Hi, I’m Sara, and I’m a broadcaster, writer, activist and GLAM specialist – that’s Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums.
I’ve worked in this field for 15 years – researching and sharing lesser-heard histories through events, exhibitions, research, publications, TV shows and even protests.
In 2015, I co-founded the East End Women’s Museum as an act of ‘positive protest’, in response to the opening of the Jack the Ripper Museum.
The museum is the only one of its kind in England and Wales, which celebrates the histories of women and girls. It has grown from a single tweet to a successful public history project, and is now preparing to move to its permanent home in east London.
My PhD, supported by the ESRC, in partnership with St Fagans National Museum of History, looks at contemporary experiences of everyday activism – especially how these experiences are recorded, understood and represented by museums.
Is the modern museum equipped to collect and understand everyday activism?
Do museums have the infrastructure in place to capture the complexities of everyday activism in the 21st century, as boundaries between physical and digital activism become ever more porous?
This study will scrutinise how specific activist methodologies are represented, validated and celebrated in museum collections and displays.
For example, it will look at:
- associations of place in everyday activism, and how these are recorded and understood by museums
- whether museums privilege certain activist methodologies over others in their collections and programmes
- how museums’ understanding of activist methodologies is influenced by the aesthetics and practicalities of display, storage and conservation
This project will include a co-curated exhibition at St Fagans, ensuring an engaging and high-profile programme of public participation.
The impact of the study on the sector will be in developing of new ways of collecting everyday activism, through collaboration with GLAM professionals and experts by experience; providing pathways for museums to collect and record digital artefacts of activism, enhancing and enriching museum collections for future researchers and historians.