Whose Heritage? Research Residencies

Culture& Whose Heritage? Research Reports

In 2020 a perfect storm of COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter (BLM) impacted hugely on the New Museum School 2019/2020 cohort, affecting their career opportunities. Whilst struggling to adapt to new ways of working under lockdown New Museum School trainees were also looking to find ways to channel their passion and effect real change.

The cohort felt frustration at the UK arts and heritage sector’s limited interpretations of objects, collections, sites and monuments, and anger against the inequality of opportunity that still exists within the sector, preventing diverse individuals from securing sustained careers in the industry.

New Museum School graduates were offered the opportunity to work with a host organisation to undertake a unique piece of research over 24 days. Each graduate was assigned a curatorial/research mentor at the host organisation, and received  support from Culture&’s Whose Heritage? Residency Manager.

The desire for change within the museum and heritage sector to ‘decolonise’ and locate institutions and collections within the context of our colonial past has taken on a renewed urgency since the BLM protests this summer. Whose Heritage? Residencies provided fresh interpretations and interrogate accepted modes of classification, description and the terminology the arts and heritage sector uses.