Museum of World Stories: Two Years On From Mumbai

Written by Claire Messenger, ITP Manager

In November 2015, CSMVS Mumbai and the British Museum co-hosted a workshop entitled Creating museums of world stories, with the support of the Getty Foundation, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the International Training Programme. The workshop saw museum and heritage professionals brainstorm and debate new forms of ‘encyclopaedic’ displays presenting familiar local and national histories in the context of global stories.

It also provided an opportunity for past ITP fellows to reconnect with colleagues and to introduce them to alumni from across the ten annual summer programmes (2006 – 2015), as well as offering a forum for networking with museum and heritage professionals from around India and the rest of the world.

As part of their remit, delegates were split into mixed-nationality groups and asked to create exhibition proposals based on the concept of Your city and the world – examining how national and international stories are interconnected, through the lens of material culture.

One year on in November 2016, ITP fellows Rige Shiba (India, ITP 2013), Ishaq Mohamed Bello (Nigeria, ITP 2012), Wendland Chole Kizili (Kenya, ITP 2013), Manisha Nene (India, ITP 2011) and Jana Alaraj (Palestine, ITP 2011) from the Mumbai exhibition team Bristol: Seeing the Invisible met again in Bristol to work with Sue Giles, Senior Curator of World Cultures, Bristol Museums, Galleries and Archives to develop their proposal into a viable online exhibition.

While in Bristol, the team focussed on world stories by exploring the coexistence of different communities in Bristol. They decided on their key aims and established their three ‘Big Ideas’:
– Looking at communities and culture inside and out
– Celebrating the coexistence of different cultures
– Searching for stories hidden in broad view

Bristol 1

Throughout 2017, the team have been considering the kinds of objects and supporting material they would like to include in the online exhibition.

Now we are delighted that Sue will be joining us here at the British Museum to work through the object lists. We will spend the day considering and discussing the object selection and where the objects sit within the team’s agreed themes and objectives. The process of writing panels and labels will then follow, as will a toolkit for creating online exhibitions, which we hope you will find useful.

Next year, thanks to Jana, Manisha, Rige, Sue, Ishaq and Kizili, we will be looking forward to sharing the results of an ITP Mumbai legacy project!