How do you remember things?
Do you write it on a post-it note?
Or send an email to yourself?
Or tie a knot in your hanky?
Those tricks work well for the little things – shopping lists, phone calls, pick up so-and-so from the station, drop off that parcel, grab a pint of milk from the corner shop. Some things you remember; some you forget…
But what about the important things? The things that you absolutely *have* to remember for months, years, even decades? The scary, loving, life-changing, heart-wrenching things?
When you got that dream job. The first time you met your gorgeous partner. Your Pappi telling family stories at the dinner table (most of which you suspect he made up). Your little one’s hand in yours at the park. These are the things that we strive to carry with us for as long as our mind lets us. But how do we make sure of it?
Museums are places where people come to remember. Instead of a post-it note we use objects, papers and photos to help us remember things. Often, the memories aren’t actually ours – they’ve been shared with us by someone else, often someone living hundreds of years ago.
Here at the Museum of Cambridge, we’ve been thinking hard about what it means for our communities to remember; especially as we come reflect on the Covid-19 pandemic and the impact it had and is still having on us all. Over August, we’ve been offering free family-friendly workshops which give our visitors the chance to explore their memories of the pandemic, and what it means to them to remember that strange and scary time.
The workshops have been a roaring success, with families from across the city joining us over the last few weeks. Families have been recreating lockdown living through the workshop entitled ‘Our Space’ and remembering something special that happened during the lockdown. In the workshop ‘My Buried Treasure’, families have been thinking about what it means to treasure an object and how they can keep their own precious objects safe.
Adults have also been getting involved, with the workshop ‘Telling Our Tales’ giving them the chance to practise their storytelling skills, and take turns to share a story about their experiences of Covid-19.
Here are some comments we’ve had from participants at the workshops:
‘I found the activity really meaningful – a really great opportunity for our family to reflect on some of the things we did during lockdown that we had forgotten all about’
‘A great chance to spend proper time with my family making something really fun’
‘We talked about it all the way home!’
‘A lovely creative opportunity for the whole family’
‘My two daughters worked together and didn’t fight! Thank you!!’
Participants’ creative designs from these workshops will be preserved in a digital time capsule on our website Capturing Cambridge. What this space for an update!
There’s still time to book onto the final few sessions – just hop onto our What’s On page to take a look! All the sessions are completely free for all.
We’ve been lucky enough to deliver these workshops through our participation in the Vaccine Access Partnership. We’ve been working with Cambridge City Council, Cambridge Council for Voluntary Services and other small charities across the city. Sincere thanks to them for their support and generosity.