, anger or whining by employing fairy tales, painting, humor and fantasy. The range of these workshops shows how the museum covers many aspects of the emotional growth of children. Then, children can unleash their imagination and use their creativity while entering into uncharted territories of their emotional world.
But this museum takes a step further and provides parents, teachers and adults with seminars and workshops in order for them to learn how to deal with the emotional development of children, their socialization and their sensitivity in this extremely important aspect of growing up. We had the opportunity to discuss with the museum’s professionals and give us some information.
Could give us some details about the new interactive exhibition “In Anger’s Palace?”
The exhibition “In Anger’s Palace” is dedicated to the emotion of anger for children, teens and those who love exploring!
Anger was chosen as the subject of this exhibition for these reasons:
• Because anger is an emotion that makes all human relationships harder, while at the same time it offers us helpful messages about our personal boarders and desires.
• Because anger is an emotion strong enough to vary from disaster to creativity.
• Because it is very important to train ourselves in giving space and time to our anger as it is needed every time, to accept this emotion and to recognize it, so that we can transform anger into a creative power leading to our development.
The aim of this exhibition is to offer stimuli to children, teens, and adults in their environment, to process, explore and know more about the emotion of anger.
Through a dialogue with the interactive exhibits:
• We recognize the drives caused to our body by anger in order to accept them and separate them from our actions.
• We experiment with various roles and various reactions to anger through the heroes/heroines of the exhibition.
• We realize that anger can bring disaster or vitality.
• We find ways to face different conflicts as a normal part of our lives.
• We discover that expressing ourselves and being creative both help us.
• We discover that certain ways of behaving help us and others block us.
• We explore the deeper causes of anger so that we can look for its “antidotes.”
• We discover the messages that anger sends us to be able to listen it better and help ourselves.
• We try different roles to understand others’ emotions – using empathy while playing.
• We familiarize with the emotion of anger through our senses.
• We play for fun; we enjoy what playing can offer us, getting to know ourselves and our world better.
The exhibition and the instructions of the interactive exhibits are available both in Greek and English.
Which is, in your opinion, the most fascinating aspect of the museum?
The most fascinating aspect of the museum is its theme and the way it approaches emotions. It uses interactive exhibitions, play and fairy tales, in order to encourage children and teenagers to explore their emotional world, to learn more about themselves and others. Also fascinating is the way the museum sensitizes adults on subjects which deal with the children’s emotional development and socialization. Through play activities that adults share with their children or their students, they can discover the importance of the emotional growth.
How important is for children to learn even from the age of five to understand their emotions? How does the museum achieve this?
As children grow up they usually get confused with their emotions, they feel the need to understand themselves and the world that surrounds them and find their own meaning in life. Harmonic emotional development helps them to become creative, sociable, tolerant and happy adults.
The Emotions Museum achieves its purpose by:
• creating and presenting interactive exhibitions, which promote self-knowledge through play
• by creating and animating school programs that enable students to explore the inner world of emotions
• by creating and animating workshops on weekends for children, teenagers and their parents, with themes that encourage emotional cultivation and self-knowledge
• by holding annual workshops for children so as to explore the secrets of emotions In all its workshops and programs Emotions Museum uses the symbolic world of fairy tales, art and play to approach emotions.
Could you tell us a little bit about how the museum was created since there were already two museums in Athens that focused on children?
We dreamed of a children’s museum dedicated to emotions! So the Emotions Museum was created in order to give the opportunity to all children and teenagers, to explore the world of emotions. Its creation was based on the belief that emotions are the inner compass that guides us into our lives and help us to process stimuli, situations, events from our environment, understand ourselves, and find our own meaning in life. The creation of the museum was inspired from the invaluable value of human's emotional cultivation for his development. Believing that as children and teenagers are getting to know themselves better and understand the world of their emotions, they can grow into creative and happy adults with a will for life and challenges!