Our First Day Trip: Brighton! (Catalina Cavelier Adarve, ITP 2019, Colombia)

Written by Catalina Cavelier Adarve, Head of Intangible Heritage, Cultural Heritage Institute of Bogota (ITP 2019, Colombia)

Our first day trip started at Victoria train station. After a short train ride, Brighton received us with all but nice things: sunny weather, lovely coloured houses, and off course, Claire!

Starting the day in Victoria Station, fellows from Uzbekistan, Palestine and Ghana are looking excited!

The morning was busy and very interesting. We had the chance to visit two amazing heritage places: the Brighton Pavilion and the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery. First, I visited the Pavilion. I wasn’t sure what to expect and was thus amazed when I first walked inside George IV’s “pleasure palace.” The audio guide helped me imagine the lavish Chinese inspired parties, with French chefs, hundreds of dishes to choose from and a proper “theatre of the table” performance. I wonder what my Chinese colleagues from the ITP thought about this imaginary idea of their country; today I didn’t get the chance to ask them but will soon find the opportunity.

Throughout the visit I reflected on the challenges of risk management and the demanding restoration projects of the building, as well as the curatorial and interpretation processes in a place where many layers of history are present. How to define that snapshot in the building’s history that you want to recreate for the public?

The Royal Pavilion of Brighton, with beautiful gardens and onion-shaped buildings.

The journey continued at the Brighton Museum, where we had the chance to visit galleries housing very diverse collections, as well as different design, interpretation and curation approaches within a single museum. I was particularly impressed by the Archaeology Gallery—so much that I got caught up in there and didn’t have enough time to visit other exhibitions! The objects in the room were given meaning and context through very interesting resources, such as demonstration videos and 3D models of the people that could have inhabited Brighton in the past. It was easy to actually imagine life in those periods and to relate with those imagined humans.

ITP fellows from China and Georgia enjoying nice weather in Brighton. 

By midday we finished the visit and we had a free afternoon to discover Brighton. Walking through the Lanes and the Pier, staring at the coastline and feeling the ocean breeze was lots of fun and very relaxing. The highlight of the visit, though, was the tasty (and seagull safe) cod and chips we enjoyed for lunch. And I have to say, way tastier than the one I tried at the British Museums’s canteen on Friday!

After a week of intense work the day trip to Brighton was enjoyable and really fun!