What would encourage you to visit archives? Archives West Midlands has come up with a plan to develop new audiences by creating a mobile installation to act as an ambassador for archives across the region. The project will be led by globally renowned street artist Mohammed Ali, best known for his graffiti-inspired murals – a choice designed to challenge the public’s perception of archives. He is delighted to have the opportunity to explore something new and revealed “telling stories in exciting and innovative ways that resonate with new people is what excites me”.
Together with other artists, Mohammed will work with 60 young people using archives for the first time. They will be encouraged to explore their own areas and record their discoveries creatively. He envisages creating a vivid interactive installation that allows visitors to hear, touch, smell and see archives. Strong Rooms will enable them to develop their own ideas about accessing the stories of the past. It will tour four venues over the summer – Rugby, Coventry, Dudley and Worcester.
Archives West Midlands hopes to attract 15,000 people to these events, many of whom will never have visited an archive. There are also plans to hold workshops for emerging artists and newly qualified archivists in the region and a social media website to promote archives across the area. Project lead Justin Hughes enthused “the opportunity to take archives out to the very heart of communities in new and dynamic ways is hugely exciting.”
Why not let us know what type of projects would inspire you to visit us?