BAME museum workers conduct flash mob at Museum of London

Nicola Sullivan, 02.11.2016
Flash mob staged to raise awareness about the lack of diversity in museums
An 80-strong group of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) museum workers took part in a flash mob at the Museum of London to raise awareness of the lack of diversity that exists among museum visitors.

Those taking part explained to visitors attending the Punks exhibition on 29 October why it’s important for BAME people to use museums and galleries.  The event, which coincided with Black History, was organised by Museum Detox – a networking and support group for BAME museum professionals.

The flash mobbers, who were dressed in blue, came to the exhibition armed with facts (on phones and cards) relating to African and Caribbean culture and history.  Selfies were taken with visitors they had shared the information with and posted on Twitter using #museumdetoxflash.  

“The Punks exhibition tells the story of the role anarchy plays in getting change but also [highlights] that punk is now very mainstream”, says Hannah Phung, a senior member of the Museum Detox group and a project manager at the British Museum. 

“It was perfect because it tied in with the ethos of what we were doing with the flash mob.”

Sara Wajid, the founder of Museum Detox, said: “We just feel like people don’t realise there are so many of us from BAME backgrounds who work in museums, and when we get together as the Museum Detox group it can often take people back to see a bunch of confident BAME people walking around a gallery.

“It got us thinking about audiences. Why is it weird to see a group of people of colour hanging out at a museum? We want to encourage more BAME representation among museum workers and to let the public know we are not all Lucy Worsley types.”

 

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