The world in our cityyoung voices from the
borough of Brent


What do you think of museums? What are your favourite objects? Which stories would you tell?

These are some of the questions young people have been asking as part of a project with Brent Museum and the British Museum.

During this project, young people explored local and international identity through the collections of the two museums.

A range of youth groups from across the London Borough of Brent took part in object handling, art workshops and visits to both museums. Here, some of the participants explore their personal reactions towards Museum objects.

World in our city
  • 1

    Two participants looking at an object
    World in our city

  • 2

    This is a water or milk carrier from East Africa. My Grandmother used them in Somalia and my Grandfather showed me how to make them once. They are made from animal skin and come in different sizes. It looks really old but they are still used today.

  • 2

    This is a wooden shoe from India and reminds me of an important spiritual man called Sreenarayana Guru from Kerala, where I am from. He worked hard for freedom and social equality in Kerala. Even though he was a real man, he was seen by his followers more like a god.

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    This bag is made by very skilled workmen from Afghanistan. They are worn by women in the villages for carrying cosmetics but no one from the city wears them except tourists who buy them in the markets. When I lived in Afghanistan we couldn’t go and play outside so we used to make bags and rugs. This bag would take me about 20 days to make but a rug would take about six months

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    The same game is usually played by men in my country, Somalia. It is usually played with holes dug in the earth, or carved in stone. For counters you can use stones, seeds, beans, coins or anything you can find!

  • 2

    This game is called Mancala and is played in India usually by women. You place the coins in the holes and whoever clears their side first, wins. This board is the shape of a fish which is quite unusual but you can always fold them and they are easy to carry. In my country they are sometimes made in silver.