Keeping the past alive
The project: UK-Congo Heritage on the Move!
This project aims at encouraging academic institutions, community leaders (CGLI) and the public to reassess Congolese collections of the Horniman Museum and Garden, and UCL Anthropology. Since September 2014, the Horniman Museum and UCL have organised trainings and workshops focusing on collections best practices for empower members of CGLI. Thanks to these new tools, participants have been able to create vibrant exhibitions, share inter-generational knowledge about Congolese heritage, and encourage research skills that allow their younger members to reappropriate their cultural heritage.
Online and in-situ exhibitions
An interactive platform (http://cgli.org.uk/collections/) which can host online exhibitions has been developed. The platform collects archives and documentation and shares the data with Horniman and UCL Congolese collections and members of CGLI. The online exhibition allows people to leave comments on each object and mark some of them as favourites. Visitors can also take notes directly on sub-areas of objects to mark details of interest, and can view the comments, notes, and tags created by other users who have looked at each object.
The in-situ exhibition based at UCL Anthropology reflects the stories that Congolese community members share as and how they interact with objects, either personal, provocative or relational. The exhibition is divided into three topics: traditional power objects, sacred rituals and medicine, and everyday life. The objects on display tell stories, sometimes with a metaphor of their own, which will, we hope, make visitors internalize and discuss the messages they bring.