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Museum narratives and the refugee experience: Relabeling at New Walk Museum in Leicester

written by Angela Stienne

In June and in August 2018, I curated two relabeling museum takeovers at New Walk Museum in Leicester, involving refugees and asylum seekers in the (temporary) rewriting of labels of the museum’s permanent collection. The projects involved a number of institutions and individuals who worked in cooperation to develop a series of events, of which the relabeling takeovers were one component. The individuals involved were primarily the refugees and asylum seekers who were regular attendants to creative writing classes at City of Sanctuary, a creative writing teacher, the Outreach Officer at New Walk Museum, and myself. The first event took place in June 2018 during Refugee Week, while the second edition took place during Journeys Festival International in August 2018.

The Making of a Relabeling Museum TakeoverFrom the outset, I had stated that this was an event that needed to be both desired and produced by the communities involved, not a showcase of a community fo…

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