Last week, the EMKP Team had the pleasure of hosting our latest cohort of grantees at the British Museum for the 2023 EMKP Training! From the 4th to the 8th of September 2023, a total of 18 EMKP grantees from 10 different countries joined us at the Museum to take part in an intensive week of material documentation training.

As always, this year’s EMKP Training course was designed around crucial skills that our grantees will need to carry out their EMKP projects. Beginning with an introduction from EMKP Director and Keeper of the Department of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas, Dr. Lissant Bolton, the week continued with sessions on digital ethics and open access, ethnographic field methods, photography, filming, video editing, metadata, and data management. The sessions were led by members of the EMKP Team, who were available throughout the week to answer questions and provide guidance to grantees regarding their upcoming projects.

Grantees were encouraged to put their skills into practice throughout the week by participating in practical workshops convened by external guests. The first was a workshop on mending and visual documentation led by artist Bridget Harvey, who was a keynote speaker at the EMKP Mending and Making conference earlier in the year. The grantees were taught to mend ceramics using different types of glue and gold, in a practice similar to “Kintsugi”, the Japanese art of repairing ceramics with lacquer and gold, leaving a gold seam where the cracks were. At the same time, they were encouraged to experiment with different methods of documentation by making notes, taking photos, and recording themselves and each other, combining the practices of making and material knowledge documentation.

We were also joined by Henrike Neuhaus of Goldsmiths, University of London for a workshop on video equipment, filming, and sound. Grantees were split into groups and given the chance to practice filming in different situations and environments. In the morning, they filmed outdoors, conducting mock interviews on the grounds of the Museum; in the afternoon, they filmed conservators at work in the British Museum’s Conservation studio. The EMKP Team would like to extend our deepest gratitude to our colleagues in the Conservation Department, especially Alex Owen, Emily Philips, and Nicola Crompton, for facilitating this visit.

On Thursday, we had the chance to speak about the Programme during the British Museum’s Staff Breakfast. Dr. Ceri Ashley, Head of EMKP and Dr. Paula Granados, EMKP Digital Curator gave a presentation where they reflected on the past five years of the EMKP, including ongoing projects, communities and research networks that the EMKP supports, the institutions we have worked with and our goals for the future, including the digital vision and digital innovation of the programme.  It was a wonderful opportunity to introduce the grantees to colleagues across the Museum, and to thank the Museum itself for the support it has provided to the EMKP over the years.

The 2023 EMKP Training was both a learning experience and a wonderful chance for the EMKP Team and Grantees to  meet, connect, and learn from one another. The EMKP Team is very grateful to our grantees for traveling so far to participate in the Training, and to all the British Museum staff and colleagues who made the week’s events possible. Thank you for your continued support of the EMKP, please keep an eye on our website and social media for more updates about our grantees and their projects!

Banner Image: 2023 EMKP Grantees and members of the EMKP Team on the stairs of the British Museum’s Great Court. (Photo: Li-Xuan Teo)