My name is Karen Logan and I am the Project Curator for a new project within the Ulster Museum entitled ‘Collecting the Troubles and Beyond’. It is a three-year project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, which aims to widen the scope of the collection through greater community engagement and ensure that the collection can be used to support a full and inclusive narrative. This will involve bridging gaps in the existing collection and acquiring items of particular national and international significance or those which are rare and represent the best examples of their kind.
As well as material relating directly to political developments and conflict, collecting activity will be focussed on wider social, cultural and economic themes. Members of the public will be actively encouraged to come forward with their own objects and memories during themed collecting events held in the Ulster Museum and within community venues. We will work together to establish the significance of events and objects through workshops and dialogue resulting in an important element of co-production within the project.
We have already been working with community representatives to promote the project and have been fortunate to receive a number of significant donations, most recently from the LGBT community. Over the course of the project we intend to develop these partnerships and to collaborate on a programme of activities. In addition, an Academic Advisory Group has been established to advise on overall approach, context, accuracy, inclusiveness and balance.
The results of this programming and contemporary collecting activity will be reflected in permanent and touring exhibitions. The existing ‘Troubles’ gallery at the Ulster Museum will be redeveloped in stages as the project progresses and will become what we hope is a dynamic and engaging space that offers a platform for further consideration. Our representation of what remains contested history should be critical and challenging and should link intersecting narratives. Can you help us to broaden the story that we tell through sharing your objects and photographs? If so, we would be pleased to hear from you – please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org