Introductions and First Impressions of the British Museum (Benedicta Gokah, ITP 2019, Ghana)

Written by Benedicta Gokah, Research Fellow, the Ano Institute of Contemporary Arts (ITP 2019, Ghana)

Have you ever read about the ITP and wondered what is it all about? Spending 6 weeks with total strangers at the British Museum with very little idea as to what was going to happen? Well if you didn’t, I sure as well did! At least not after my first day.

Today was great in small ways and big ways all in one. For one, we finally got to see where the British Museum was located! Walking as a group with the rest of the ITP Fellows surely did reassure me that I wasn’t going to end up lost someplace else or have to think about finding a route on public transport to get there.

Speed networking with the rest of the ITP 2019 Fellows

The building was magnificent. Its sheer size and tall pillars left no doubt about that. What was even more spectacular was the collections the Museum houses! I could live there for 6 weeks thoroughly exploring the collections one by one and still not be done by then. The depths which these collections delve into and the vast time periods they cover are just an amazement all together.

Claire Messenger (ITP Manager) did a good job of laying out all the pieces of the entire ITP programme in a way that was manageable to understand. Now I certainly don’t have to wonder what I will be doing on Fridays at 3pm! Most importantly we had a session with the Director of the British Museum, Hartwig Fischer, who highlighted some salient points that I believe all the 2019 ITP Fellows will carry back home. The most eye-opening statement for me, which in way might as well be the vision of the ITP, was ‘redefining what the dialogue between cultures,’ which is also reflective of the international diversity of the Fellows. The Director said that it is important to highlight the interconnections of cultures because it is this that had driven the development of mankind.

Dr Hartwig Fischer, Director of the British Museum

With renewed fervour, we hope to carry this with us throughout the programme and beyond.