• Colchester and Ipswich Museums
• The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
• Epping Forest District Museum
• Colchester Chinese Cultural Society
Making Memories is an exciting new project examining the connections between Chinese and British cultural heritage in the East of England, and the dynamic relationship between the two using museum objects. It is part of the East of England Cultural Olympiad project “Eastern Exchanges”.
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The project consists of two main elements; community engagement with the partner museums’ existing Chinese and local history collections and contemporary collecting, focused on modern British-Chinese material and oral histories.
We will use creative workshops, developed in partnership with participants, to engage with the museum collections and as a catalyst for the collection of oral histories and contemporary British-Chinese culture with all relevant material acquired being accessioned into the respective museum collections. This process will also serve to address specific intergenerational challenges facing Chinese groups in and around Cambridge, Colchester, Harlow, the Epping Forest District and Ipswich. It will help members of these communities tackle feelings of isolation and help bring generations together. Younger and older Chinese members are distanced by cultural interests and the project aims to bring them closer by helping the younger members learn more about, and enhance their appreciation of Chinese culture. At the same time it will provide a fascinating insight into how the younger generation have created their own culture that draws on many contemporary influences. In addition, it will also help to establish open lines of communication between Chinese communities in different parts of the region.
Participants in the workshops will be engaged with the objects and develop new skills, which will vary based on the activities they chose, but may include mask making, calligraphy and dance as well as modern cultural activities such as manhua, film and animation. Work created in these workshops will be featured in the regional touring exhibition China in the East, another strand of Eastern Exchanges.
The recruitment, training and engagement of volunteers will be a key element of this project. They will be recruited from within the Chinese community and gain skills in oral history interviewing, film and photography as well as learning more about the workings of museums including display and interpretation. We will ensure that outcomes for the project inform future projects, particularly those involving object collections and the varied communities in the region, through a full programme of evaluation.
For more information or to get involved, please contact Amy Cotterill, Community Outreach Officer on 01206 506936 email@example.com
- To build upon relations between the museums and local Chinese communities to increase participation in museum activities and enhance an understanding of cultural heritage interests
- To help Chinese communities make decisions about heritage objects now and in the future including by working with objects chosen from the museum collections
- To address specific intergenerational issues within the Chinese community by working with heritage objects within the collections and by developing new collections including contemporary ones
- To foster a renewed interest in Chinese heritage within the Chinese and wider community and enhance an appreciation of Chinese culture
- To learn lessons which will help future projects of a similar nature working with other cultural heritage items and cultural minority groups
- To deliver a key part of 'Eastern Exchanges' as part of the Cultural Olympiad
- To encourage volunteers to get involved in museum based activities, and to enhance their skills including an understanding of Chinese culture, making film recordings and preparing displays about heritage
- To enhance partnership working between museums in the East of England
- To enhance skills within the Chinese community, including in undertaking oral history work, volunteering and exhibition planning