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Arts and Humanities students work with the National Justice Museum to develop new exhibition

Liberated Voices: Stories of Women (In)Justice runs until 16th June 2019.

Student working on the Liberated Voices Exhibition
A student constructing the exhibition

Students studying the MA Museum and Heritage Development, BA (Hons) History and BA (Hons) Media and Film & TV have collaborated on the development of a new exhibition at Nottingham’s National Justice Museum. Liberated Voices: Stories of Women (In)Justice explores different aspects of women’s experience of the criminal justice system in the UK.

Students from MA Museum and Heritage Development worked with the National Justice Museum to plan and deliver the exhibition, and were tasked with producing short films in response to five key objects selected by the museum. BA (Hons) History students researched each object to provide historical context and background for the exhibition, which for many was their first professional experience of using research and archiving skills.

BA (Hons) Media and Film & TV students have also been involved with the project, producing a film on the development of the exhibition, which can be used by the National Justice Museum in the future. Heather Green, a doctoral student in the School of Arts and Humanities, has also composed short pieces of creative writing in response to each object, providing an additional interpretation of the subject matter.

The exhibition comes as part of the National Justice Museum’s theme of women in history, commemorating the anniversary of the 1918 Representation of Peoples Act, which gave some women the right to vote. The exhibition provides a focus for women’s voices to be heard and to question assumptions about the representation of women’s in-justice. Objects in the exhibition include force-feeding equipment used on suffragettes and letters of support sent to a woman who was acquitted of murdering her husband on the grounds of domestic violence.

This work is one of the most significant collaborations ever completed in the School of Arts and Humanities, allowing students to actively contribute to the city’s culture and heritage whilst gaining workplace skills. MA Museum and Heritage Development lecturer Duncan Grewcock commented: "I was really impressed by how much work the MA students individually and collectively put into the project. This level of collaboration with a Museum was an experiment for the course, but the students really stepped up to the mark, working effectively together in a mixed group of UK and international students to produce a professional-quality exhibition with the Museum, which is great experience for their CVs!"

We spoke to MA Museum and Heritage Development student Katt Hanson about her experience. She said: “As part of the module Interpretation 2: Civil Engagement, we co-created the exhibition with the National Justice Museum. This involved designing the layout of the exhibition and creating its title, and working within groups to design a display within the exhibition associated to each object. We each produced a film to be on display within the exhibition, inspired by one of the objects. It was a great opportunity to gain practical experience in exhibition design, and allowed us to learn media skills such as filming and editing!”

The exhibition runs until 16th June and is free to attend. You can find more information about this here:

Published on 30 April 2019
  • Category: Current students; School of Arts and Humanities