Children given free reign in Croydon museum

A current exhibition at the Horniman. Photo: Laura Passi

A current exhibition at the Horniman. Photo: Laura Passi

The Museum of Croydon has been selected to host an exhibition created by the boroughs’ young people as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

The selection was made by the Horniman Museum in Lewisham, who were chosen last year to lead the programme in South London, which is called Stories of the World.

Young people in Croydon will be recruited to work on the programme and will be given an almost entirely free reign to make an exhibition about a key aspect of life in the city. The theme this year is identity.

In Croydon, the focus will be on harder to reach youth groups and will explore tensions between different cultural factions.

Councillor Steve Hollands, cabinet member for culture and sport said: “It is an honor for Croydon to be chosen … I can’t wait to see what our young people produce.”

The Museum of Croydon and four other museums will work closely with the Horniman and display exhibitions in March 2011.

Anna Metcalf who is managing Stories of the World at the Horniman said the young people selected will be aged between 14 and 24.

She said: “The young people will get a 360° view of how it [a museum] all works. It will be empowering for them and they will get to work with professionals – filmmakers, fashion designers, local artists and website managers.”

The Horniman will have a major exhibition called The Body Adorned in spring 2012. Children from different backgrounds will pair-up and interview members of each other’s community. This will highlight what is unique and valuable in their differing cultures.

The process of recruitment started yesterday for the Horniman, and will start in January for Croydon and the other museums involved, which are Brent Museum, Redbridge Museum, Courtauld Gallery and The Foundling Museum. For more information about how to get involved, contact the museum nearest to you.

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