Conference 2022: Spotlight on our speakers - Museums Association

Conference 2022: Spotlight on our speakers

Hear from these speakers and many more in November

We’re delighted to announce our speakers for Conference 2022. Join us on 3-5 November in Edinburgh or online to explore how museums can create better places to live and work in a post-Covid world.

Scroll on to check out some of our highlights from the programme.

0900-1000, Thursday 3 November: In Conversation
Corinne Fowler
Director, Colonial Countryside: National Trust Houses Reinterpreted, University of Leicester
Graham Campbell
Political campaigner and community activist
Raj Pal
Freelance curator and creative producer

Among the highlights of this year’s conference is Corinne Fowler talking about her project, The Countryside: Ten Walks Through Colonial Britain.

Corinne is joined by community activist Graham Campbell and freelance curator and creative producer Raj Pal. Graham accompanied Corinne on walks in Jura and Islay, while Raj was her fellow walker in the Cotswolds.

Corinne is the creator of Colonial Countryside: National Trust Houses Reinterpreted, a child-led history and writing project funded by Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund. The project involves school children visiting country houses and telling the colonial stories of the properties and the people involved in their histories to reflect the evidence and perspectives that are often overlooked.

In 2019, Corinne was seconded to the National Trust to help lay the foundations for new approaches to training, interpretation and programming about country houses’ colonial connections. As part of this secondment she co-authored the National Trust report on its properties’ connections with colonialism.

Graham is a veteran political campaigner and community activist who was elected as Glasgow’s first African-Caribbean councillor in 2017. He was instrumental in Glasgow City Council holding its first ever official Black History Month.

Graham has a strong interest in supporting care-experienced young people, trade union rights, community empowerment, protecting cultural heritage, protecting refugee and migrant communities and housing issues including protecting tenants from slum landlords.

As a freelance curator and creative producer, Raj has many years of experience assisting cultural organisations to make their public offer reflective of modern society.

Raj has worked with the National Trust, University of Leicester, Royal Museums Greenwich, Historic England, Arts Council England and many other organisations.

1150-1250, Thursday 3 November: Empire, Slavery & Scotland’s Museums
Sheila Asante
Project Manager, Empire, Slavery & Scotland’s Museums, Museums Galleries Scotland
Abeer Eladany
Curatorial Assistant, University of Aberdeen Museums
Lewis Hou
Director, Science Ceilidh and Member, The Anti-Racist Educator
Zandra Yeaman
Curator of Discomfort, The Hunterian, University of Glasgow

Earlier this year, the Empire, Slavery & Scotland’s Museums Project published its long-awaited report examining how the country’s museums can better represent the history of colonialism and slavery. In this session, members of the project’s steering group will discuss how empire, colonialism and historic slavery can be addressed using museum collections and museum spaces.

The group will look at the key recommendations in the report and how the sector can take them forward, including funding opportunities. The project builds on existing work from within the equalities sector and from across Scotland’s museums, to explore how the sector can confront challenging histories in museums.

1740-1840, Thursday 3 November: Hannah Lavery
Hannah Lavery
Poet, playwright and Edinburgh Makar

Award-winning poet and playwright Hannah Lavery was appointed the Edinburgh Makar in 2021. She is an associate artist with the National Theatre of Scotland and has written for Radio Four, Lyceum Theatre and Pitlochry Theatre.

The Drift, her highly acclaimed autobiographical lyric play, toured as part of the National Theatre of Scotland’s Season in 2019 and 2020. Hannah’s debut collection, Blood Salt Spring, was published this year by Polygon and her pamphlet, Finding Seaglass, was published by Stewed Rhubarb. Her play Lament for Sheku Bayoh premiered at Edinburgh International Festival in 2020 and toured in its digital version to Auckland Arts Festival.

Hannah was selected by Owen Sheers as one of his Ten Writers Asking Questions That Will Shape Our Future for the International Literature Showcase, a project from the National Writing Centre and the British Council. She was a recipient of the Adopt a Playwright Award 2020 and the New Playwright’s Award from Playwriting Studio Scotland 2019.

0900-1000, Friday 4 November: Leading change
Sharon Heal
Director, Museums Association
Leonie Bell
Director, V&A Dundee
Christopher Breward
Director, National Museums Scotland
Miranda Lowe
Principal Curator, Crustacea, Natural History Museum
Arike Oke
Executive Director of Knowledge & Collections, BFI

Key figures in the sector discuss what type of leadership is needed in times of crisis such as this and what leadership might look like going forward. Our speakers share their experiences of the past two years as they reflect on the challenges that their organisations have faced during the pandemic and how they addressed these.

How are they leading on issues such as decolonisation, anti-racism and the climate crisis and what are their future plans in these areas? And what can they do to support their staff and communities in the face of the growing cost of living crisis? 

1350-1450, Friday 4 November: Culture during conflict
Ihor Poshyvailo
Co-founder, Heritage Emergency Response Initiative/Director General, National Memorial and the Revolution of Dignity Museum (Maidan Museum), Ukraine
Corine Wegener
Director, Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative

The brave efforts of Ukrainian museum and heritage workers to protect their country’s cultural heritage have shone a spotlight on the role of culture during times of conflict. In this session, Ihor Poshyvailo and Corine Wegener ask: what should we prioritise and value during these periods and how best can we support those directly involved?