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Things We Keep wins innovation award

Cultural Institute at King's has awarded a prize for 'greatest level of engagement' to 'Things We Keep'

Things We Keep

Cultural Institute at King's has awarded a prize for 'greatest level of engagement' to 'Things We Keep', a project led by German & EIS teaching fellow Dr Katrin Schreiter. The prize is part of the Institute's Collaborative Innovation Scheme for Early Career Researchers.

'Things We Keep: Curators of Our Own History' is a collaborative oral history and material culture project led by Dr Schreiter,which curates objects that Germans brought with them when they moved to London and explores the narratives behind the objects through film, photography and exhibition. The project has collaborated with the German Historical Institute London and the artist Rolf Sachs.

Curating our own history

'We all keep certain things for no apparent reason; some are used on a daily basis, some stashed away in a box or adorning a windowsill. But why do we hold on to them?' asks Dr Schreiter.

'Through the selection of their object these German expats become the curators of their own history, involved in musealisation debates over who decides which things are worthy of preservation and exhibition.'

'The project has revealed how emotions and memories inform our choices to keep certain things, and what role they play in our everyday life.'

Public engagement

More than 3,000 people have seen the stories of the objects and their owners on the website and more than 400 visited the interactive exhibition at the German Historical Institute London's exhibition in the autumn of 2015. Students in London and elsewhere in the UK continue to use the online materials in their learning about Germany, its history and the visualization of the past. The German media reported about the project and two cultural radio programmes interviewed Dr Schreiter about its findings.

Visit thingswekeep.org to view more video and photography of the objects and find out more about the project.