We are excited to get started on this project!
This has not been the most fun start to the year the museum has had, but that hasn’t stopped us from starting out some really cool projects!
On Wednesday 13th of January, the Decolonising team had their first meeting: that’s me, Aimee, our Collections Officer, and Kirsten and Ginevra, both volunteers from the University of Cambridge Department of Archaeology.
What is this project about, you might be wondering? Well, here at the museum we think we cannot do truly representative and inclusive community and historical work if we don’t work on examining our colonial past and re-interpreting it in a way that is relevant to today’s audiences. For this reason, we decided to start questioning some of the exhibits on and off display, how we are currently telling their stories, and how we can improve these narratives.
During the next three months, the four of us will be engaging in discussions and creative work, doing research, and reaching out to different local groups to consult them during our re-interpretation process. The outcomes of this project will be shared on our website and in our museum, in the form of new labels, resource libraries with public access, blog entries, and more.
In the first meeting, we looked at some examples that Kirsten and Ginevra brought of museums and organisations that have undertaken similar decolonising projects, and we discussed what we thought had worked well, and what hadn’t, in each case. One thing we had to agree on was that this is a daunting task, but that museums have to be bold in embracing it and carrying it forward. This is a process of trial and error, as it is new for us, and it is also open-ended, as we continually discover and think up new ways to approach this topic.
If you have any comments or questions, please drop me an email on the address below.
Florencia, Community and Visitor Engagement Officer
This post was written by Florencia Nannetti, our Community and Visitor Engagement Officer at the Museum of Cambridge.