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Museums & Collections Blog


News and musings from the UCL Culture team


Archive for July, 2012

Residency for Sudanese Poet, Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi at the Petrie Museum

Debbie JChallis3 July 2012

We’re delighted to announce that Arts Council, England has agreed to fund a Grants for Arts residency for Sudanese poet, Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi at the Petrie Museum for Egyptian Archaeology at University College London in partnership with the Poetry Translation Centre. Saddiq has just finished representing Sudan at the massive poetry festival, that was part of the Cultural Olympiad, Poetry Parnassus at the Southbank Centre.

Saddiq at the Petrie Museum (c) Travis

Saddiq will be working with objects from Meroë, situated between the Fifth and Sixth Cataracts on the eastern bank of the Nile in Sudan, near modern Kabushiya and Begrawiya. It was the residence of Kushite royalty from the Sixth Century BC and was occupied for millennia. There are more standing pyramids in the area around Meroë than in Egypt. The art and architecture of the Meroitic Kingdom was innovative. As with religious practice, they combined Egyptian traditions with a distinctly Nubian culture.

We will be holding a welcome event for Saddiq on Wednesday 11 July from 18.30. Saddiq will be reading a selection of his poems in Arabic with Sarah Maguire, Director of the Poetry Translation Centre, reading her translations in English. Saddiq will be working with the museum collection, especially the material from Meroe, Sudan to produce a series of new poems over the coming months. Do join us as we welcome him to the museum: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/3061546167?ref=ebtn

Saddiq first visited the Museum when he came to the UK to particpate in the PTC’s first World Poets’ Tour in 2005. He read his poetry there in 2006 and in 2010. Saddiq’s poetry frequently reflects on ancient Sudanese cultures and he is very aware of the profound significance this unique heritage holds for his country.

During the residency he will work closely with Professor Stephen Quirke, Curator of the collection and Professor of Egyptology at University College, London. Saddiq will produce a series of poems in response to the Sudanese collections which will later be translated and published. Saddiq will also take part in readings and events at other museums across the UK.

Specimen of the Week: Week Thirty-Eight

Emma-LouiseNicholls2 July 2012

Scary Monkey: Week Thirty-EightWhen working really super hard last week and not at all following one train of random thought, onto another, and into a completely unrelated area of zoology from what I was being paid to work on, I discovered something very cool. In 2010 the Royal Mail released the next in a series of ‘Action for Animals’ stamps in which they focused on British mammals. They’re super cool stamps and I was most disappointed when I discovered that you can no longer buy them (easily). However, they are definitely worth an internet image search, as they are so cute and as such inspired this week’s choice of specimens. This week’s specimen of the week is… (more…)

The Day of Archaeology returns

RachaelSparks1 July 2012

The marking I intended to do ....

The marking I intended to do ….

Last Friday was the second ever Day of Archaeology, a chance for archaeologists all round the world to answer that tricky question – ‘so what is it you actually do?’ It offers a brief and fleeting glimpse into the wild and wacky world we live in. My own description of a day in the Institute of Archaeology Collections may be found here. I had intended to spend the day quietly marking in my office, but as usual things did not go entirely to plan.

The best thing about this event is you get a chance to spy on your colleagues, which for me means checking out how untidy their desks are and what their storage units look like. But for those of you who have broader interests, here’s my favourite selections from the museological musings out there. (more…)