Refugee Heritage Programme, London Museums Hub
The Belonging exhibition also featured work created as part of the Refugee Heritage Programme. As part of this project, four London museums and people from five refugee organisations worked together on a range of projects. In 2005, they created their own short films, exhibitions and cultural events. Each gave a rich flavour of living heritage through collective cultural knowledge and individual lives.
Through these locally based relationships, the Refugee Heritage Programme aimed to develop a conversation about museums as places to share diverse voices and encourage cultural exchange. This work was supported by the London Museums Hub. It was part of a national programme of investment in regional museums entitled Renaissance in the Regions.
The partners and their projects
The projects in the first phase of the programme were:
- Croydon Film Heritage Project: Croydon Museum and Heritage Service worked with Nile Volunteers Network (NIVON) and Yes Africa. The participants took part in film-making workshops before creating two films. 'Isonga' by Yes Africa looked at marriage ceremonies and traditions. 'A Taste of Croydon' by NIVON highlighted the links between identity, belonging and food.
- Kurdish Cultural Heritage Project: Hackney Museum worked with people from the Kurdish community in Hackney and North London, and with Halkevi Kurdish-Turkish Community Centre and Kurdish Community Centre Haringey (KCC). The project created two interactive exhibitions and events programmes: 'Traditional Kurdish Culture and History', and 'Kurdish Cultural Identity and Celebration of Kurdish Culture in the UK'. For each display, people carried out interviews, wrote the text, sourced photographs, and created video and sound footage.
- Hidaha Iyo Dahqankayaga - Our Tradition, Our Culture: Ragged School Museum worked with members of the local Somali community through the Ocean Somali Community Association. Participants learned film-making skills, shared memories, and drew parallels between East End history and their own stories. These activities were the basis for their film 'Hidaha Iyo Dahqankayaga'.
- Afghan Heritage Project: Redbridge Museum worked with ARIANA. A group of Afghan women and children explored across generations their experience of Afghan culture and identity. They took part in storytelling, rug weaving, other craft activities culminating in the ARIANA exhibition at Redbridge Museum.
The projects feature on the Moving Here website: www.movinghere.org.uk.
The project is funded by Renaissance London, Museums Libraries and Archives Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund, Moving Here and The National Archives.