The Rev Jesse Jackson visiting the museum in 2007. Photograph © Simon Webb
Well since my return from Paris I have had a pretty varied couple of weeks which amongst other things included several meetings related to our forthcoming exhibition programme. It also included a visit from two judges for the European Museum of the Year award
. This is a very prestigious award and goes to show just how successful ISM has been in its first year. Hopefully this time we will be successful and I feel that the judges went away really understanding the fact that we are a museum which is at the forefront of a campaign to actively challenge present day racism and discrimination and various other injustices which exist. The shortlist is announced in early 2009.
I mentioned our exhibition programme. The plan is to have a varied range of exhibitions within the current galleries which highlight the broad subject of slavery. We are still in the planning stages but we will be shortly announcing our first exhibition which starts later this month, both a celebration and a reflection on the museum's first year. It will include information about all the milestones we have achieved (to date we have had upwards of 275,000 visitors and some very high profile visitors!) as well as the different types of responses we have had, some challenging, some thought provoking and others which are purely offensive. But we feel it is important to show the entire range of responses, positive and negative, so that we can move forward and really make the museum a tool of social change.
Other exhibitions will highlight various forms of contemporary slavery, as well as African sport and the link between natural history and slavery which uses many of the plant collections we have in National Museums Liverpool. It is an exciting programme so watch this space for further announcements.
The forthcoming week is a very interesting one, for starters I get out of the office on a few occasions (I have a great view of the Albert Dock from my office but when it is sunny it is hard being sat behind my desk!) Tomorrow I am meeting two respected local community historians to look at some archives which might be in need of being rescued from a building due to be renovated and then I go to London to visit the British Film Institute mediatheque
to get some ideas for our Phase 2 resource centre. We want the resource centre to include a range of media so visits to established media facilities are really helpful. I'll let you know how it all went in my next blog post.
Remember; drop me a line if you have any comments about the International Slavery Museum
Bye for now.