Becca in Bristol: partners, a workshop and a fellow!

Rebecca Horton, International Training Programme Coordinator

Last week I spent two days in our UK partner city, Bristol. Last time I was in Bristol I was exploring my university options and so my memory of the city had faded to lectures rooms and remembering how hilly it is!

My visit to Bristol came about when Abiti Nelson (ITP 2013, Uganda) was invited by the University of Bristol and GW4 to speak at a workshop on transformative history education. Having recently started working with Nelson on The Road to Reconciliation this was a great opportunity to meet him in person and hear about his work.

Upon arriving in Bristol Claire and I met Nelson and Bristol Museum and Art Gallery reps Sue Giles (Curator of World Cultures) and Ray Barnett (Head of Collections & Archives). As we spend so much of our time emailing each other it is always nice to catch up in person. I spent the rest of my day visiting UK partner sites: Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, Mshed, the Red Lodge Museum and the Georgian House Museum.

At Bristol Museum & Art Gallery I went to the exhibition Empire through the Lens (worked on by Sue). The exhibition presents 27 images / footage from Bristol Archives which show public and private aspects of life in the British Empire and Commonwealth. The 27 pieces were selected by members of the public, each person and piece representing a unique perspective to tell different stories. This exhibition is so interesting because such a breadth of experiences are represented from everyday life to festivals and historical events. The exhibition is open until August 2018 so I am looking forward to hearing thoughts from 2018 fellows.

Despite Nelson having flown into the UK that morning Sue and I whisked him off to dinner later that evening– who needs sleep!?

The next day Nelson spoke at the workshop during the first round table of the day entitled history, memory and heritage. Nelson spoke about how he engages communities with Uganda national museum in work around post-conflict memory and reconciliation. After giving his presentation on the museum’s current projects Nelson answered many questions from the group. Questions were very varied as attendees were from many different backgrounds; some questions were very specific to the museum’s projects whilst others orientated around what exactly the role of a museum is and should be.


Abiti Nelson presenting at the University of Bristol

I had a great two days in Bristol; in our work we depend on email and social media but it is always special when you can finally meet people in person. I can now also share hints and tips with future fellows who visit Bristol on their UK partner placement!

group photo

Becca Horton, Claire Messenger, Abiti Nelson and Sue Giles at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery