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London is a city of endless excitement and opportunity. It is a city of great architecture, historic sights and delicious food. Above all, what makes London so great is the level of cultural diversity that has developed over the years. This diversity has helped make London a city where there is even more to see and enjoy. For example, you can travel through the city centre and sample foods from all over the world.
For these reasons, we were ecstatically eager to get involved with a new project organised by Brick Lane Circle and the Stepney Green Trust, and financed by the National Lottery Heritage Fund called Human Stories and the East India Company. The project aims to take 12 volunteers from the surrounding community on a journey through time; studying the archives of London’s most resourceful museums and libraries in order to bring the stories of the East India Company to life through creative writing.
The idea is that each volunteer will have their chance to study extensively this era of history; the institutions, individuals, and events that contributed to the rise and fall of the East India Company. The volunteers will create short stories based on real historic fact and findings. For example, they could be about trading complexities, sea voyages and rough storms or planning the opium wars. Whichever area of this fascinating period of history the volunteer chooses to focus on, they will be developing and using their creativity skills to share knowledge with others in their community.
We chose to get involved with this project as we feel it is something that is focused on developing community spirit and safeguarding both British and Asian heritage. Our company is not playing a role in the creative writing project – which is self-explanatory. But we will be playing another role in a similar project, also based on the East India Company, and we will be sharing more information with you very soon.
On the 19th March we attended the project launch for the Human Stories and the East India Company to learn more. We really enjoyed listening to the speakers who were invited which included presentations from the National Maritime Museum and the British Library.
Below you can find some videos of snapshots of the presentations, sorry we could not film more but we were too busy listening! We also apologise for the quality of the photographs.
If you want to learn more about the project and perhaps even get involved yourself then check out:
Equally, share this article with your friends if you think any of them might enjoy being involved. Alternatively, make sure you are following us on social media to learn more about the upcoming project which we are involved in as it will include some model making!
VIDEO 1; A very brief introduction to the East India Company by Margaraet Makepeace (Lead Curator for the East India Company Records at the British Library)
VIDEO 2; India Museum and its collections by Avalaon Fatheringham (Research Assistant for the upcoming V&A exhibition The Fabric of India)
VIDEO 3; National Maritime Museum East India Company collections and the Traders gallery by Sara Wajid, Senior Manager, National Maritime Museum