YAG Workshop, Saturday 16 November 2013
Today the Youth Advisors met with Joshua Newton, Curator of World and Maritime History at National Maritime Museum. He told us about his research into the British Navy in West Africa in the 18th Century and how he came to be a curator. He told us about a sailing experience he had as a schoolboy and how cold and tiring it was, but it made an impact as did the film Master and Commander. Focusing on philosophy and history for his undergraduate degree, he took a module in British Naval history and the more research he did, the things that seemed incredibly boring came to life. Joshua has now worked at the Museum for 6 months.
Youth Advisor India commented It was interesting meeting Josh and finding out about his role in the Museum.
The Youth Advisors shared some of the objects they had discovered on Collections Online during the last YAG meeting and asked Joshua about them. Jordan had chosen Slave Trade, a print showing the trade in Africa:
This led onto lots of discussions about abolition, Africa after enslavement, the role of the Navy in policing and anti-slavery. It gave a different insight said Victoria, one of the Youth Advisors.
After meeting with Joshua, we planned Takeover Day. This is a Kids in Museums initiative and ‘a celebration of children and young people’s contribution to museums, galleries and historic homes. It’s a day on which they are given meaningful roles, working alongside staff and volunteers to participate in the life of the museum’. This is the second year the Youth Advisory Group has taken part, you can see what we did last year here.
This year the Youth Advisors would share the process Maria Amidu, our artist in residence, has done with the YAG – discussing Yinka Shoinibare’s ‘Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle’ and finding key words to put into Collections Online to create personal links between the Museum’s collection and Shonibare’s artwork.
The Youth Advisors practiced, taking it in turns to be visitors so they could explain the process.
Youth Advisor Florence added, Takeover Day is gonna be awesome – you have the chance to take over, literally!