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The Open Space Forum Workshop: The Past is Now

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Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery

Chamberlain Square

Birmingham

B3 3DH

United Kingdom

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This workshop is aimed at those interested in museum’s and their relationship to the histories of empire and colonialism. It takes as its starting point The Past is Now, an exhibition which explores Birmingham’s relationship to the British Empire. This exhibition challenges the typical colonial narratives used to present the history of the British Empire. By focusing on a few key events, objects and themes, the exhibition examines the City of Birmingham’s entanglements in Empire and museum’s own bias in dealing with difficult histories. The Past is Now offers important critical perspectives, which have been either historically misrepresented or overlooked.


The Past is Now is the current exhibition in the Story Lab, a space for testing storylines and coproduction models which builds on our existing work of creating exhibitions with communities. In developing the exhibition museum staff work closely with with Birmingham based graphic designer, Abeera Kamran; artivist, Aliyah Hasinah; writer, Mariam Khan; cultural activist, Sara Myers; textile designer, Shaheen Kasmani, writer and researcher Sumaya Kassim.


Some of the questions we will be asking are

How can the curation of BMaG’s collection foster shared understanding and respect between communities?
How should sensitive/difficult histories such as empire be curated and displayed?
What are the lessons arising from The Past is Now?
How can the co-curation process inform curatorial decisions into the future?


We will provide light refreshments and a tour of the gallery.

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Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery

Chamberlain Square

Birmingham

B3 3DH

United Kingdom

View Map

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