Written by Anna Cottle, International Training Programme Coordinator

We are now coming up to the third session for ITP Futures 2021 Online – a legacy project which bring together all ITP Senior Fellows online to discuss the future plans of the programme. This is in the run up to the physical event at the British Museum marking the ITP’s 15th Anniversary and the Museum’s recent commitment to the programme until at least 2026. The ITP is looking ahead to the future, beginning with this five-day discussion, collaboration and networking event, which will see ITP’s Senior Fellows help to shape the future of both the summer programme and legacy projects. The results of the discussion will then be rolled out to the rest of the network for their thoughts and comments.

You can read the ITP Futures 2021 Programme here.

Participants include:

  • Eileen Musundi (Kenya, ITP 2008, Senior Fellow 2013), Head of Exhibitions, National Museums of Kenya
  • Jana Alaraj (Palestine, ITP 2011, Senior Fellow 2014), Digital and Social Media specialist, Viennacontemporary International Art Fair.
  • Shambwaditya Ghosh (India, ITP 2012, Senior Fellow 2015), PhD Scholar, University of Delhi.
  • Rebecca Njeri Gachihi (Kenya, ITP 2010, Senior Fellow 2016), Medical Anthropologist, National Museums of Kenya.
  • Hayk Mkrtchyan (Armenia, ITP 2014, Senior Fellow 2017), Director, Association of Museum Workers and Friends NGO and Assistant to the Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Armenia.
  • Andrea Terrón Gomez (Guatemala, ITP 2017, Senior Fellow 2018), Museum Specialist and Independent Consultant, freelance, based in Canada.
  • Mohamed Mokhtar (Egypt, ITP 2015, Senior Fellow 2019), Curator, Abdeen Palace Museums.
  • Bilwa Kulkarni, (India, ITP 2015, upcoming Senior Fellow 2021) Education and Programme Coordinator (Consultant), Museum of Solutions.

Leading up to the project at the BM, ITP Futures 2021 Online will provide preparatory sessions in which the Senior Fellows can edit and shape their programme before they travel to the UK, in order to make the most of this valuable time with the group. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, projects have been postponed in museums around the world and digital platforms for online sharing and video communications have become a vital part of collaborative working, particularly for global projects. The sessions will occur every 4 weeks and will bring together the ITP team, all 8 Senior Fellows (who are based in Kenya, Austria, India, Armenia, Canada, and Egypt) and in some sessions, ITP UK & programme partners and British Museum departmental representatives.

The first two sessions have been incredibly inspiring, with great ideas and discussions already being generated each time the group meets. The first meeting introduced everybody to each other and was a Welcome & expectations/ Planning the way ahead online session. Session 2: Where are we now? ITP key successes and network/Social Media analysis. The third session at the beginning of March will discuss Museum Definitions with a focus on ICOM’s museum definition and we will be joined by ICOM UK committee members.

We are really looking forward to this, and all the other sessions coming up over the next few months and below are some thoughts from ITP Futures 2021 participants on what the project means to them:

This is an opportunity for me to widen my experience in the museum and heritage sector. I am looking at the discursive part of this project to understand the global network of objects and thoughts.  

Shambwaditya Ghosh (India, ITP 2012, Senior Fellow 2015)

When I heard you wanted to talk about the programme I was really excited because the ITP is a highlight in our careers and throughout the years it has been getting better, stronger, it has morphed into a programme that can work throughout all the partner museums and institutions and the BM itself, the exchange of information between all of us is unmeasurable. What I am trying to say is that because it has adopted opinions and ideas throughout the 14 years, it has come to be an up to date information chest and we are very lucky to be in it. We are part of a network, part of something bigger and wider. The ITP is a reminder that one can always be better, be greater, be fluid and be propositive. We all come from different backgrounds and have different life experiences, ITP Futures will be a greater addition to the programme because it will redirect some efforts and change with us, for us and for the whole network and programme experience.

Andrea Terrón Gomez (Guatemala, ITP 2017, Senior Fellow 2018)

My participation in the ITP Futures 2021 project and being part of a wonderful team that helps the program to be more successful and more widespread and to achieve a set of future goals in line with the difficult challenges that the whole world is going through is a great addition to me on a personal and practical level.

Mohamed Mokhtar (Egypt, ITP 2015, Senior Fellow 2019)

Museum Futures is important to me in a two fold manner,  One,on a personal and institutional level, participating in the ITP  had a tremendous positive impact on my career, which I wish to see continue onto the next generation of museum professionals.. Secondly, in its own way, ITP Futures will contribute to the shape of the museum of the future, through sharing experiences , hopes and dreams of its alumni.

Eileen Musundi (Kenya, ITP 2008, Senior Fellow 2013)