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Dear God...
“Hate leads to fights, Fights lead to war, War leads to beautiful world no more”
Kieran Hunt

Birmingham Museums Trust
Faith Gallery 2019

Faith in Birmingham
 

Opened in 2016, the Faith in Birmingham Gallery at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery has established itself as a central interfaith space within the city, inspiring communities to come together for learning, sharing and reflection. In 2018 alone, we welcomed over 1,500 people to 20 events in the gallery including a day of celebration for the Baha’i community, annual Buddha Day, a Faith and Music festival and faith discussion event for the LGBT community.

In 2017 and 2018 we also made changes to some of the objects displayed in the gallery as part of our ongoing commitment to represent as many of the different religious groups practicing in the city.

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This process will continue through this project. In 2019/20 we will work with ‘The African & African Caribbean Network’ created by the social cohesion charity Near Neighbours and is part of their Community Engagement Forums. By working with this network, we aim to improve the representation of black communities in the Faith Gallery. This partnership will see the introduction of objects chosen and interpreted by the community into the Faith Gallery. Part of the project will be the acquisition of new objects into the museum’s collection as we do not have the material currently to represent these communities. Acquisitions ensure that the collection maintains a relevance to the communities it ultimately belongs to.

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Though the Faith Gallery does already contain some objects that represent black communities, including Rastafari and Pentecostal Christians, there are far more denominations of Christianity led by Black Majority Churches that are not covered. In addition, the Somali population of Birmingham increased nine-fold in the years between the last two census reports. With a majority Muslim community, we would like to diversify the representation of Muslim related objects to include people of African descent.

These changes are important as they diversify the stories the gallery tells and the voices that tell them. Each community experiences and interprets faith in different ways, often using very different objects as part of their practice. We hope to show our visitors new objects they may not have had access to before. The project will involve visits to the gallery for the participants, a visit to our collection centre to select objects and celebration events.

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The project will launch with a celebratory event held in partnership with Faiths in Tune, an interfaith music festival, on Saturday 16th November 2019 to which all are welcome.
 



For more information:

https://www.birminghammuseums.org.uk/bmag/highlights/faith-in-birmingham