A Year On From: ITP 2017

This time last year, ITP 2016 fellows contributed to the blog to tell us how participating in the summer programme and joining the global network had impacted on their professional lives over the first year post-summer programme (read here).

Well, time moves fast and now it’s the turn of ITP 2017 fellows to do the same!
Over to them…

Chen Li (ITP 2017, China)
International Loans Coordinator, Nanjing Museum

Before I went through the ITP training, I knew Chinese museums were quite different from western museums but just did not know in what ways. After 40 days of training, I got first hand information and experience. And I got to know a group of professionals who were as enthusiastic about museums as me. After coming back to China, I realized that I must learn museum studies systematically: both theory and practice. So I applied to Fudan University in Shanghai for a Ph.D in Museum Studies. Fortunately, after tests and interviews, I was accepted in April this year. So now I am a postgraduate, which I had never imagined when I first came to work in Nanjing Museum.

Looking back on ITP 2017, the best memories are the exchanges with the other ITP fellows, especially those who came from countries I knew little of. They changed my views of the outside world and let me believe people were just not so different.

Thi Thi and Chen Li

Chen Li (right) with Thi Thi Phyo at the British Museum

Regarding contacting other ITP fellows, I have exchanged WeChat messages with Thi Thi Phyo (ITP 2017, Myanmar) and a few others by email. Because of some restrictions, I could not stay active on ITP social media. But now the Chinese fellows are shooting videos for the ITP, which will come out soon. And thank you to the ITP team for sending us all the latest news about the ITP by email.

I have been in contact with BM colleagues who are in charge of international loans. Although there is no project currently under discussion, I am sure the British Museum and Nanjing Museum will have more collaborations in the future!

I gained so much from the 40-day stay in the UK. I feel very very grateful to all the people who invest their sponsorship and energy in this project.


Fadzai Muchemwa (ITP 2017, Zimbabwe)
Curator for Education and Public Programming, National Gallery of Zimbabwe


Fadzai (left) chairs an artist talk at National Gallery of Zimbabwe

The ITP changed the way I work in terms of processes and collaborations. I now work more collaboratively and think in terms of how projects and exhibitions can benefit communities and how the communities can make such projects work. I was promoted to the Learning Department at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, and so I get to use much more effectively the skills acquired at the BM and Glasgow Museums.

Fadzai ExhibitionWhat has stayed in my mind especially in my curatorial work is that you need to show the best, you need to find an ideal sponsor as sponsorship makes an exhibition richer, text needs work, schedules are important and you need to think of the space. I used this effectively in a project I curated independently at the Lusaka National Museum, Zambia. I also started at my museum a more structured volunteer programme and an exhibition policy which includes more detailed interpretation plans. The exhibition policy was presented to the Board of Trustees this year, was adopted and is now being implemented.

ITP was an experience of a lifetime! I got to see what happens behind the scenes at the BM. It was not just beneficial for my professional life. I got to meet and appreciate different cultures. I made friends with whom I will be friends for the rest of my life. And of course I got to see the Easter Island head at the BM and got to go to Stonehenge.

I have been in touch with some ITP 2017 fellows: Beimote Ngozi Etim (Nigeria), Matsosane Molibeli (Lesotho), Hafnidar (Indonesia) and Chithra Kallur (India). I met John Giblin (former Head of Africa Section) when he came to Zimbabwe in September last year. I also met BM colleagues when I was back in London in December 2017 for the ITP+ course in Photography and documentation. And I have also been in touch with Pat Allan (ITP UK partner representative, Glasgow Museums) and an artist I met in Glasgow through Pat.


Norhan Hassan Salem (ITP 2017, Egypt)
Registrar and Cultural Events Coordinator, Egyptian Museum in Cairo

I work in different specialities and departments, including Registrar (Department of Registration, Collection Management and Documentation), Cultural Events Coordinator and also In-Charge of the Outside Study Request.

Noor Guided Tour

Noor leads a guided tour for children during recent event at the Egyptian Museum

During the year after attending the ITP in summer 2017, I have started to take on more responsibilities at my institution than before. I became the person who is responsible for the data entry of the content for the Egypt Documentation Project (British Museum), which I was already a member of with other three curators in the first team from 2015 to 2016. Now I have finished about 25% of the data and the work is still being continued. I work now with a colleague and two volunteers on organising, making and editing the digital inventory for the libraries of the departments inside our museum. I have also recently joined the marketing team as well. All of these missions have been added to my original ones during this year.

This year I had the permission to publish two papers, one on Egyptology and the other one in the heritage field. I am also selected to attend an ITP+ course that will be held at the Nubian Museum in Aswan this month. It will be focused on interpretation and exhibition text, which is really a very interesting theme especially because it is one of the main responsibilities in the museum.

Noor Raneen Heba

Heba and Noor reunited with Raneen in Egypt

On the first day of 2018, my dear Raneen Kiresh (ITP 2017, Palestine) visited me in the Egyptian Museum during her visit to Egypt. She came with my friend Heba Khairy (ITP 2017, Egypt) and we had a very small reunion. That wonderful time passed smoothly and so fast while we were talking and remembering our memories in the UK during our informal tour of the interior and galleries of the museum. It was a very special day and it was so nice to meet Raneen again in Egypt with Heba.

Finally I would like to mention that working with the ITP has improved my performance, and still helps me to evaluate it. The ITP experience keeps teaching me how to work better through the different team-building activities.


Ala Talebian (ITP 2017, Iran)
Student, University of Tehran

ITP has opened many doors for me. It was the beginning point for me to realise that if I’m very interested, I am able to do even stuff that looks out of my league because of my age.

Studious Ala

A studious Ala during ITP 2017

I was always interested in museum studies, history and artefacts but ITP taught me what details matter when you want a good program meand a good museum management system. The knowledge I gained during my time on the ITP has stayed with me all along and I use it even in different fields such as my architecture classes and my latest internship.
All I have from ITP are good memories: the first day’s walk to the museum, Kew Gardens, the theatre trip, lectures and not to forget the every morning gathering in the British Museum’s Great Court!

Ala Ela

Ala and Ela in Oxford, back in summer 2017

ITP is more than just a programme: you realise this when you return home and start missing everyone. Luckily social media is always an asset! This year I had the privilege to see Ela (Manuela) Lehmann (Project Curator, Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan) two times: once in her home city, Berlin and one in mine, Tehran.