The International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition falls on 23 August.
To mark this date, Hartwig Fischer and Sushma Jansari are joined by guests Olivette Otele and Bonnie Greer to discuss the legacies of slavery, its impact on today’s society, and how museums should respond to these histories both now and in the future.
The wide-ranging conversation touches on how the British Museum engages with its own history, how it was shaped by empire, questions who ‘writes’ history, and reflects on how museums and institutions can widen access, increase diversity and co-curate effectively.
Bonnie Greer is a writer, playwright, broadcaster, critic and political commentator, and former Deputy Chair of the British Museum.
Olivette Otele is Professor of the History of Slavery at Bristol University and Vice-President of the Royal Historical Society and the Chair for Bristol’s Race Equality Commission.
This month presenters Hugo and Sushma chat with Ceri Ashley who is coordinating the brand new endangered material knowledge project, a project dedicated to preserving the more intangible aspects of human culture and with Nick Kendall one of the longest serving members of staff at the Museum who knows the buildings of the Museum inside out.
Francesca Hillier introduces the archives and tells us about a strange new find that has been presented to the archives.
Object of the Month is the Aylesford bucket presented by Julia Farley, curator of British and European Iron age collections
A brand-new podcast from the British Museum, the Museum podcast is a magazine-style show coming out on the first Wednesday of every month and featuring interviews with people from across the museum. Hear stories about new projects, exhibitions, conservation and much much more. Every month will feature a story from the Museum archives as well as highlighting one of the more disregarded objects from across the galleries.
The first episode is available on the 3rd of April.
At some point during the 1960s, there may have been as many as 100 cats living on the British Museum site. According to some newspapers they were bred to be super intelligent, according to some staff their breeding was out of control. This is the story of how the British Museum became a cat haven, and how they eventually came to be on the Museum payroll, thanks in large part to a British Museum cleaner affectionately referred to as the 'Cat Man’.
‘Can’t Hug Every Cat’ - © The Gregory Brothers
‘Say Goodbye’ - © Adrianna Krikl
‘Marty Gots a Plan’, ‘Carpe Diem’, and ‘Simplex 48000 © Kevin MacLeod
‘Close my mouth’ - © Silent Partner
‘Tech Toys' – © Lee Rosevere
All tracks used and adapted under Attribution License: creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/