The much-anticipated Power of Stories exhibition, which includes a display of sensational costumes from the hit film Marvel Studios’ Black Panther, will now open from 3 April to 29 August 2021. Due to coronavirus restrictions, the exhibition was unable to open in July as planned.
The exhibition will echo Black Panther’s inspirational call to millions of people around the world to think about where they came from and who they want to be.
From folklore to fake news, people have told stories for thousands of years. A team of Community Curators, made up of local people, are working with the museum to create an exhibition which encourages visitors to think about how storytelling can be used as a tool to unite or divide people.
A community-led activity programme will also enrich local people’s experience of the exhibition. Ipswich Borough Council’s Museums Service Portfolio Holder Cllr Carole Jones has said: “The exhibition is a thrilling collaboration between museums and Ipswich’s community. We did not want to tell people how to get the most out of Power of Stories – we wanted them to inspire each other and visitors with their stories and, hopefully, to bring new audiences to the Mansion.
“I want to thank the community for joining us on such an exciting project and I also want to thank Marvel Studios for the loan of these film costumes. Having the opportunity to display them shows that our museums service has an international reputation with the support of Arts Council England and other partners.”
Power of Stories follows two epic exhibitions at the Mansion – Kiss & Tell: Rodin and Suffolk Sculpture and Ed Sheeran: Made in Suffolk. Now Ipswich is breaking new ground again.
The outfits of T’Challa, Shuri and Okoye will sit alongside Marvel comics and historic museum objects: from music to movies, carvings to cartoons, this exhibition highlights how the stories we know shape the way we see the world.
Phanuel Mutumburi, Business and Operations Director for Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality, is part of the group working on the exhibition. He believes this is a huge opportunity for local young people to take inspiration and to harness the positive energy the show will bring.
“Having representation on such an iconic film is as much for young black people as it is for others to see and understand them. This exhibition will contribute to shaping their sense of identity and provide opportunities for people to participate in many ways.”
Curator Melanie Hollis has said: “Themes of storytelling and culture will be explored along with local stories. Black Panther is a point at which museums, history and storytelling cross over beautifully. Some of the cultural traditions represented in the film can also be found in the Ipswich collections and it’s wonderful to be highlighting them in such a positive way. Museums are great spaces for sharing stories and for learning more about the world we live in. Weaving local voices into this display gives it much more meaning.”
Community Curator Lāna’i Collis-Phillips is part of the team designing this exciting exhibition: “We want to celebrate lots of storytelling traditions from across the globe, but also get people thinking about the things they hear or read.”
Power of Stories runs at the Christchurch Mansion, Ipswich from 3 April 2021 – 29 August 2021. To find out more, and hear the latest announcements about the exhibition, sign up to the Ipswich Museums mailing list here: www.ipswich.gov.uk/keep-touch-ipswich-museums.