The Highlanders’ Museum, Fort George has recently launched a brand-new project and they are looking for participants! Freya Samuels, Community and Digital Engagement Graduate, talks to us about their new Community Curators programme.
The concept of Community Curators encourages members of the local community to contribute their opinions and ideas to their local museum – we call this, ‘have your say in our display’.
Over the last few years, it has become increasingly important for museums to take another look at how they talk about colonial histories. We are keen to make sure that our museum interpretation not only represents the views of the modernising museums sector, but also the views of our community. By bringing together a group of Community Curators who are keen to have their voice heard, we will run projects throughout the year looking at object interpretation, contextual narratives, and temporary exhibitions.
This project is taking a wide approach to the term ‘community’. In one sense, community is the people right on our doorstep, around Ardersier, Nairn, and Inverness, but we are all part of a global community – this is why our sessions will be hybrid, allowing participants to attend in-person and online.
Our first project, starting on 2nd March 2022, is called ‘Re-thinking the Indian Rebellion’. The Rebellion is a key event in our regimental history, as all of the historic regiments represented at the museum played a part in the conflict. The project will involve writing alternative object labels and narratives to go alongside the existing interpretation, offering an alternative perspective of the war. We have an exciting line up of speakers, including Dr Jim MacPherson of the University of the Highlands & Islands, Dr Nicole Hartwell of Cambridge University, and a label writing masterclass led by PhD student Chris Berriman.
Sessions for ‘Re-thinking the Indian Rebellion’ will run every Wednesday evening from 2nd March at 18:30, for six weeks. Everyone is welcome to sign up to become a Community Curator, although places are limited – once we have reached capacity, participants will be placed onto a waiting list. Taking part is free, and we particularly encourage participants who are passionate about how museums address colonial histories. To find out more about the project and sign up, just head to our website: https://www.thehighlandersmuseum.com/?page_id=30512
If you would like to get involved in a Community Curators project as a museum, history, or heritage professional, get in touch with Freya at firstname.lastname@example.org