Migration Museum: Exhibitions and Inclusivity
The Migration Museum shines a light on the many ways that the movement of people to and from Britain across the ages has shaped who we are – as individuals, as communities, and as a nation. They are doing this through the creation of an inspiring national Migration Museum, a far-reaching education programme and a knowledge-sharing network of museums and galleries across the UK.
Their Call Me By My Name: Stories from Calais and Beyond exhibition highlighted work from artists in the Calais camp, and from those who didn’t necessarily identify as artists but who were making art, including young people taking photographs as part of the Welcome to Our Jungle project. The exhibition featured dozens of personal stories and direct testimonies from sanctuary seekers, refugees and asylum seekers alongside artworks created by artists with lived experience of forced migration. The idea was to give a platform for artists to share their own works, thoughts and experiences in their own voice and in the way they wanted. They have continued to work with some of the artists that were featured in the exhibition in subsequent projects, including Habib Sadat, who was one of their artists in residence in 2018, and Majid Adin, who has contributed to subsequent exhibitions and events.
Room to Breathe was an immersive exhibition staged by the Migration Museum in 2018–19, inviting visitors to discover stories from generations of new arrivals to Britain by journeying through a series of rooms in which the struggles, joys, creativity and resilience of living in a new land were brought to life through audio, films, photographs and personal objects. As part of the exhibition, they hosted an artist-in-residence programme, whereby six refugee and migrant artists were invited to set up and take up residency in an art studio inside the exhibition for a month at a time. All of the artists had total control over the look and feel of the space. Artists included Habib Sadat and Shorsh Saleh, who both have refugee backgrounds, and the New Art Studio, an art therapy studio for asylum seekers and refugees. The residency was announced as an open call and they did outreach to various networks. In addition, many stories and objects collected in the exhibition came from refugees/asylum seekers.
(Photo Credits: Migration Museum)