Diversity House, with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, has developed this intergenerational project in order to create greater social cohesion in Swale and give people a platform to pioneer interculturality and an appreciation for the cultures in the UK.
Using the Benin Masks, on display at the British Museum, as an iconic emblem, our participatory researched project will encourage learning, documenting and celebrating the rich and diverse cultures of the Nigerian people and their relationship with the British (both pre – and post – colonial).
People from all ages and backgrounds will have opportunities to share and expand their understanding of cultural identity and heritage. We will look at the cultural history and heritage of the Benin, as a focal point to explore this civilisation from the height of its glory in the 16th century to the present day. We will be focusing on African ethnographical collections, particularly those of Benin, collected in nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and held within the British Museum and the Powell-Cotton Museum in Birchington, Kent.
Events and activities include; Guided tours and Educational Workshops at the British Museum, workshops and tours at the Powell-Cotton Museum, developing online learning resources and worksheets, training in advanced research skills, interactive workshops and seminars on themes such as monarchy and governance, celebration of Nigerian culture, Historical guided walks around swale, exploring histories, arts, crafts, clothes and other objects available from Africa and Nigeria.