Is this a reflection of “the age of 2020” or the portrait of a narcissistic generation? In Stockholm, the most recent of the so-called Selfie “museums” provide a colorful setting for Instagram and TikTok followers.
Presented as “an interactive experience for social networks”, the “Yousum”a play on words between “you” and “museum” in English, at the gates of the Swedish capital, it does not house works of art hanging on the white walls.
And the price of your ticket (which exceeds 30 dollars) is closer to that of an amusement park than that of a classic museum.
Here, visitors wander through brightly colored and eccentrically decorated rooms, meant to provide an attractive setting for photos and videos that are then posted on social media.
“Here you can take beautiful photos and create content for your Instagram or Facebook. And if you are on TikTok, you have the perfect place to make” the videos on this network, explained to AFP Sofía Makiniemi, one of the managers of the place.
Behind her is the “emoji room”, full of blue and yellow balls representing the well-known smiley faces.
In other themed rooms, visitors can dive into a pool with foam candies simulating candies in a space inspired by the French Riviera, pose under bright neon lights or sit on a giant pink swing.
“There’s lighting, TikTok music, sweets, whatever we like,” said 18-year-old Zeneb Elmani, who is visiting with a group of friends. The student loves that the site has a “2020s” feel to it.
“My God, this is so cute!
Located in a shopping mall, the Youseum “is an interactive museum where you can create the art you want to see”, Makiniemi assured.
After the first two spaces launched in the Netherlands by commercial property giant Westfield, Sweden is the second country to host one.
It opened in mid-March in a giant business center in Solna, on the outskirts of Stockholm. Other projects are announced in Germany or Dubai.
The era of social media and its influencers comes with growing warnings about possible mental health risks for adolescents and young people, especially girls.
“It’s a big part of our society today. So why not try to make it more creative?
The young schoolgirls who visit the compound that day show no cause for concern.
“I find this place nice for people who like to take pictures. It’s too cute here, my God, it’s too cute,” exclaims Chaymae Ouahchi, 18.
The young woman does not consider herself an influencer and assures us that she is “a very secretive person”.
Generations past may cringe at hearing a place dedicated to taking selfies with cellphones described as a “museum,” or they may resign themselves, like Bill Burgwinkle, a 70-year-old professor visiting with his niece.
“I think it’s too late to worry. The world is like that now” and this type of enclosure, until unlikely, “seems to fulfill its function”, he assures.
Guatemala joins the “selfimania”
Being photographed being “abducted” by an alien spacecraft or “levitating” on a bed is also possible for selfie lovers in Guatemala, where the country’s first museum was opened the previous month, which recreates colorful places to take pictures.
“It’s a very good and very creative place to take pictures,” Gabriela Alonzo, one of the visitors, told AFP. of the Selfie Museumrecently opened to the public on one of the hills that surround the colonial city of Antigua, southwest of the capital, one of the main tourist attractions of the Central American nation.
The particular museum is the first of its kind in Central Americaaccording to its owners, and offers a variety of 40 scenarios to live photographic experiences, to be a convict, a Barbie doll in her box or to paint with a giant pencil.
Tourists also take the opportunity to give a frontal kiss to Spider-Man, the legendary American comic book superhero, to imitate one of his most memorable scenes from the 2002 film.
“It’s very cool,” added Alonzo, from Guatemala City.
All of the “spots” (places) were assembled and painted by more than 10 Guatemalan artists and are accessible for around three dollars.
“The model we carried inside”
“The idea came from a trip to Miami, where I had the opportunity to see a place with a concept similar to this one and decided to bring it to Guatemala”, j countedhi lopeza 19-year-old entrepreneur, one of the owners of the museum that opened last February.
Colors burst from all the walls of the place and at every step people try to take the best selfie.
“Here, the art is yourself,” said Rony Hernández, a museum collaborator.
Monochrome and Hulk swing paintings are also popular for selfies. Tourists can also photograph themselves with a mural of Guatemalan singer-songwriter Ricardo Arjona.
In another area of the museum, which simulates a bank robbery with “bags of money”, Ángel Recopachi, without hiding his emotion for “all the photos” he takes, said he would return to live a “wonderful experience”. /France Media Agency