Photo Courtesy of Yuwen Zhang.

Hello! I’m Yuwen. I was born and raised in Anyang, a small town in Northern China. When I was 17, I traveled abroad for the first time to New York. Its cultural diversity and richness just struck me. Then I said to myself, “maybe you want to go back to North America later in the future.” Now, seven years later, I completed my MA degree in education in Montreal, Canada. Montreal definitely has different vibes from New York City, but I still had the most wonderful experience here, even in the winters!

I love trying out different things – you would know that if looking at my past experience. For example, I chose Swedish language and literature as my college program because I wanted to learn a new language that is spoken in faraway countries from China. Then I went for public relations and education sectors in my internships. Finally, I came to study education and sociology as a grad student. Therefore, if you ask my interests, I will probably ponder for the whole day and make a one-hundred-page list for them. But here is one hobby that has survived from my long adventure of trying new things: I enjoy reading and collecting children’s literature since I was a young girl. I was also a frequent visitor to the BAnQ Grande Bibliothèque in Montreal. When I went there, I always had a huge tote bag with me to put books in. 

My favorite museum is the Toys’ Museum in Vilnius, Lithuania. I only visited there once in 2015, but I had such an unforgettable experience there that afterward I tried to “sell” it to everyone. The Museum encouraged interactions not only between exhibitions and visitors, but also among visitors, or even between a visitor and their own childhood memories. Also, the cultures that some exhibitions demonstrated were interestingly different from the mainstream, Western culture. It doubled the fun to play and look into those toys and games. 

Visiting the Toys’ Museum made me realize that I wanted to be a museum educator and work with young children. I have always enjoyed working with children: it gives me wonderful experience and feelings. But I also want to be an educator who can extend the function of a museum – just like a moderator who facilitates interactions and connections between exhibitions and visitors, or visitors themselves, through educational designs.  

Girls nowadays are facing a myriad of issues, and sexual abuse is one of them. In recent years, we have seen an increase in cases of online sexual exploitation and abuse in particular. Even at the time when I was writing this blog, a chatroom sexual abuse scandal in South Korea shocked the world. Education in media literacy and sexual health for girls still needs to be on the agenda, together with the improvement of law enforcement. I want girls to grow up in a safer space where they are able to and enjoy navigating the digital world.

-Yuwen Zhang
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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