The Human Programme: Alison Solomon

In autumn 2019, Derby Museums commissioned Alison Solomon, Storyteller and Artist Documenter, to create a display in the World Collections Gallery. The commission was to work from the collection to capture, reclassify and display objects of intolerance. Alison’s first instalment, entitled The Human Programme, will open from the 29th September. This changing display will explore in Alison’s words: “how prejudice, racism and intolerance have been skilfully and insidiously woven into societies’ norms, culture and values, across the seven pillars of society: media, the arts, religion, government, family, business, and education”. The first display will focus on family and education, drawing heavily on the museum’s considerable toy collection.

The scheduling of this display was disrupted by the pandemic. Alison continued: “During lockdown, the world changed yet again with the public and fatal arrest of black man George Perry Floyd Jr. These events ignited a new visibly cross-cultural response within the Black Lives Matters movements. The world is now a different place and this project was always due to continue, but now with renewed urgency.”

Click here to listen to Alison discuss two selected objects from the display – a wooden toy theatre and an ordinary throwaway tin – in a mini podcast produced with the University of Derby for Being Human Festival.

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