MAA is proud to be working with the Congo Great Lakes Initiative (CGLI) during 2016 on this ‘Our Heritage’ project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The project is intended to benefit the Congolese diaspora living in London and the UK by reconsidering the collecting legacies of British baptist missionaries in the Congo. The project will focus on the photographic collections made by Kenred Smith and the ethnographic collections made the missionary brothers, John Lawson Forfeitt and Williams Lansbury Forfeitt, now held at MAA.
The project will involve three workshops from April to August, leading to an exhibition that will open in MAA’s Micro Gallery for
Black History Month in October. The project will also generate educational resources and display panels that can circulate to community venues in London since the project is primarily intended to benefit members of the Congolese diaspora living in London and the UK.
Exploring gifts made by Congolese people, photographs made by missionaries, as well as material exhibited in the past by Baptists missionaries will create a space of dialogue between University of Cambridge academics and community members. The project will involve indigenous collaborators contributing to contemporary narratives collected by missionaries during the nineteenth century.
Organisations and individuals taking part in this project will be contributing indigenous voices on what these items means for themselves today, but will also contribute to building models of collaboration between academic institutions and community organisations.