Freelance Community Curator

Free­lance com­mu­ni­ty cura­tor required to lead on col­lect­ing and inter­pret­ing sto­ries from local com­mu­ni­ties of South Asian heritage.

23:59 10/09/21
up to £10,000 (fee)
Contact Name
Emma Brown
Bristol Museum & Art Gallery is looking for a freelance curator based in south west England, to lead on collecting and interpreting stories from local communities of South Asian heritage for an exhibition in 2022.

Our programme aims to offer a platform for a wide range of voices, and for this project we particularly hope to work with Bristol residents who had, or whose relatives had, experiences connected to the Indian Army or British Army in India between 1900 and 1946.

Their stories could be about relatives who were in active service, families caught in the build up to the partition of India, or lives and fortunes changed by these or other related factors. We hope to encourage contributions relating to all the countries formerly part of British India.

These personal stories will form an essential part of the exhibition, which will include material from the British Empire and Commonwealth Collection. The collection includes many thousands of photographs along with albums, diaries, letters and objects, mostly from British civil servants, medics and officials and their families, who returned to the UK from colonial postings.

The exhibition will coincide with two others, all exploring and memorialising the roles in the World Wars of countries colonised by Britain. John Akomfrah’s video installation Mimesis: African Soldier and Sweet Patootee Arts’ Caribbean-set installation Turning Point.

The role of the Community Curator

We are looking for someone with relevant skills and knowledge, and a good network of personal contacts. Your role will include:
- establishing contact with a wide cross-section of South Asian communities in Bristol

- collecting stories of the Indian Army, British Army in India or related civilian experiences in the period 1900 – 1946. This may include recordings, written interviews or a combination

- aiming for a balanced representation of the key countries (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh) and largest religious communities (Muslim, Hindu, Sikh). Stories may come from what were then distinct regions of British India e.g. Burma, Bengal, Punjab, Kashmir

- negotiating permissions to borrow or reproduce photographs, documents or objects

- editing and contextualising the stories in discussion with the museum exhibition team

- contributing to interpretation of the British Empire and Commonwealth Collection material and the exhibition introduction (involving community members if appropriate)

- ensuring community interests are represented in the exhibition design and programme

- building relationships between communities and the museum, to support marketing and audience development

- giving a talk or taking part in a discussion as part of the programme.

The Community Curator will report to the Exhibitions Officer and will work closely with the Archivists of the British Empire & Commonwealth Collection.

Up to £10,000 is available. This is based on 50 days’ work at £200 a day. It will be paid in instalments tied to delivery of project stages. There is a small additional budget for travel and other expenses.

For full brief and how to apply please visit our website:
Curating Research