Iranak Museum of Childhood
Iranak Museum of Childhood has come a long way from a mere idea transforming into reality. The museum has sought a home in Tehran ever since 2003. It has been displayed 14 times in Iran and abroad as short and long term exhibitions. This time, it has been set up for a year by the supports of private section to envision the structure of a portion of the permanent museum it thrives to be.
In the opening ceremony of the museum on 2 August 2019, Zohreh Ghaeni delivered a short speech. She mentioned the long way they have come to realize their ideas regarding the culture of childhood. “A child-friendly city is one that has identity. It’s a city that brings its buds and sprouts into life through its roots.” However, many cities such as Tehran count themselves as “child-friendly cities”. Yet they lack the foundations for reaching such goal. The founders of Iranak Museum believe that understanding the status of children and the culture of childhood in modern societies is an awareness without which child-friendly cities are nothing but empty slogans.
Despite all the barriers, Iranak Museum of Childhood has been set up temporarily for everyone to see what the founders dream to establish in a city like Tehran.
Iranak Museum of Childhood has formed on the grounds of almost 20 years of endeavor by researchers at the Institute for Research on the History of Children’s Literature. The 10 volume collection of “The History of Children’s Literature” along with an unpublished collection named “The History of Child and Childhood in Iran” are among the accomplishments of the institute.
This museum has a narrative-interactive design. In such museums, artifacts are not objects of display. In fact, the narrative behind the artifacts and exhibits is what binds everything together. The museum is interactive because children, and sometimes adults become engaged with these narratives. They act and react, feel and think, learn and benefit.
Sorraya Ghezel-Ayagh, author of children and young adult books, shared her experience of visiting the museum through these words. “An exceptional opportunity for Iranians to review the history of childhood in their homeland. May we dedicate our children and inner children for a few hours to the ups and downs of childhood in Iran and leave the museum with a bag full of pride, happiness and gratification for our belongings as well as gratitude towards the founders. It is indeed an unforgettable joy.”