We are proud to report that the 2022 EMKP Training was a success! For the first time since 2019, the EMKP was able to hold its annual Training session in person at the British Museum. From the 12th to 16th of September 2022, a total of 20 EMKP grantees from 14 different countries joined us at the Museum, taking part an intensive week of teaching, workshops, and seminars.

The goal of EMKP Training is to not only provide our grantees with the knowledge and information they need to carry out their work according to EMKP guidelines, but to bring the cohort together for a discussion on the broader issues of material knowledge documentation. We are very pleased to be able to receive our grantees in the Museum again.

Training began with an introduction and welcome address from our Director, Dr. Lissant Bolton, who spoke on the mission and aims of the EMKP, as well as the importance of material knowledge more generally. Over the course of the week, the EMKP Curators led sessions on different topics, including ethics, ethnographic research methods, open access, metadata, data management, film recording and editing. They were also joined by other colleagues from within and beyond the Museum.

In addition to these teaching sessions, this year’s EMKP Training involved a range of practical activities. These were intended to give the grantees a chance to practise some of the skills they had learned, while also encouraging them to approach their work from the perspectives of both researcher and practitioner. On Tuesday,  we were joined by EMKP Panel Member Dr. Stephanie Bunn and textile artist Mary Crabb, who led a workshop on basket-making that featured recycled Tetra-Pak as the main material. The grantees were also able to practice documenting material processes in the British Museum’s Organics Conservation department, working with conservators Alex Owen, Eliza Doherty, and Nicole Rode.

Another highlight of the Training were the Collections visits, which gave the grantees the unique opportunity to visit some of the British Museum’s collections and laboratories relevant to their research. We are incredibly grateful to Helen Anderson and Julie Hudson, curators in the Africa section, Danny Zborover, Head of  the Americas section, Diego Tamburini of the Scientific Research Department and Alexandra Green, Henry Ginsburg Curator for Southeast Asia for facilitating these tours and being so generous with their time, knowledge, and expertise.

Overall, the 2022 EMKP Training was a great experience. It gave everyone the chance to come together, learn from one other and share perspectives. Very importantly, it also ensured that the grantees were able to familiarise themselves with the EMKP’s guidelines and procedures. The questions, advice, and feedback from the grantees has also given the EMKP Team new insights into how we can improve support for projects and refine future training.

We hope our grantees enjoyed their time at the 2022 EMKP Training, and that they have the chance to share the experiences, lessons, and perspectives gained over the week with their teams and support networks. The EMKP Team looks forward to sharing their accomplishments and following them on their journeys!