A project in the Tower Museum to engage marginalised communities and bring people together through conversation and learning has been nominated for a prestigious 2023 Museums Change Lives Award.
The Global Voices, Local Choices project, is hosted by National Museums NI in partnership with the African and Caribbean Support Organisation Northern Ireland (ACSONI) and Northern Ireland Museums Council (NIMC).
It is funded by the Esmee Fairbairn Collections Fund and aims to address colonial legacies by bringing diverse cultures and perspectives into local and national museums.
The Tower Museum is a partner museum in the initiative along with Carrickfergus Museum, Tower Museum, Armagh Robinson Library and No. 5 Vicar’s Hill, Fermanagh County Museum, Causeway Coast and Glen Museum Service.
The project has been nominated for the Decolonising Museums title for the Museum Association hosted awards which seek to recognise and celebrate outstanding practice by UK museums delivering social impact, promoting the next examples of work by museums and individuals that support communities and engage with contemporary issues.
The National Museums NI partnership secured commitment from six marginalised ethnic minority groups in six boroughs across Northern Ireland, to each attend six creative workshops at their local museum resulting in six displays.
At the Tower Museum participants explored a range of objects from the World Cultures Collection at the Tower and at the Ulster Museum, including the Mbira, a family of musical instruments, traditional to the Shona people of Zimbabwe.
Through sharing music and Asian food, the group had the opportunity to explore new cultures and identities and discuss the importance of diversity and inclusion.
Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Councillor Patricia Logue, said the programme had an important role in bringing people together. “Museums are important shared spaces where people can get together to discuss heritage and how it has shaped society,” she explained.
“Programmes like Global Voices Local Choices bring different cultures together to share their stories, and use artefacts as the starting point for conversations around culture and heritage and the traditions that are unique to different ethnic communities.
“I am delighted that the initiative has been nominated for this award which holds significant prestige within the industry.”
Global Voices, Local Choices will contend with two other short listed candidates for the award which will be presented at a ceremony in The Glasshouse in Gateshead in November.
Find out more about the Global Voices Local Choices project at https://www.nationalmuseumsni.org/global-voices-local-choices-project
Full details on the Museum Change Lives awards are available on the Museums Association awards at www.museumsassociation.orgTags: