Spotlight on: In Practice sessions - Museums Association

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Conference 2022

This year’s Museums Association Conference, 3-5 November in Edinburgh and online, offers a range of practical sessions linked to our four themes – anti-racism, decolonisation, sustainability and wellbeing.

Two In Practice sessions provide ideas from independent museums on how to make venues sustainable.

One session sees Nicola Grahamslaw from SS Great Britain discuss how the venue in Bristol has committed to become carbon neutral by 2030, and the work that is underway to adapt its conservation system to meet this ambitious target.

Another talk features Liz Power, the director of the London Museum of Water & Steam, exploring how the organisation is focusing on sustainability at a time of reduced income with no external funding. Our speaker aims to inspire museum of all subjects, sizes and budgets to give this work a go, to be brave and think about their organisations in a new way.

Our decolonisation strand sees Paisley Museum discuss its collections work with Interisland Collective, a group of Tagata Moana (people of the Pacific ocean) artists, cultural practitioners, curators and community workers. The speakers are Jessica Palalagi, a member of the Interisland Collective and Aileen Strachan, the Content Delivery Manager at Paisley Museum Re-Imagined.

Another In Practice session looks at how The David Livingstone Birthplace Museum is approaching decolonisation following its 2021 refurbishment. It features a series of case studies addressing community-led collections research, international partnerships and anti-racist training in the context of legacies of slavery and colonialism. The speakers are Natalie Milor, Curator, David Livingstone Birthplace Museum; Jennifer Roberts, Exchange Project Participant; and Aneel Singh Bhopal, Development Officer, West of Scotland Regional Equalities Council.

One of our anti-racism In Practice sessions sees speakers share their experiences of working with the House of Memories team to co-create the Connecting with Yemeni Elders’ Heritage digital programme.

This session looks at how a Yemeni advisory group was created; the process to engage young people as digital curators; and the production of a bilingual app package and toolkit specifically designed for museums working with diverse young people across the UK. The speakers are Saba Ahmed, Community Development Worker, Kuumba Imani Millennium Centre; Miriam Alhanshali, Community Project Leader, House of Memories, National Museums Liverpool; and Abdul Wase, Youth Activist, Kuumba Imani Millennium Centre.

Our wellbeing theme includes an In Practice session looking at how the Jewish Museum London created a workshop that helps children to talk about the topic of loss. The team at the museum will now share its knowledge and skills with others to help them support children and young people with mental health topics through their own collections. The session is chaired by Lisa Shames, Senior Learning Manager, Jewish Museum London, and also features Eli Shebson, grandson of a Holocaust survivor involved in the project.

Our second wellbeing In Practice session looks at dynamic, inclusive and sustainable partnerships. It focuses on the powerful impact on the wellbeing of communities and practitioners through their engagement with IWM’s Second World War and Holocaust Partnership Programme. The speakers include Rachel Donnelly, Project Manager, Second World War and Holocaust Partnership Programme, Imperial War Museums; Andrea Hammel, Director, Centre for the Movement of People, Aberystwyth University; and Gareth Redston, CEO, Manchester Jewish Museum.