Researcher for Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

  • Akhtar, Shahmima (PI)

Project: Research

Project Details


My research during the placement contributed directly to the expansion of decolonising narratives for BMAG’s redevelopment over the next few years, in particular for a new display on ‘Birmingham and the British Empire’.

Key findings

My research built on a temporary exhibition, entitled ‘The Past is Now: Birmingham and the British Empire’ (at BMAG from Oct 2017- June 2018). This was a tester exhibition for BMAG’s redevelopment which presented collections from a decolonising standpoint. It was the first time that Birmingham Museums had openly considered the impact of Empire on its organisation and the collections it curates. The exhibition received an overwhelmingly positive response from the museum sector and from visitors. Nevertheless, some critics did identify areas that were omitted from the display, such as narratives around Ireland, China and Opium Wars and working class communities. A new display on ‘Birmingham and the British Empire’. I received training on research within a museum context, specifically related to object handling, identification and cataloguing, as well as the use of object paper records such as history files and accession registers.
Effective start/end date1/04/1928/06/19