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William Nsuiban Gmayi

Ghana Museums and Monuments Board

Head of Communications and Public Relations

Country: Ghana

ITP Year: 2021


As the Head of Communication and Public Relations, William is responsible for the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board communication strategy, public education initiatives and press. William’s approach is to look at museums as agents of social change, with special emphasis on narratives in relation to shared heritage, slavery and transatlantic slavery, identity formation, contested memories and reassessment.

William is currently a DPhil student at the University of Oxford, where he is exploring the restitution of knowledge held in the colonial anthropological archives, focusing on the material culture, photographs and sound collections assembled by the Government Anthropologist, R.S. Rattray who worked in Ghana (then Gold Coast) in the early 1920s. His research focuses broadly on the status and value of these colonial anthropological collections in decolonial times, and questions how we can collaborate with ‘communities’ whose heritage the collections embody to determine their future?

Primary professional interests are marketing and fundraising alongside a personal research interest in collections databases, storage and libraries. Another focus for William is communities and the challenge of engaging school groups, local communities, international visitors and members of the African Diaspora. Restitution, Repatriation and the return of illicit museum objects and conflictual patterns of authorship and agency in past and present narratives on slavery in Ghana, are amongst further professional interests.

William is currently working on the Black Stars project; a project initiated from a workshop that took place in Ghana in 2019 and was jointly organised by the British Museum and the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board. The Black Stars will be a project at the National Museum in Ghana that will offer a platform to celebrate illustrious people in society at the Museum – the concept is still being developed.

At the British Museum
During his time on the International Training Programme, William was based in the Department of Africa, Oceania and the Americas and spent his partner placement at National Museums Northern Ireland.

In 2021 participants were asked to plan and propose a temporary exhibition on the theme of journeys, drawing on their existing museum experience and the skills learnt during the programme.  William worked with Emrah Kahraman (Turkey) and Siddhant Shah (India) on his Object in focus project. Their exhibition proposal was titled Journey to the West.

William’s place on the ITP was generously supported by the Edith Murphy Foundation.

Continued Dialogue
William is now part of the Reimagining the British Museum International Working Group (IWG) which has invited international museum and cultural heritage experts to collaborate with the Museum and support the development of outline briefs for new suites of permanent galleries at the British Museum through online monthly meetings and workshops in London.