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Ashmolean Family Day


This year we were also delighted to partner with Oxford’s Sudanese community to run our first fully co-created community family event in June. Sudan to Oxford linked to the Museum’s exhibition of the world-renowned Sudanese artist Ibrahim El-Salahi. Working with the community’s leaders, we created a family event that celebrated the exhibition, Sudanese heritage and culture, and coincided with Eid celebrations. The co-creation process began by posing a simple question to children at the Sudanese Supplementary School: What must we have in the family day Sudan to Oxford? The children were very clear about their ideas. Sudanese food and drink, along with music and henna, came top of the list, as well as the concept of a ‘tree’ on which to hang visitor feedback (echoing the beautiful tree imagery in the exhibition). A Sudanese history timeline was also requested, which children and their families could decorate with their own artwork and images from the Ashmolean’s Sudanese collections and El-Salahi’s artwork. The children were also keen to include a ‘write your name in Arabic’ activity, with which they could potentially help non-Arabic writers. Members of the Sudanese community then became integral to the planning process, advising on how to pull all these elements together to deliver on the children’s ideas. On the day, the community owned this inspiring event, providing the Museum with singing, dancing and a genuine atmosphere of celebration. We look forward to deepening our relationship with the Sudanese community, and would like to see this model of collaborative event co-creation become core to the way we work with Oxford’s communities and the events we arrange.

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