Seeking new trustees: The Migration Museum plans to broaden its appeal

Museum Museum Poster

The Migration Museum – an innovative project to create the first permanent home for a museum in the United Kingdom devoted to a story that probably affects every person in the country – is looking for new trustees.

They will come at a time when the museum – at present in a temporary home in a shopping centre in Lewisham, south London is planning to boost its profile and move centre stage to highlight the issue and all its extraordinary facets.

As the prospectus for new trustees says

” Never before has there been stronger justification for there to be a welcoming and stimulating cultural institution – away from the polarising noise of politics and the media – to explore some of the most pressing issues of the day – migration, race, Brexit and our colonial past among them – in a richly aesthetic atmosphere of calm reflection.”

Aim, Vision and Values

The projects aim, vision and values are summed up in three paragraphs:

“Our Mission is to deliver a popular, high-profile and accessible cultural institution, to which every person in the country can feel a sense of belonging and that puts Britain’s migration story at centre stage.

“Our Vision is of a society in which we all (for we all have migration stories in our family past, if we dig a little) feel connected and represented in an essentially British shared migration story.

” Our Values are to promote tolerance, understanding, respect and participation, and to engender a real sense of representation, both beyond our organisation and within it. This means that we are strongly committed to promoting diversity and representation within our Board, not only to reflect the lived experience of our
audiences, but also to deliver role models for those who join, or aspire to join us, as trustees, employees, volunteers or collaborators. “

exciting events

For the last few years the museum has already put on a number of exciting events – from recreating the Jungle camp ( and all the art) made by migrants in Calais to putting on a concert by Aeham Ahmad, the incredibly brave and talented pianist who played his piano on the streets of bombed out Yarmouk in Damascus until he was forced to flee by the Syrian dictator Assad to Germany.

More recently during the pandemic there has been a digital exhibition of migrants contribution to the NHS and a series of digital exhibitions telling the story of emigration from the UK and those who were left behind.

For those who might be interested the deadline for applications is May 3 and the prospectus and all the details are here.

I am one of 120 Distinguished Friends of the Migration Museum and am a strong supporter of the project. I have also written a number of stories on this blog on some of their past exhibitions. Here are a few of them.

Migration Museum You Tube Video on the NHS

https://davidhencke.com/2020/10/07/amazing-new-digital-exhibition-celebrating-how-migrants-around-the-world-came-to-the-aid-of-the-nhs/

https://davidhencke.com/2016/06/10/why-all-the-uk-should-see-this-brilliant-exhibition-on-the-calais-jungle/

https://davidhencke.com/2014/10/12/what-have-the-germans-ever-given-us/

Why all the UK should see this brilliant exhibition on the Calais Jungle

CROSS POSTED ON BYLINE.COM

Until June 22 there is an extraordinary exhibition of art, sculpture,photographs, documents, multi media  and sound on the Calais jungle migrant camp.. It is at the London Newcastle Arts Project Space in Shoreditch,London.

Wanderers 1

An amazing sculpture at the entrance to the exhibition. It looks like a mass of people but each of them is an individual. A fitting symbol for the exhibition.

© Nikolaj Bendix Skyum Larsen

The exhibition tells the story of the huge migration from the Middle East, Afghanistan, and North Africa to Calais and the people involved.It is probably the biggest issue in the whole of Europe today.

It is both a harrowing and uplifting showing the strength of the human spirit in the face of extreme adversity. There are evil people, neo Fascists,nasty people smugglers, and thugs who exploit and deride them  but there are also many ,many caring human beings who are prepared to help them on their way to a better, safer life.

What is extraordinary about this exhibition is that much of the art comes from the very people themselves as a way of expressing their own plight. And the squalid Jungle is  a place where people play music, dance, paint,cook,and create as well try to survive.

Call me by my name 9 hi res

These are the tents they livedin. Picture

© brandingbygarden.

 

Everyone who has any humanity should see this exhibition – especially the people who denigrate them as hordes or swarms of people. They are people like them. It is antidote to the crass debate on Brexit.

And denying them a safe haven is also denying our country the benefit of their enormous talents – many are highly educated and many have discovered new talents on the way. Worse the plight of unaccompanied children aged from 8 to 14 or 15 is something this country cannot ignore – and thanks to the efforts of Alf Dubs ( Lord Dubs) who pushed Theresa May, the home secretary, to allow them to come in – there is some hope  for a few now. But there needs to be more.

Call me by my name 11

These lifejackets were taken from the beach in Greece. Believe it or not the smugglers gave them fake lifejackets, they don’t float.

© brandingbygarden.

 

At a very moving reception where the organisers- through the Migration Museum Project – was attended by asylum seekers – and some who had managed to be smuggled into Britain. They mingled with students, artists and campaigners looking at the exhibits.

Museums and art centres in Britain you should thinking of staging this exhibition so the people  across the United Kingdom can see the whole story. How about some of you rising to the challenge.

Call me by my name 3 med res (1)

The sculpture as you enter the exhibition. © brandingbygarden.