In these interviews, three community researchers share their experience of researching the Horniman collections. We hope that their research journeys might inspire you to begin your own!
Find out more about the Community Action Research project they took part in, and their research interests.
Chinelo L Njaka, PhD
You might find some of these contributions helpful in your research, whether they directly inform what you are looking for, give you pointers on how to research or help inspire further questions.
New pieces are being published all the time, so have a look at News and Stories regularly.
Community researchers – African and Caribbean collections
Kassandra Gordon has been looking at Tuareg jewellery to inform her practice as a jeweller.
Listen to the podcast series, Community Conversations, to hear from Community Researchers and others on how they have found using museum collections. This four-part podcast will be published throughout December 2023 on a weekly basis.
In 2022, artist and poet Suman Gujral shared her poems, artwork and memories of her and her family’s experiences of Partition.
Between 2020 and 2022, the Horniman worked on a number of exhibitions, displays and installations relating to Hair, including the exhibition Hair: Untold Stories. Read some of the responses from community members and artists and watch some of the hair biographies.
Rethinking Relationships and Community Action Researchers
During 2020 and 2021, Horniman staff worked with community members to research the collections, through a series of connected projects – Rethinking Relationships and Community Action Research. You can hear from three of the researchers in the interviews above.
Read through the posts written by Curator JC Niala, who led the projects, on how they were approached:
- Where do you start rethinking relationships?
- Embedding practice
- Making connections and staying connected
- A question of care
- Appreciating community knowledge
Have a look at some of the work produced by the Rethinking Relationships project participants, and by the Community Action Researchers. Community researchers also created this activity resource about the Afrikan-Caribbean Masquerade.
696: Black British Music
In 2021, Curator Adem Holness developed the 696 programme that explores the relationship between public space and Black live music, particularly in South London. You can read some of the posts about the work in News and Stories: 696. Watch the films created as part of 696.
Afro Historyscapes podcast
In 2021, JC Niala and Tom Fearon created the Afro Historyscapes podcast. This ten-episode series gives a fresh perspective on African history told through objects at the Horniman. The overarching theme of the series is movement with three episodes each featuring Trade, Religion and Technology.
The podcast has been developed alongside our Community Action Research project and shares the research of our curators, project team and Community Action Researchers.
Find out about Afro Historyscapes and listen to the series, wherever you get your podcasts.
1 October 2020 marked 60 years since Nigeria became independent. Nigeria60 bought together prominent Nigerian thinkers and creatives to respond to this moment, and talk about the way in which it is imprinted in the present. Read some of the posts about Nigeria60 and watch the interviews on YouTube.
Windrush: conversations with Caribbean elders
In 2019, Curator Rachael Minott worked with Shasti Lowton created a series of events where multiple generations of Caribbeans could gather and share food, stories and advice. These were some of their discussions.
The Horniman is working to address colonial legacies from our past, as well as our earlier incarnation – the Surrey House Museum, helped by researchers and curators. Read about some of the posts around colonial history at the Horniman:
- Fredrick Horniman’s Colonial Legacy
- Rethinking the Surrey House Museum
- Legacies of Imperialism at the Horniman
- Objects and Memories of the End of Empire
- Afghanistan and Empire
Conversations with Artists
As part of our regular About the Art series, we speak to artists who are displaying work at the Horniman about their inspirations, themes and mediums they work in. Find some of this series below, and the full archive, About the Art.