Community Volunteer and User Development Project Worker
As part of their Community View Programme, the British Museum invites various community groups to visit their special exhibitions free of charge, and here at LADPP, we are lucky enough to be one of the beneficiaries. This is a wonderful thing because it allows us to share with our users a part of the city’s rich culture offerings that they might not otherwise have access to or even know about.
The last one we were invited to was the Ming exhibition, telling the story of the Chinese Empire between 1400 and 1450. We saw exquisite pieces of craftsmanship that were not just functional but also beautiful, such as this lacquer box: the detail of the plants in this striking red is simply fantastic!
It was also interesting to see the presence and interaction of the various different cultures within China at this time. Amongst the pieces on display, there were artifacts from Daoism, Confucianism, Buddhism, the local and national Chinese popular religion and Islam, including a Quran, which just goes to show that Multiculturalism is not exclusive to 21st Century London! Which seems fitting for LADPP considering that on this visit, in our group we had service users and volunteers from the UK, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Spain and Denmark!
Darwin Ojeda, student of the English classes who accompanied us on this trip writes about his experience both at the British Museum and at LADPP:
Hi, I’m Darwin. I am going to speak about Chinese exhibition, the Ming Dynasty. Well, for me, this was a very important and interesting exhibition, where I saw wonderful things, from drawings to statues from this era. This helped me to understand what these times were like, and to understand a little bit about their culture, their ideas and the way they lived.
It makes me think just how little we know about our past cultures. And I think that we can understand a little bit more about their practices and their thoughts just through seeing these exhibitions.
I got to know LADPP through a friend, and I was interested in going to learn how to speak English. Also, it helps me to meet people, and this is important for me because it’s a good way of communication and support.
Introduction: Rosie Morgan, Community Volunteer and User Development Project Worker
Photo credit: Images of exhibition pieces borrowed from The British Museum archive.
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