Your History, Our History

21 March to 27 April 2003

Please note that this exhibition has now closed

8 audio visual display screens in gallery showing images of four cities

What do Liverpudlians hope for? What are their aspirations and their fears? What foods do they like? How do they measure success and failure? What do people from other cities think of Liverpool and its inhabitants? What is it really like to be Liverpudlian?

The answers to these questions are both personal and public. They are questions that touch the lives of each individual in the city, as well as contributing to the collective identity of Liverpool. But Liverpool is not alone. They are questions that could be just as easily applied to any other destination.

Your History, Our History was a collaborative exhibition that compared the lives and experiences of people living in four European cities - Liverpool, Bonn, Helsinki and Luxembourg.

Each city has its elements of beauty, as well as a darker side. The inhabitants share similarities but also have their differences. The exhibition looked at the daily lives of families, the young and old, their leisure and working activities. It compared statistical information with individual opinions. It asked about each city’s heroes, most traumatic events and important moments.

As well information panels to tell each city’s tale, this entertaining exhibition used synchronised film, LED screens and ‘audio domes’ where visitors could listen to different sounds.

One of the most interesting parts of the collaboration focused on cultural stereotypes. What do Liverpudians know about Luxembourg? What do they think about people in Bonn, Germany? Do the inhabitants of Helsinki, Finland, feel the same or differently? What does sharing a European identity really mean?

The exhibition considered the past with the present and looked at the impact of an individual’s locality in an international context. It attempted to do this in a meaningful way that reflected a genuine snapshot of each city’s urban reality. The aim was to encourage visitors to compare their own local life with that of others living in their vicinity as well as in other European locations.

Your History, Our History was an innovative project which demonstrated the benefits for European city history museums of working in a wider framework. It was organised as part of the Euroclio scheme and funded by the European Union’s Culture 2000 programme.