Out of Boredom Comes Creativity: Behind the Scenes at the MUNCH Museum


Written by: Ellen Young


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Photo of Art Educator, Zeenat Amiri provided by the MUNCH Museum.

When faced with closed doors because of the Corona pandemic, the team at the MUNCH Museum went into creative mode at warp speed.  

“The people can’t come to the art. The art must come to the people.”  

And so, they did.  

Within days of Norway’s initial “shut down” The Munch Museum created an online Facebook event. A live tour which would take place at the museum in Tøyen, a neighborhood known for its street art and, of course, “the Munch.”  

This video and the several live and recorded tours that have followed, provide us with something we need: an escape. For a few minutes we can dream, imagine, and create again. Zeenat Amiri, Art Educator at MUNCH, and her team at the museum have since provided us with new platforms with which to explore Edvard Munch and all his paintings, photographssketches, and even journals

“The idea of technology, digital movies, and also accessibility, in a lot of ways was how we connected to art and literature as children.”  

Zeenat voices gratitude for growing up in a family that was very present and always telling stories. This heritage is crystal clear when you watch one of the many tours from MUNCH digital. Zeenat’s presence, preparedness, and passion shine through these videos that are sure to provide the necessary “escapism” during life in lockdown. Particularly now, when things feel dark, lonely, and scary; now is when we turn to the light and art provides such a light. 

Be Adaptable 

When asked what has made these videos such a success, where they were mentioned and perhaps slightly criticized in a major Norwegian newspaper, NRK (the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation), Zeenat candidly explains, “We initially used Facebook to post live stream events, within these live streams we listened to the comments and the feedback. Both positive and negative. With every comment that came in, we would pause and think, ‘OK. Adjust.’” Having a good sense of humor towards such an article came in handy, where they were able to listen and adapt to the feedback and the needs of their audience, peers, and critics. 

It’s important to note that their earlier versions of “hand-held and easy” allowed MUNCH to reach a younger audience, all over the world. MUNCH has been able to reach seven-million viewers by adapting the process to meet viewers where they are. On social media. 

Find Ways to Connect 

Zeenat and the team at MUNCH have a goal to create an atmosphere where each of us may speak about art in a connecting and expressive way. “Edvard Munch’s art speaks to human nature—it speaks to the inner-emotional life.” When we find ways to connect, we may further find ways to grow, process, and problem-solve. 

Grow Your Process 

The MUNCH team’s video process is always growing and adapting. Zeenat explains, “I first write a script, I want to tell a story. I decide which painting to choose and how to talk about that. I want to help people find a voice when it comes to the art. Find your connection, your connotations, and your feelings in that moment.” Don’t be afraid to adapt and grow your own processes, whatever they may be. This authenticity is noticeable and relatable in a way that led from creative processes to success. 

As we see through MUNCH digital, it all started with an idea and a dream. Those of us at SHE Community recommend you begin with The Woman and Nature tour and from there, let your creativity guide you. Both in the business world and our own personal lives, we may benefit from the behind the scenes look at Munch’s past, present, and future. Let Zeenat tell the stories, where we might one day tell our own, grow our habits, and further our reach. •