The process

'Breaking into the Museum' engages young people in a participatory exercise around heritage and interpretation, bringing youth voices from outside the cultural/social mainstream to the museum's views.

The workshop took place inside the Museum of London,  in the e-Learning Studio, which is part of the Clore learning Centre.

The objective of the workshop was the creation and production of 14 bold, exciting and varied video-works – opening up the subject of interpretation and curating;

To this end, the workshop brief was to:

  • infuse the workshops with the challenge of being (artistically) imaginative;
  • Encourage collective work, while ensuring that each workshop participant produces a one to three minute video work of her/his own;
  • Unleash voices of urban youth to engage with their city (history/heritage); and with the activity of curating/interpreting that heritage -- in the new Europe of the 21st century.

To prepare the young people, the project organised two preliminary visits to the Museum of London's Galleries of Modern London.

Guided by museum personnel and the workshop team, their first activity was to familiarise themselves with the galleries, and eventually choose a particular object or theme, on which their film would focus.

More about the process

The team used the following guiding instructions:-

- Make your take on London history and have your say about your city's heritage. What does ‘old’ London mean to you?

- Focus on the video-product outcome of the workshop - up to 3 minute video-work about a museum object, or a museum experience in regard to an object or objects in a museum collection

- Chose/select an object, or one or two objects – and remember that ‘every object tells a story, or has a story to tell’, sometimes more than one story

- Find out as much as you can about your object(s)

- Start to mount/story board your short video-work – sketch the story you are going to show about your object

- ‘Slow the eye to slow the mind’ (Laura Cumming) – Think very carefully about what you see and how you might show what you see

- Summarise what you know about the object - its place in the museum; its history and meaning

- Think about whether and how this object relates to you/your life/your family history (if it does)

- Take some time to reflect on how what you learn about the object changes the way in which you ‘see’ (look at) and ‘show’ (picture) it

- Decide finally on how you want to show what you see and know about the object in your video-work - back to the story-board

- Think carefully about how sound complements image in video-film making.

- Use, push, excite your imagination

- Now make your video-work - show your object(s), show the story of your object – in your own way.

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