Throwback Thursday – Our Third ITP+ Course

Written by Claire Messenger, Manager, International Training Programme

From Tuesday 23rd to Thursday 25th October 2018, based at the Nubia Museum in Aswan, the ITP+ course in Museum interpretation used a series of case studies, a visitor experience activity, four workshops, two label writing sessions and a panel discussion to think about the types of interpretation being used in museums across the globe.

We were delighted to welcome, ITP fellows from Egypt, India, Sudan and Uganda who delivered case studies, supported our UK team in delivering workshops and sessions and looked after us so wonderfully:

Ghalia Garelnabi Abdelrahman (Sudan, ITP Fellow 2010) Director, Sudan National Museum
Omima Abdelrahman Mohammed Elsanosi (Sudan, ITP Fellow 2015) Curator, Sudan National Museum
Hadeer Belal (Egypt, ITP Fellow 2013) Curator, Coptic Museum
Jackline Besigye (Uganda, ITP Fellow 2013) Senior Conservator, Uganda National Museum
Huzoor Choudhry (India, ITP Fellow 2008) Proprietor, Huzoor Designs
Souad Fayez Ebeid (Egypt, ITP Fellow 2010) Director General, Beni Suef Museum
Nimat Mohamed Elhassan (Sudan, ITP Fellow 2009) Director, Khalifa House Museum
Sayed Ahmed Fadl (Egypt, ITP Fellow 2016) Curator, National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation
Mohamed Mokhtar (Egypt, ITP Fellow 2015 & Senior Fellow 2019) Curator, Abdeen Palace Museum
Amani Mohammed (Sudan, ITP Fellow 2013) Senior Curator, Sudan National Museum
Vandana Prapanna (India, ITP Fellow 2010) Senior Curator, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS), Mumbai
Norhan Hassan Salem (Egypt, ITP Fellow 2017) Registrar & Museum Educator & Cultural Events’ Coordinator, Egyptian Museum

And to be joined by a team from the UK including colleagues from the British Museum, Manchester Museum and the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology:

Anna Garnett, Curator, Petrie Museum of Egyptian, Archaeology
Campbell Price, Curator of Egypt and Sudan, Manchester Museum
Stuart Frost, Head of Interpretation and Volunteers, British Museum
Jane Batty, Interpretation Manager, British Museum

We were also excited that 13 museum professionals, selected by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, from institutions across Egypt.  It was lovely to meet new colleague from across the sector in Egypt and to introduce them to the ITP.

Sessions for the programme included:-

  • An introduction followed by a tour of the Nubia Museum and its interpretation.
  • A series of interpretation-based case studies from UK facilitators and ITP fellows from around the world.
  • A Visitor Experience task which encouraged participants to think about their visitors and the kind of interpretation they need.
  • Group project work where participants were assigned a unique project using the Nubia Museum for inspiration.
  • A session for participants to focus on their own museum’s panel/label text and think about their museum’s audiences.
  • A panel discussion led by UK facilitators on audience surveys and evaluation methods.

Taking the core learning strand of Interpretation into account, the course was developed around project-based learning. Colleagues from the British Museum; Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS), Mumbai; Huzoor Designs, Bhopal; Manchester Museum; the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology and Uganda National Museum all shared their current projects and programmes to illustrate key points in museum interpretation.  Additionally, the ITP+ course aimed to support fellows to re-work text from a panel or label of their choice from their museum under the guidance of UK facilitators and our ITP Fellows.

At the end of Day 3 we enjoyed a fun evaluation session – involving lots of post-it notes, of course!! – and some of the feedback from our colleagues is below:

“The outstanding outcome of the workshop for me was sharing the experience” “I most enjoyed the way we can make our objects tell stories and share information” “I enjoyed the inspiring enthusiasm and examples of great work” “We achieved a great amount”

The event closed with a study trip to Philae Temple and the tombs at Qubbet el-Hawa which gave the opportunity for an overview of the culture and heritage sector and the diversity of sites in Aswan.

But the fun didn’t stop there – our trip to Egypt happened to coincide with Rebecca Horton’s birthday so, with the help of the incredible hotel staff, we were able to arrange a surprise party, with a beautiful cake. It was quite the most memorable evening and so amazing for Becca to be able to celebrate her special day with ITP colleagues from across the network.

I’d like to take this opportunity of looking back at our time in Aswan to give special thanks to Yasser Abdelrady Mohamed Mohamed, Nubia Museum, Aswan (Egypt, ITP Fellow 2019) for being a wonderful facilitator and very kindly and calmly dealing with all our ‘strange’ requests!!!

And finally, to John Williams, Head of Photography and Imaging at the British Museum, who kindly joined us and took these wonderful photographs of our time in Aswan.