Posts Tagged ‘multiculturalism’

Heads seek more migrant funding


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It’s a blow to the cultural “offer” of the city that the Commonwealth museum is moving to London.  In it’s short time in Bristol it has hosted a wealth of exhibitions and events that have aimed to raise poignant questions for the whole city; for those born here and for those born elsewhere.

That said, there are also people in the city that have refused to even step inside due to it’s name, that won’t be sad to see it go.  It also came under criticism for it’s use of “smiley ethnic faces” in it’s publicity campaigns and posters for exoticising “others” and glossing over the brutality of much of the colonisation era.  In my view the museum would never be able to please all the people all the time and I feel it did it’s best to reflect the historical context of the British Empire in a balanced way; at times it’s exhibitions didn’t go far enough and in other times it was spot on.  I personally will be sad to see it go as at least it kept certain issues on the radar, and if they were not always agreed with, at least they could be debated. 

As for the name, I think it is more accurate and apt than most other “British” museums in the country, whose big attractions are mummies from Egypt and marbles from Greece. 

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Behind the scenes of a film shoot:

A young white English woman who specialises in Indian dance, applying make-up to a young Anglo-Asian actress for an African & Asian dance film. 

(The location for the shoot was the ‘passenger shed’ of the Empire & Commonwealth Museum.  It could have been filmed in any large empty space, and it was just convenient that the museum’s space was available.)

Is Bristol quite unique in these kinds of cultural cross overs, or are these kinds of experiences happening all over the country and all over the world? 

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The Boy with the Flag c.1970-79 

© Vanley Burke Archive, Birmingham Central Library

When I first saw this image in the early 90’s,  when I was in my early 20’s and becoming more politicised, I was like, “Wow!  A black boy in the 70’s so brazenly & proudly sporting a Union Jack flag.  Radical and controversial!”  (or words to that effect…).

I still love this image, but now, when showing it to groups of young people, does it still have that eye opening effect????

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