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projects

Workshops:

In May 2023, Decolonial Focus delivered a one-day workshop for the National Army Museum for 17 attendees entitled ‘Curating your Colonial Collections’. The session was tailored to the niche audience of regimental and corps museums staff, whose collections are dedicated to preserving and interpreting the history of the British Army.

This is complex colonial history is steeped in historic and contemporary racist practice, and the workshop helped the museum staff to be self-aware and self-critical. Sessions drew on the history of racism and how and why colonial practice has become embedded within our museums – from collections and archival management, to interpretation, audience engagement and hiring practices – the course addressed how to enact meaningful change from individual staff roles, to influencing governance and advocating for real anti-racist practice.

The graphs below show how particpants recorded a significant overall increase in their confidence with curating their colonial collections, advocating for anti-racism, and decolonial project development after having attended the course.

Line chart showing improvement in participant confidence
Line chart showing improvement in participant confidence
Line chart showing increased participant confidence in decolonial project development

Testimonials

I am pleased to recommend to you Ms. Freya Samuel and Mr. Chris Berriman. Freya and Chris delivered an extremely successful ‘Imperial Legacies’ training workshop on museum de-colonisation, as part of the National Army Museum’s Regimental Museums training programme. The workshop was tailor made to our needs and was very well attended and received. We would have no hesitation in working with Chris and Freya in the future (indeed we plan to repeat the workshop).

Julian Farrance, Head of Regimental Museums Liaison & International partnerships, National Army Museum

Absolutely fantastic session, I was thoroughly impressed with the content and engaged throughout. Would strongly recommend it gets delivered again in the future and also again offered as hybrid for the museums further away to be able to get the opportunity to attend… Thank you so much to everyone involved

Decolonial Focus workshop attendee

This workshop will be delivered again in June 2024.

 

Training:

In November 2023, Decolonial Focus delivered a decolonial training National Army Museum as part of the Regimental Curators Course. The session was tailored to the niche audience of regimental and corps museums staff, whose collections are dedicated to preserving and interpreting the history of the British Army.

The course delivered an overview of how to ethically and actively implement decolonial practice into different roles within a museum. 

Content included the meaning of ‘decolonisation’, and how this is particularly relevant for the regimental museum sector (this included common themes amongst the museums such as the Anglo-Egyptian Wars, the Boer War, the First War of Indian Independence, the  Mau Mau Emergency, and the Malaya Emergency). 

We addressed different ways that decolonial practice can be incorprorated into the museum, from co-production to documentation, reiterpretation, and exhibition. 

The session also signposted relevant funding and Accreditation requirements. 

Attendees left the workshop with an overview of how decolonial practice can be implemented by different stakeholders at all different levels of the organisation. 

Get in touch

Freya Samuel: Connect on LinkedIn
Christopher Berriman: Connect on LinkedIn