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Namrata Sarmah

Independent Museums Consultant

Country: India

ITP Year: 2018


Namrata works as an independent museums Consultant and Researcher, offering in depth expertise in the management of museums, archives, and cultural institutions. She is also an Advisor in museums, bio-cultural conservation, and sustainable development with the Earth initiative.

In 2023, Namrata was involved with the event management team responsible for organising the Lighthouse Festival in Goa, reviving 75 historic lighthouses across the country as part of a heritage tourism initiative. The three-day event showcased local artists and a laser lighting exhibition showcasing maritime history and culture.

Also in 2023, Namrata worked on a publication initiative on Majuli Island, supporting the 2023 edition of the Majuli Music Festival, through the Earth Initiative. As well as this, Namrata is working on an ‘Executive Education / Professionalisation of Knowledge Management’ initiative which seeks to:

  • promote museums as models to recalibrate values of sustainable development.
  • impinge upon evolving museums phenomenon to showcase transformative practices globally, imbibing principles of ICOM & UNESCO.
  • evolve holistic development initiatives and measures to strengthen and reform “Museums in, for & as Sustainable Development” realm.

Namrata has an MA in History from the University of Delhi and in Museology from the National Museum Institute, New Delhi. Her professional interests lie in histories of memories, tangible and intangible heritages and cultural studies. In her work she is interested in engaging with oral narratives of mutinies and resistances, and memories of displacement in South Asia during decolonisation.

Namrata previously worked at the Directorate of Museums, Assam as a Project Curator, where she worked on content development and gallery design projects (Textile and Natural History gallery), overseeing educational activities, and writing a catalogue on the costumes of the Ahom Royalty. She also designed displays and curation for different district museums of Assam under the Directorate of Museums.

Namrata also designed the display of Madan Kamdev, a 9th-10th century archaeological site in Baihata, Assam containing sizeable statues and sculptures depicting Hindu gods such as Shiva, Vishnu, Ganesha, Surya (Sun God) and Apsaras (celestial nymphs). The site is believed to be a tribute to Kamdev and Rati, the deities of love. She also planned an interactive seminar/workshop for museum professionals in the District Museum in Karbi Anglong, one of the remotest mountainous districts of Assam.

Namrata has previously worked as a Research Assistant in the Directorate of Archaeology, Government of Assam. Her main responsibilities included visiting excavation sites and on-site documentation, for example: documenting the stone sculptures in Deopahar Archaeological Park in Numaligarh, Assam where the chief focus of the site is a temple dedicated to Hindu God Shiva, which can be dated to 7th-9th century. The sculptures of the temple are indicative of the Gupta-era art and contains depictions of episodes from ancient Indian epics and sacred texts such as Ramayan, Mahabharat and Bhagavad Purana.

Previously Namrata worked at Nehru Memorial Museum and Library as an education assistant, where she conducted educational programmes for audiences, in particular for students and dignitaries. She generated ideas to expand the reach of the museum and its collections to a wide range of visitors. Namrata was also involved in exhibition related duties, including assisting the curators, image documentation, designing research modules and developing content for museum galleries.

At the British Museum
During her time on the International Training Programme, Namrata was based in the Asia Department and spent her partner placement at National Museums Northern Ireland.

Namrata worked with Rafidah Bahari (Malaysia) and Solomy Nabukalu (Uganda) on her Object in focus project, Guts and Eternal Glory.

Namrata’s place on the International Training Programme was generously supported by the Charles Wallace India Trust and the Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation.

Legacy projects
In 2019, Namrata took part in the ITP+ Course on Museums and Education held at CSMVS Mumbai which focused on the vital role museums can play in education, learning and social development. The workshop was attended by ITP fellows from India, Malaysia, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe as well as UK partners and British Museum colleagues.

In October 2019 Namrata participated in the ITP MA Conference programme in Brighton. With fellows from Egypt, Nepal, China and Malaysia, Namrata attended a programme structured around the 3-day MA Conference on Sustainable and Ethical Museums in a Globalised World.

In March 2023, Namrata received an ITP Conference Grant to attend a workshop on Museum Education and Outreach hosted by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS), Mumbai.  There she was able to meet ITP Fellows from across India meet to share skills and experiences with fellow museum educators.

ITP Newsletter Publications
ITP Newsletter Issue 6 (2019), Your collection in focus: Silk production in Assam
ITP Newsletter Issue 7 (2020) Inclusivity and social responsibility in India: Engaging with medical professionals
ITP Newsletter Issue 8 (2021) Health and wellness in a pandemic
ITP Newsletter Issue 9 (2022) The story of the palanquin
ITP Newsletter Issue 20 (2023) Enhancing the museum experience: collaboration with a regional Contemporary Artist at Assam State Museum