I am one of a team working on the development of a new World Stories gallery at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, to open June 2012.
One of the stories featuring in the new gallery is about a festival celebrated by the Kachin community, one of Burma’s ethnic minority groups.
As the aim of the gallery is about engaging with young people, the story will focus on how young Kachin people get involved in their cultural heritage, particularly through the festival, which is called manau.
As part of the research process, on 2 May 2011 I attended a fundraising event organised by the Kachin Christian Fellowship and held at a Southall church.
The event provided a fantastic opportunity to meet members of the UK Kachin diaspora, to interview young Kachin people and to enjoy Kachin music, dancing, fashion and food!
It was fascinating hearing the stories of young Kachin people and of the importance they put on celebrating their culture and history. Life is very difficult for Kachin people in Burma, as for all of Burma’s diverse peoples, and it was inspiring to hear how communities can unite through music, food and festival.
Helen Mears, Keeper of World Art