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Young people celebrate launch of Living Museums Stirling exhibition on theme of protest

20 August 2021

Young people taking part in our culture and heritage participation project Living Museums celebrated the opening of a new exhibition showcasing their work this week.

On Tuesday evening, the group were joined by guests at a special opening of Generation Change: Young People’s Participation in Protest, at the Battle of Bannockburn Experience in Stirling.

The show marked the culmination of nine months’ work on the project, in which the young people explored contemporary issues and recent protests.

The exhibition showcased their creative responses to the Black Lives Matters movement, climate change, women’s safety and the Palestine-Israel conflict, reflecting their hopes that museums can in future feature more contemporary exhibits and themes relevant to young people. (See images on this page for some examples of the work). 

Visitors to the exhibition on the opening night said it presented “themes that were relevant to all of us” in a “fresh” and “modern way”, and praised the young people who produced the work as “trailblazers”.

One visitor said: “I’ve never thought of museums like this before.”

Emily, who is part of the Stirling group, said: “Going forward I really hope that the exhibition shows people within the heritage sector that it is alright to do something outside of your usual box and confront issues head on. I hope that NTS take what we have done and use it as a first step to making their sites more accessible to, and reflective of, young people.”

Group member Joanne added:The fact that we have been able to create such a powerful  and successful exhibition in times like these makes it all even more special.”

Other young people involved said “it was nice…to see my issues displayed”, that they were “happy I got stuff on the walls” and that seeing the show had made them feel "pretty hyped!”

Chris Ross, Senior Policy, Projects and Participation Officer at Children in Scotland and the Living Museums project lead, said:

“The young people in our Living Museums Stirling group have been looking forward to showing their work to the public and we are very pleased with the response to the exhibition launch.

“The group’s interest in vital current issues such as climate change reflect their own priorities but the opening night proves the topics they chose are also important to a wider audience, who enjoyed the creative, provocative and courageous approach the young people took.

“We’re grateful to the Battle of Bannockburn Experience for hosting the exhibition. We hope that the themes explored in this and through our other Living Museums project work will contribute to better understanding in the museums sector about the issues that are really relevant to young people and what changes to the sector will make them feel more included.”

The exhibition runs at the Battle of Bannockburn Experience until 31 August.

Click here to find out more about the project

Click here for more about the Battle of Bannockburn Experience


Living Museums

Our participation project examines how young people can be more involved in culture and heritage

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From protest to policymaking: join my campaign for reform and ensure Afro-Scottish history is taught in our schools

10 July 2020

Changing the curriculum would be a vital step in anti-racist action, giving children in Scotland a proper understanding of colonialism, slavery and the hidden figures of black history, writes Eunice Olumide

My name is Eunice Olumide. I am an art curator and gallery owner, author, and international model.

When I was at school myself and fellow Scots learned nothing about the history and the role that Britain played in colonising Africa. Nor the way the West benefited financially, culturally, and socially from colonialism and the transatlantic slave trade.

We were also not taught anything about the many prominent Afro-Scottish, Caribbean, and Black British figures who have contributed significantly to the entire UK.

I decided to create a petition to put Afro-Scottish history on the curriculum, as part of my ‘Positive Action: Five Ways to Change the World’ in lockdown campaign.

The goal for me is to make real permanent change, getting a commitment and pledge from policymakers for proactive anti-racist action, creating meaningful steps through the implementation of a thorough and robust account of Afro-Scottish, Black British and African Diasporic history through the national education system.

This would negotiate, rectify, and recognise those real-life events and contributions that continue to shape and support our society today. It is essential to take action that goes beyond our initial protests worldwide.

I am calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to reform our education system to include all Afro-Scottish history including artefacts of African diaspora, cultural and economic contributions, the role of the British Empire and the benefits to Scotland from colonies of the Caribbean and Africa.

I would also like the curriculum to focus on pre-colonial African Scottish history. This could include the role of the Moors from the fourth century, at a time when racism did not exist, right through to those historic figures during and post-colonialism such as John Edmonstone (1793-1822), one of the most important figures in scientific research, an expert in taxidermy and teacher at Edinburgh University where he trained Charles Darwin, arguably one of the most profound figures in secular British ideology.

Or black British royalty Sarah Forbes Bonetta, a Yoruba Egbado Princess from Nigeria sold into slavery becoming the much beloved Goddaughter of Queen Victoria.

It is important for us all to learn about hugely important historic figures. People such as Philippa of Hainault, the first Black Queen of England right through to an incredible hidden figure like Katherine Johnson, the African-American female mathematician at the heart of NASA’s space program that put the first man on the moon.

The petition was only approved a few days ago and we have already had more than 1000 signatures as well as support from celebrities including Frankie Boyle.

We have until the fifth of August and then it will close. It is such a fantastic way for anyone who genuinely wants to create change to make a real difference that makes our country a better place for everyone regardless of your race, religion, or class.

The other four pillars in my campaign include:

  • Establishing a charity fund to support BME Businesses, the ADBSF (click here to visit)
  • Creating the first Scottish BME Heritage Museum (click here to visit),
  • Ensuring a monument is built alongside charity One Voice for Freedom, to honour the contribution of diaspora in central London (we have already raised 500k, supported by heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua and fashion designer Ozwald Boateng), and
  • Producing the first ever film based on true life stories of systemic racism in Scotland.

We can all make a difference, no matter how large or small. So get involved and click here to sign the petition today!

Further information about Eunice and her work:

Contact Eunice and find out more:

About the author

Eunice Olumide is an art curator and gallery owner, writer and model

Click to find out more

Scottish Parliament petition

Read and share the petition to reform the national curriculum

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ADB Support Fund

A charity giving Afro-Caribbean communities tools to achieve economic stability

Click to find out more

Empire Museum

Read about the work underway to create the first Scottish BME Heritage museum

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Olumide Gallery

Eunice Olumide's gallery in London champions unique artistic talent

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