Considering COVID-19 from a migration perspective: Lessons from the Migration Museum in Britain focusing on COVID-19
The 10th International Conference of Museums for Peace
Title: Considering COVID-19 from a migration perspective: Lessons from the Migration Museum in Britain focusing on COVID-19
Author: Ayako Ohzeki, Graduate student, Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies, Kobe University (Japan)
Abstract: Aiming to create a national migration museum in Britain, the Migration Museum Project provides educational programs about migration, collects migration stories and offers exhibitions and events to deepen understanding about migration.
As a graduate student, I visited the temporary Migration Museum at The Workshop (April 2017 to November 2019) in London. I studied the two main exhibitions, ‘No Turning Back’ and ‘Room to Breathe’.
‘Room to Breathe’ opened in Lewisham, London in February 2020, but had to close in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even before the pandemic underscored the plight of migrants around the world, the Migration Museum was showing that in Britain health care has traditionally been an industry that employs many migrants, and that during times of trouble, immigrants have often been treated as scapegoats.
The Migration Museum is now posting migration stories online. In June, it posted a statement in solidarity with Black communities in their struggle against racism, worsened and made more visible by the impact of COVID-19.
This presentation will explore the role of the Migration Museum for voicing the concerns of the immigrant community and for passing on to future generations their stories of critical events such as this COVID-19 pandemic.