Institute of Archaeology


Only Collections in the Building

2 February 2024

A new podcast series 'Only Collections in The Building' created by Heba Abd el Gawad and Johanna Zetterstrom-Sharp (UCL Institute of Archaeology) has just been launched.

A piece of parchment with (Arabic?) writing on it

The podcast series 'Only Collections in The Building' created by researcher and museum activist Heba Abd el Gawad, and Associate Professor Johanna Zetterstrom-Sharp, forms part of the AHRC-funded project Mobilising Collections for Institutional Change: Egypt at the Horniman.

Activists, artists, and indigenous practitioners are being invited to intervene in or disrupt museum spaces with the aim to bring change. But meaningful collaboration relies on much larger structural or professional changes that they rarely have the power to implement.

There is so much talk about museums, decolonisation, and social justice, but very little that is grounded in the day-to-day work of structural change and how it impacts the people who are relied on to implement it. It is in this everyday work that relationships can breakdown. Rather than having a breakdown, Heba and Johanna will ask what it means in practice to put people before collections by sharing their experience of working together on All Eyes on Her!, a community-collaborative exhibition at the Horniman.

This series is produced by Maria Christodoulou, creator of From Root to Vine.

Episode 1 uses a packet of scarf pins from the 1990s to explore how everyday resistance is hidden through museum practice.

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