This evening I took myself off to Bristol for the launch of a new section of the local history exhibits at the M-Shed museum. Called You Make Bristol, it is a series of features on local people who have done a lot for the city in various ways. Unusually the exhibition has been curated as a joint project between M-Shed and various community groups. Each group put forward their suggestions for people to honor, and then wrote the captions for those people selected.
While there are a few very famous people in the exhibition (Brunel and Plimpsol, in particular), most of the honorees are less well known and many are still living. From Out Stories Bristol we put forward the trans pioneer, Michael Dillon, and our dear friend, the long-time lesbian activist, Dale Wakefield. I was asked to write the caption for Dillon.
Amongst the other people honored were those who worked with various immigrant communities, those who worked for various disabled groups, people who had done a lot for youth charities, and so on. Paulette, my producer from Ujima, came along and spend most of the evening chatting with various people from the Afro-Caribbean community, some of whom we’ll doubtless have on the show soon.
Peter Main, the former Lord Mayor, did the civic duties opening the event. There was also a small skit put on by a youth group where the kids played the part of some of the honorees. I was not surprised to see them pick two famous sports people: rugby player Gareth Chilcott, and boxer Jane Crouch. The lad who took the part of Chilcott clearly had ambitions to play for England himself, right down to the Dylan Hartley haircut.
On Women’s Outlook on Wednesday I will be talking to Karen Garvey from M-Shed who curated the exhibition, and therefore had the job of coordinating all of that community involvement. We’ll be joined by Ricardo Sharry, a local youth worker who was one of the honorees; and by Ujima’s own Remi who directed the youth group skit (and got a part in it at the last minute when one kid had to drop out).