Migration Museum at The Workshop – highlights of a fantastic two and a half years

Historian, TV presenter and Migration Museum trustee David Olusoga speaking at the launch of our Room to Breathe exhibition, October 2018 © Poppy Williams/Migration Museum

After a fantastic two and a half years, our Migration Museum at The Workshop is now closed to the public.

As we gear up for a move to an exciting new venue in 2020 – more details coming soon – we wanted to look back at some of the highlights of our time on Lambeth High Street.

Being based at The Workshop since April 2017 has been transformative for us as an organisation, providing us with a venue of our own for the very first time. We have staged a dynamic series of exhibitions, events, and education and group workshops, and significantly grown our audience, profile and partnerships, testing ideas, gathering feedback and providing a showcase for the permanent Migration Museum for Britain that we are working to create.

During our time at The Workshop, we:

Welcomed over 32,000 visitors from across London, the UK and beyond.

Visitors to a late opening at the Migration Museum at The Workshop © Migration Museum

Staged three major exhibitions:

Call Me By My Name: Stories from Calais and Beyond, a multimedia exhibition exploring the complexity and human stories behind the current migration crisis, with a particular focus on the now demolished Calais camp.

Call Me By My Name: Stories from Calais and Beyond at the Migration Museum at The Workshop, April 2017 © Kajal Nisha Patel

No Turning Back: Seven Migration Moments that Changed Britain, an acclaimed exhibition exploring seven migration moments throughout history that changed Britain through art, photography, graphics, quotes and stories.

No Turning Back: Seven Migration Moments that Changed Britain at the Migration Museum at The Workshop, November 2018 © Migration Museum

Room to Breathe, an immersive exhibition inviting visitors to discover personal stories from generations of new arrivals to Britain by journeying through a series of interactive rooms in which the struggles, joys, creativity and resilience of living in a new land are brought to life through audio, films, photographs and personal objects.

Room to Breathe at the Migration Museum at The Workshop © Elzbieta Piakacz/Migration Museum

The exhibition included an art studio, curated by visual artist and educator Dima Karout, which hosted a different migrant artist in residence each month who made the studio their own, creating art and sharing their work and process with visitors in real time. This programme culminated in Borderless, a group show curated by Dima Karout and featuring all of the artists who had taken up residency in the art studio during the exhibition run.

Visual artist and educator Dima Karout leads an art workshop in the art studio in Room to Breathe © Migration Museum

Hosted a regularly changing series of pop-up and temporary exhibitions, including:
The New Londoners, a series of family portraits by Magnum photographer Chris Steele-Perkins documenting London’s unique cultural richness
Caribbean Takeaway Takeover, an interactive pop-up art and sound installation showcasing the stories of Windrush generation elders by artist EVEWRIGHT
Nowhere People UK, a selection of works by UN documentary photographer Greg Constantine, commissioned and presented by UNHCR, exploring the impact of statelessness on individuals in the UK
A Mile in My Shoes – Migration, an immersive experience by the Empathy Museum housed in a giant shoebox inviting visitors to walk a mile in the shoes – literally – of refugees and migrants who have made London home while listening to their story.

Nigeria – Joe Ogunmokun, his mother Adebimpe Ogunmokun and brother Michael Ogunmokun, from The New Londoners by Chris Steele-Perkins © Chris Steele-Perkins

Caribbean Takeaway Takeover: Identities and Stories at the Migration Museum at The Workshop, May 2019 © Elzbieta Piakacz/EVEWRIGHT Studio

Empathy Museum presents: A Mile in My Shoes – Migration at the Migration Museum at The Workshop © Migration Museum

Held over 100 events, ranging from cookery classes to stand-up comedy nights, theatre performances to themed lates, sports tournament receptions and conversations with business leaders to our first ever Family History Day.

A Migrateful cookery class at the Migration Museum led by Woin, a migrant chef from Ethiopia © Tommy Walters/Migration Museum

Audience members watch a performance at our Queer Migrations Late, April 2019 © Elzbieta Piakacz/Migration Museum

Touching Home, an immersive play by theatre company 27 Degrees, staged at the Migration Museum at The Workshop © 27 Degrees/Migration Museum

Paul Canoville, one of our distinguished friends, presents medals to participants in our Borderless Cup football and basketball tournament at the Migration Museum at The Workshop, August 2019 © Elzbieta Piakacz/Migration Museum

Karen Blackett in conversation with David Abraham as part of our Migrants Mean Business series of conversations with business leaders with migrant backgrounds, in association with Allianz Global Investors, November 2019 © Elzbieta Piakacz/Migration Museum

Family History Day at the Migration Museum at The Workshop, November 2019 © Elzbieta Piakacz/Migration Museum

Welcomed more than 5,000 primary and secondary school students, who took part in facilitated workshops and activities run by our learning team focused on the themes explored in our exhibitions and within relevant parts of the curriculum.

Students from Grafton Primary School participate in a workshop at the Migration Museum, March 2019 © Pop-up Projects

Students from Harris Westminster Sixth Form take part in a workshop in our Room to Breathe exhibition, June 2019 © Ufuk Gky/Migration Museum

Hosted more than 2,000 facilitated group visitors, ranging from community groups for older people to young refugees and asylum seekers, corporates and charities to government departments.

A guided tour of No Turning Back for a Tooting-based community group, 2018 © Migration Museum

Taken our activities out beyond the walls of the musuem into the local area through walking tours, sports tournaments, talks at schools, colleges and libraries and more.

Participants in ourBorderless Cup Lambeth football and basketball tournament, August 2019 © Elzbieta Piakacz/Migration Museum

Our guided Lambeth Migration Walk, as part of the Lambeth Heritage Festival, September 2019 © Migration Museum

Thank you to everyone who visited us at The Workshop and to all of our contributors, funders and supporters.

We look forward to welcoming you to Lewisham in 2020!