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ITP participant looking through magnifying equipment at British Museum conservation studio.

Shahira Banu

Student, MA History of Art

Country: Singapore


Shahira is an MA student reading History of Art and Archaeology at SOAS on the Alphawood Scholarship. Through her studies, she has learnt about curation, exhibition design and interpretation alongside theories and methods in art history.

Having the opportunity to study at SOAS has given Shahira the opportunity to learn from professors who are experts in their fields and to hear about their experiences as researchers and curators. Her dissertation explores how Hindu sculptures from temple structures in Southeast Asia have created absences when they were removed and generated new presences when eventually displayed at museums.

Museum interests are exhibitions, education, collections databases and libraries and archives. A career aspiration is to work in a curatorial department and be involved in creating educational materials. Complementary to this would be learning about how a wealth of information is condensed and presented to the public in libraries and archives.

Research interests lean towards Southeast Asian Art Histories, especially Hindu art. Personally, Shahira is curious about performance arts inspired by the Hindu Ramayana epics in the region and she enjoys reading about this in her spare time.

At the British Museum

During Shahira’s time on the International Training Programme she spent time in whole group sessions for a detailed overview of all aspects of the Museum’s work, both front of house and behind the scenes.  Shahira attended a range of subject specialist sessions, tailored sessions, chosen to reflect her professional interests, role profile and current projects and programmes.  She spent her UK partner placement at Norfolk Museums Service.

Shahira’s place on the International Training Programme was generously supported by the Marie-Louise von Motesiczky Charitable Trust.