On the 3rd and 5th of April I delivered two workshops at The Cuming Museum in Southwark. The workshops, designed for local families, explored notions of worth and value in the context of the Elephant and Castle area and of museum collections themselves. Participants were asked to consider the one thing they would save from a fire. These saved objects formed the basis of a ‘Personal Museum’, one which was recorded photographically and made into a catalogue.

Taking as a starting point the ongoing regeneration of the Elephant & Castle area as a metaphorical ‘Fire’ – (a simultaneously damaging and cathartic force) participants from the local area were encouraged to bring into the Museum the one object they would save from their homes in the event of a fire. These objects formed the basis of a new museum collection for a day, after discussing the idea of a ‘personal museum’ participants orally shared and then recorded the histories of their objects. They learned a number of digital photography skills in order to photograph the objects for a catalogue. This catalogue was given to each participant it can be downloaded below)

Notions of value, worth and collections were explored. a lot of fun was had choosing the one thing they would save from the fire. It was fitting that many of the participants were small children, a generation whose reliance on collected and shared memories to inform their own rapidly changing histories is so ably assisted by the Cuming Museum collections.



All the photographs in this catalogue were taken by the participants themselves, except the group images on page two. many of the participants were young children and, with just a little instruction, did a fine job of handling the cameras!

Many thanks to Elvie Thompson, Education Co-ordinator. Allie and Rebecca the assistants, and of course the participants themselves:

Chayne, Cyen, Asher, Kilonda, Luweze, Kevin,

Bryant, Kubara, Tilly, Diane, Malaika, Keziah, Kias


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