Bristol Culture (M Shed), Royal Museums Greenwich and Time and Tide, Norfolk are working together to represent the diversity of migrant experiences, locally and nationally through community consultations, skills sharing and collecting of oral histories. 

Using collections that speak to migration and reflecting on how this movement of people, goods and ideas has created the UK’s rich multi-cultural society, the project will investigate the role that museums can play in social cohesion and representation.

The project will investigate how museum collections can better represent the histories and legacies of migration for Britain’s communities - informing future thinking for display, programming, research and collaborative working.

It will provide an opportunity for a consultative way of working that can be modelled in future collaborations. This will ensure we not only represent the history of migration, but also provide contemporary representation of migrant experiences.

Community Facilitators

Our two community facilitators will be working to bring this project to life and providing spaces for communities to engage and interrogate our collections.

Sharon Walters

Sharon Walters is a London-based artist and educator, passionate about collaborating with communities, particularly under-represented groups.

She is experienced in curating programmes and introducing collections and archival material to those whose voices are often unheard. Skilled in finding new innovative ways to work with people and developing her socially engaged practice across many environments, Sharon has built an impressive network of people she has worked with over the years.

For the past four years she has worked part-time for Gunnersbury Park Museum (GPM), leading on community engagement and public programmes across the park and museum. Her roles have included devising creative engagement opportunities, reaching new and existing audiences and working with diverse communities inspired by the collection and the heritage parkland.

The impact on the projects has meant ongoing legacy and plans for projects and funding applications with hugely under-represented groups. In all aspects of her work, she aims to collaborate and empower others, ensuring under-represented groups work with arts and heritage organisations to bring about long-term, impactful generational change.

Anju Kasturiraj

Anju Kasturiraj is a queer South Indian-American filmmaker, writer, and curator.

She engages with video arts, live performance, and poetry as methods of practicing ancestral veneration, decolonization, and intergenerational healing.

Anju is currently working for her MA in Performance Design and Practice at Central Saint Martins, and splits her time between London and Los Angeles. She received her BA from the University of San Francisco in Critical Diversity Studies with a focus on Gender & Sexuality, and a minor in Sociology, which informs her creative practice.

As a Migration Heritage and Belonging Community Facilitator at the National Maritime Museum, Anju is organizing an event that examines food and its surrounding rituals, as a means of understanding food in relationship to South Asian history, assimilation, abundance, gender, migration, class, colonization, and famine.

The online portion of the event will feature different guest speakers who will provide critical perspectives on the topic, in addition to stories, recipes, and other objects from the South Asian community. The event will be held in response to the Museum’s collection of certificates and photographs, which document the lives of cooks from India and Bangladesh as they worked on Merchant Navy ships.

HMT Empire Windrush and British nationality laws

In conversation with Dr Nadine El-Nany

Watch a discussion about the legislative changes made from 1948 to today on who can call themselves a British citizen. 

A former WW2 german troopship won as a prize of war by the British, the passengers aboard the Empire Windrush on 22 June 1948 encapsulated the British Empire's changing relationship with it's commonwealth citizens. 

Chair: Chardine Taylor-Stone, project coordinator for Migration Heritage and Belonging. 

Dr Nadine El-Enany

Dr Nadine El-Enany is Senior Lecturer in Law at Birkbeck School of Law and Co-Director of the Centre for Research on Race and Law. Her book (B)ordering Britain: Law, Race and Empire was published by Manchester University Press February 2020. (B)ordering Britain argues that Britain is the spoils of empire, its immigration law is colonial violence and irregular immigration is anti-colonial resistance.