- Date: 16 October 2012
- Artform: Museums
- Area: London
MA students from the Institute of Archaeology, University College London, talk about Who Stole My Milk? Exploring Student Homes in London, an exhibition and research project developed in collaboration with the Geffrye Museum for Stories of the World, one of our major London 2012 Cultural Olympiad programmes.
We collaborated with museum staff at the Geffrye Museum in London to produce an exhibition and learning resources around our project Who Stole My Milk? Exploring Student Homes in London.
This was part of Stories of the World, a nationwide London 2012 Cultural Olympiad programme which partnered young people with museums to bring collections and archives to live by curating new exhibitions and interactive and participatory projects.
Stories of the World was led by Arts Council England in partnership with the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG).
Who Stole My Milk? aimed to provide a better understanding of London's student homes in 2012 as shared spaces serving as arenas for conflict, compromise, friendship, and international fusion.
Our group of 23 students split into teams working with Geffrye staff to develop:
Over the course of the project, our student group did face some challenges which were ultimately overcome. Communication difficulties occurred, as non-native English speakers occasionally faced hurdles in communicating with the group as easily as those with English as a first language, and thus effectively expressing their ideas. This was mediated by these students asking for and being offered support from native English-speaker team members. Moreover, as the project was collaborative in nature, issues arose when teams relied on other teams for pieces of information or project output. We dealt with these issues through adaptation of timetables and plans.
Our project contested stereotypical perceptions of the student home by communicating a unique perspective into the identity formation, international fusion and cultural exchange that occurs in student homes in London.
Using audience research as the basis for development we attracted a new demographic of 16-25 year olds to both Who Stole My Milk? and future Geffrye projects.
By May 2012:
By the end of the project in September 2012:
Collaborating with Geffrye staff gave us the opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge of museum practice into a practical museum context. We achieved this through hands-on experience while engaging in coursework for our module. We also developed practical project management skills which will prove invaluable as we pursue our own careers in the sector.
The project was valuable for both the Geffrye and our student group. The museum gained additional manpower, reached new audiences, received new ideas and primary research as well as a fresh perspective from the students. Our student group gained not only practical skills and a greater insight into international students' homes, but the opportunity to participate in a high-profile, nationwide initiative - Stories of the World - at a time when the UK was in the global spotlight.