The Travelling Heritage Bureau is a co-research project and supportive network with and for international women artists based in the North West of England. The Bureau is a space of resistance, creativity and inclusion, a space for women artists including refugees, exiles, those seeking asylum and other migrant women with direct experiences of journeying or displacement.
Digital Women’s Archive North (DWAN) leads the project – a Manchester based feminist arts and heritage organisation supporting women's practice and addressing social inequalities. The project aims to ensure the arts practice and cultural heritage of international women visual artists is identified, documented and shared. Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Bureau emerges in response to the demand for the archives and heritage sectors to be more fully engaged with the contemporary challenges that face contemporary collecting, curatorial practices and methods of documentation. Arts archives in the UK are dedicated to collecting and documenting British practitioners, and others, those who are not British, fall through the gaps. We work to ensure that works, practices, methods and knowledge of those migrant practitioners are included within a broader narrative of British heritage - in-line with the UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of the Artist, 1980, and 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.
The 20-month project is undertaken through a series of workshops, public activities and exhibitions, a film, sound piece, digital and material archiving, and collaborating with ACE funded project “Thread Bearing Witness” by Alice Kettle.
Exhibitions and events:
“The Travelling Heritage Bureau”, HOME Mcr (Refugee Week, June 2018)
“Still I Rise”, Manchester Art Gallery, with Community Arts North West (Journeys Festival International, October 2018)
“A Room of One’s Own”, Zellij Arts (Aug 2017 - Sept 2018)
“Alice Kettle: Thread Bearing Witness”, Whitworth Art Gallery (Sept 2018 - Feb 2019)
The Bureau was also been invited to contribute to Alexandra Arts project "Women Hold up Half the Sky", by artist in residence Ekua Bayunu.