ITP+ Mumbai: Group Project Work (Solomy Nabukalu, ITP 2018 & Fadzai Muchemwa, ITP 2017)
Written by Solomy Nabukalu, Conservator, Kabale Museum (ITP 2018, Uganda) and Fadzai Muchemwa, Curator for Education and Public Programming, National Gallery of Zimbabwe (ITP 2017, Zimbabwe)
Written Friday 29 March
Different groups have been created, each having an ITP facilitator to support and act as a source of inspiration (rather than leading the group or the project). Our group is shaping up to look more like a partnership-driven exercise. The recommended programming will help tackle some of the exclusionary social conditioning with primary school groups.
We are a group of five members. I am the team leader, Divya Rwathina (CSMVS) is the Scribe whereas our reporter is Renuka Muthuswami (CSMVS). Imma Ramos (British Museum) and Rachana Devidayal Shah (CSMVS) are group members. The UK group facilitator is Jan Pitman from Norfolk Museums Service who has challenged us a lot, and we have worked with him tirelessly to get ideas.
What has been most helpful so far is the debating and brainstorming on key issues for primary audiences and the aspect of social inclusion learning that will look to support the future of the new CSMVS Children’s Museum in Mumbai.
Towards the end of the session we were introduced to an activity called ‘Speed mentoring’. The ITP facilitators were rotating to all the five groups, given ten minutes for each group to help in the exchange of ideas. It was fun, it widened and brought in critical ideas. There was an opportunity for each group to meet all the different ITP facilitators to discuss about their specific topics in a very short time.
Big thanks goes to the British Museum ITP and CSMVS, thank you for this opportunity, to enable us to have this networking and productive discussions on museum learning.
This has been an especially interesting ITP+ and had many teachable moments. This has been particularly apparent in the group project. The group project has been shaping up in interesting ways. It has been quite interesting working with colleagues from a background that’s different from mine and to hear their view points and seeing things from their side.
I have been working with Suruchika Chawla (ITP 2018, India), Manisha Nene (ITP 2011), and Mumbai teacher Sybil Varghese with the assistance of Ronan Brindley (Manchester Art Gallery). The challenge has been to adapt to different working styles and different cultural backgrounds. It has been useful working as a team like this: people don’t agree all the time and each voice must be heard for progress to take place and to work together to achieve a common goal.
Speed mentoring was quite interesting in showing how each facilitator on the course had a different way of looking at our project. I valued how each speed mentor was honest with us and looked at the program from their different expertise making us aware of what we had not thought about. Ed Lawless (British Museum) and Jan Pitman’s (Norfolk Museums Service) comments on how to keep in mind that the family was our focus audience helped us get on track. All were helpful in aiding us to rethink some of our activities: Tim Corum’s (Horniman Museum) advice to possibly look at the Hear By Right concept; Joanna Mawdsley (V&A Dundee) pointing out possibilities of allergies and finding alternatives. Plus advice from Siddhant Shah (Access Consultant) enabled us to consider family members with intellectual disabilities: thinking about architecture and interiors: hard/soft materials and flooring, spaces without corners that box people in… And Ronan has been very patient with us, keeping us on track and guiding us towards our goal.
I’ve learnt about how to keep families engaged and sharing spaces, and about how objects can be an attraction with a unifying tool. And I’ve learnt to listen!