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The Wonder House

Author: Sushma Jansari

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A new podcast series that shares some of the most innovative contemporary approaches to decolonising museums so that we are all empowered and inspired to learn and experiment.

**Support us on Patreon** https://www.patreon.com/TheWonderHouse

Presenter/Producer - Sushma Jansari, @TheWonderHouse
Producer - Nick Harris, @2ndThoughtTank
Artwork - Aleesha Nandhra, @AleeshaNandhra

www.TheWonderHouse.co.uk
19 Episodes
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In Episode 8, I catch up with Arike Oke, Director of the Black Cultural Archives. Arike talks about the BCA’s response to the Black Lives Matter protests, including the creation of a new Black Lives Matter digital archive. We also talk about the Stories of Black Leadership II: Breaking Barriers exhibition that was on display at BCA and which has now been made available on their website. Arike tells me about the series of online events that BCA brought together in recognition of the annual Windrush Day that is on June 22. Support The Wonder House One time cup of virtual coffee Regular donation via Patreon Presented/Produced by Sushma Jansari @TheWonderHouse Produced by Nick Harris @2ndThoughtTank  
To kick off this new series, I speak to Subhadra Das (@LittleGaudy), Curator of the Science Collections at UCL. Subhadra is doing some really exciting work re-assessing UCL’s scientific and natural history collections and bringing them to wider public knowledge in new and innovative ways – from not-so-traditional exhibitions and gallery interventions, to stand-up comedy shows.   For more info: https://thewonderhouse.co.uk/episode-1-subhadra-das-bricks-mortals   Produced by Sushma Jansari (@TheWonderHouse) & Nick Harris (@2ndThoughtTank)
The Wonder House

The Wonder House

2019-11-0400:29

A new podcast series that shares some of the most innovative contemporary approaches to decolonising museums so that we are all empowered and inspired to learn and experiment. Presenter/Producer - Sushma Jansari @TheWonderHouse Producer - Nick Harris @2ndThoughtTank Artwork - Aleesha Nandhra @AleeshaNandhra www.TheWonderHouse.co.uk
Today, I'm chatting to Zey Kussan about a special #MuseumHour all about Furlough that we co-hosted. It was a very honest discussion that gave all of us in the museum sector something to think about. In this episode, we discuss some of the questions and responses from #MuseumHour and also talk about how furlough - or, in Zey’s case, not being furloughed - affected us as well.   Share, Rate & Review The Wonder House! If you love our work, consider becoming a Patreon or sharing a cup of virtual Ko-Fi! Presented/Produced by Sushma Jansari @TheWonderHouse Produced by Nick Harris @2ndThoughtTank
In this week's Coffee & Catch Up, I chat to Dan Vo, founder of the award-winning LGBTQ+ volunteer-led tours at the V&A and Project Manager & lead researcher for the Queer Heritage and Collections Network. Share, Rate & Review The Wonder House! If you love our work, consider becoming a Patreon or sharing a cup of virtual Ko-Fi! Presented/Produced by Sushma Jansari @TheWonderHouse Produced by Nick Harris @2ndThoughtTank
In Episode 14, I speak to Dan Vo, Founder of the award-winning LGBTQ+ volunteer-led tours at the V&A. More info: https://thewonderhouse.co.uk/dan-vo Support The Wonder House One time cup of virtual coffee Regular donation via Patreon Presented/Produced by Sushma Jansari @TheWonderHouse Produced by Nick Harris @2ndThoughtTank
Today, I'm chatting to Margot Finn, Professor of Modern British History at UCL and President of the Royal Historical Society. Margot tells me about the two new schemes that the Royal Historical Society have set up to help UK-based early career researchers (ECRs) in History: RHS Adams Matthew Digital Collections Subscriptions RHS COVID-10 Hardship Grants for UK Early Career Historians You can also make a donation to the RHS hardship fund through their JustGiving page, which will also go towards supporting Early Career Researchers. You may remember that I first interviewed Margot in Episode 6 of The Wonder House podcast about the Society’s Race, Ethnicity and Equality in UK History Report. Since speaking to Margot this summer, the Society has advertised a new post-doctoral position to support and continue the Society’s equalities work, with an especial focus on race and ethnicity. The application deadline is 5th of August 2020: Past & Present Postdoctoral Fellowship: Race, Ethnicity & Equality in History Support The Wonder House One time cup of virtual coffee Regular donation via Patreon Presented/Produced by Sushma Jansari @TheWonderHouse Produced by Nick Harris @2ndThoughtTank
For today's Coffee & Catch Up, I'm chatting to Thanh Sinden, Chair of the Museum Detox Executive Committee, and museum consultant.  We talked about work, family and health, as well as a recent Museum Detox survey about the impact lockdown had on its members, and the Museum Detox Hardship Fund – to which people from across the sector have donated so generously. This Hardship Fund has reopened, so if you'd like to make a donation, you can through this link -  Museum Detox GoFundMe. Support The Wonder House One time cup of virtual coffee Regular donation via Patreon Presented/Produced by Sushma Jansari @TheWonderHouse Produced by Nick Harris @2ndThoughtTank
Today, I'm speaking to Gaylene Gould, Creative Director of The Space to Come and coach. I am drawing on her coaching expertise  in this episode. The question I put to Gaylene was: How do we go about planning in an environment of almost total uncertainty on every possible level? Starting with the point that change is the only thing that is constant, and with the idea of self compassion at its heart, Gaylene suggests ways in which we can harness this moment to reevaluate our key priorities, motivations and, importantly, find a way to sit still in a time of uncertainty. Support The Wonder House One time cup of virtual coffee Regular donation via Patreon Presented/Produced by Sushma Jansari @TheWonderHouse Produced by Nick Harris @2ndThoughtTank
After a sudden, scary lockdown, I wanted to check in on the lovely people I interviewed in Season 1. Today, I’m chatting to Sara Wajid, Head of Engagement at the Museum of London. We talked about taking long walks, looking at beautiful flowers and getting through this time as best we can - one piña colada ice lolly at a time! I hope you enjoy this light-hearted break from the world. Support The Wonder House One time cup of virtual coffee Regular donation via Patreon Presented/Produced by Sushma Jansari @TheWonderHouse Produced by Nick Harris @2ndThoughtTank
After a sudden, scary lockdown, I wanted to check in on the lovely people I interviewed in Season 1. For the first episode of Coffee & Catch Up, I caught up with Subhadra Das, Curator of the Science Collections at UCL and part-time freelancer. I hope you enjoy this light-hearted break from the world. Support The Wonder House One time cup of virtual coffee Regular donation via Patreon Presented/Produced by Sushma Jansari @TheWonderHouse Produced by Nick Harris @2ndThoughtTank
In Episode 7, I speak to Arike Oke, Director of the Black Cultural Archives. We talk about the people-centred core values that Arike brings to her work and the resilience required to push forward a challenging agenda of change to an organisation. Support The Wonder House One time cup of virtual coffee Regular donation via Patreon Presented/Produced by Sushma Jansari @TheWonderHouse Produced by Nick Harris @2ndThoughtTank
After an amazing reception for Season 1 of The Wonder House, we have decided to enter the *British Podcast Awards*!! To do this, let us know on Twitter: What are your favourite clips from Episodes 1-6? If you'd like a recap, listen to Subhadra Das, Miranda Lowe, Sara Wajid, Rachael Minott, Sadiah Qureshi and Margot Finn again here: https://thewonderhouse.co.uk/podcasts  
In Episode 6, I speak to Margot Finn, Professor of Modern British History at UCL and President of the Royal Historical Society ('RHS') about the Race, Ethnicity & Equality Report in UK History and The East India Company at Home, 1757-1857 project. **Support us on Patreon!!** https://www.patreon.com/TheWonderHouse Follow Margot @EICatHome Presented/Produced by Sushma Jansari @TheWonderHouse Produced by Nick Harris @2ndThoughtTank
In Episode 5, I speak to Dr Sadiah Qureshi, Senior Lecturer in Modern History at the University of Birmingham, about: 1) the Royal Historical Society's Race, Ethnicity & Equality Report; 2) NPG exhibition George Catlin: American Indian Portraits; 3) Sadiah's book Peoples on Parade. **Support us on Patreon!!** https://www.patreon.com/TheWonderHouse Follow Sadiah @SadiahQureshi Presented/Produced by Sushma Jansari @TheWonderHouse Produced by Nick Harris @2ndThoughtTank
In Episode 4, I speak to Rachael Minott, Inclusion and Change Manager at The National Archives, board member of the Museums Association and visual artist working on Jamaican national representation as a form of artistic exploration. We talk about how Rachael’s artistic practice informs her curatorial work, including in the recent exhibition ‘The Past Is Now’ (2017) held at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. **Support us on Patreon!!** https://www.patreon.com/TheWonderHouse Follow Rachael @RachaelMinott Presented/Produced by Sushma Jansari @TheWonderHouse Produced by Nick Harris @2ndThoughtTank
In Episode 3, I speak to Sara Wajid, Head of Engagement at the Museum of London, about her sector-changing approach to 'The Past Is Now' (2017) exhibition at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. Infused throughout our conversation are references to  Museum Detox, a networking group for BAME professionals in museums and heritage that we are both members of and which Sara co-founded when she was working at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. We talk about how Sara brings her journalism and literary studies background to inject powerful storytelling into the projects she works on to explore and further develop decolonial methodology in a museum and display context. A key part of this approach is the two-way collaboration between people who work in museums and members of the wider community, including artists and activists, and the 'emotional sledgehammer' this type of work can bring to a display like 'The Past Is Now'. Experimentation and the freedom to fail is so important and this exhibition explored the possibility of finding a new language and way of talking about collections relating to empire, and how visitors responded to this. Within this context of testing, one of the aims was to display a more honest reckoning of empire and to explore how you tell stories - and whose stories are told - as part of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery's redevelopment plans so it could be reoriented for a younger, diverse urban population. For me, one of the key points in this episode is to recognise the incredible alchemy that results when you bring together powerful, innovative storytelling and experimentation into a museum. And the role of funders is vital to this: I wonder if The Past Is Now would have happened without Arts Council England’s Changer Makers programme. This type of work is difficult, emotional and unsettling but what came out of the conversation with Sara is that it is also joyful and exciting. Her work shows how you can be brave when you are not naturally brave and that's an important lesson for us all. Links of interest: The Art of Leadership - leading to create greater impact with Hilary Carty, Sara Wajid & David Jubb - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99uTvT6tqqs  How can you decolonise museums? - Museum Next presentations by Sara Wajid & Shaheen Kasmani - https://www.museumnext.com/article/decolonising-museums/  Untold Stories: Birmingham, the British Empire and Bangladeshi Curry - https://advisor.museumsandheritage.com/features/untold-stories-birmingham-british-empire-bangladeshi-curry/  Birmingham Museum defends exhibition of 'evil' British Empire [behind paywall] - https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/birmingham-museum-defends-exhibition-of-evil-british-empire-nb05nsbzz#  Follow Sara @Waji35 This episode was Presented/Produced by Sushma Jansari (@TheWonderHouse) and Produced by Nick Harris (@2ndThoughtTank)
In Episode 2, I speak to Miranda Lowe, Principal Curator of Invertebrate Zoology at the Natural History Museum – and, yes, I ask her what ‘invertebrate zoology’ means! I have long been inspired by Miranda’s work unearthing stories about the important contributions that people of colour have made to the study of natural history and science, as well as associated collecting and collections, over the centuries. Miranda does not keep this knowledge within the narrow boundaries of academia or museums but, instead, she presents her research in many different ways to many different audiences. Recently, Miranda distilled her extensive knowledge and experience into an article she co-authored with Subhadra Das – I spoke to Subhadra about her work in Episode 1. The title of the article is: ‘Nature Read in Black and White: decolonial approaches to interpreting natural history collections’, Journal of Natural Science Collections, Vol.6, pp.4-14. It is fundamentally changing the way natural history collections are researched, understood and presented. I ask Miranda about her research into Graman Kwasi, the Surinamese freedman, natural scientist and collector. Graman Kwasi has been little known outside specialist fields but, as Miranda explains, his legacy is in full public view on the ceiling of the Natural History Museum’s Hintze Hall and she shares his story and those of others through public talks and other outreach work. Much of Miranda’s research into the many people of colour represented in the NHM’s collections and some displays was also included in the museum’s Slavery and the Natural World project (2007). Follow Miranda @NatHistGirl This episode was Presented/Produced by Sushma Jansari (@TheWonderHouse) and Produced by Nick Harris (@2ndThoughtTank).
Subhadra Das has kindly let us share the first episode of Bricks + Mortals, a history of eugenics told through a walking tour of UCL's buildings. While Marie Stopes is widely celebrated as a feminist icon and champion of birth control, this episode explores her eugenic motivations which are less well-known.    Link to all of the Bricks + Mortals episodes - https://www.ucl.ac.uk/culture/projects/bricks-mortals   Presented/Written by Subhadra Das Produced by Cerys Bradley
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