Home Barking, Dagenham, & Surrounding Areas Women’s museum to open in Barking & Dagenham

Women’s museum to open in Barking & Dagenham

Barking Women's Museum portrait

Barking & Dagenham council have announced plans to open a museum dedicated to showcasing the ‘history, heritage, stories, and role’ of women from both the local area and beyond. This will be situated in Barking Wharf Square, towards the end of the year.

The council previously announced an ‘East End Women’s Museum’ but this will on longer be in Barking.

Councillor Saima Ashraf, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Community Leadership and Engagement, said:

“The Women’s Museum will play a significant role in developing partnerships locally, regionally, and nationally as part of the wider remit of our museum and cultural offer here in the borough. I look forward to seeing the plans come to fruition over the coming months.”

Nephertiti Oboshie Schandorf, Curator of the Women’s Museum inaugural exhibition, said:

“This exhibition and programme is a precious opportunity to bring elements of the legacies and stories of the Abbesses and their connections to ambitions and lives of women, girls and folk living in the area today. There is so much creativity and community in the borough and I am delighted to be celebrating these shared and overlapping heritages”

The things to look out for include:

  • A facade covering the space where the museum will be, designed by artist Claire Mason. It’s a timeline of local women’s history from 600AD to the present day, and includes local people such as: Mary Wollstonecraft, Annie Huggett, Elizabeth Fry, Muriel Lester and Doris Lester, Olympic and Paralympic athletes Ethel Scott and Beverley Gull, and singers Sandie Shaw, YolanDa Brown and Zara McFarlane.
  • The inaugural exhibition by curator and artist Nephertiti Oboshie Schandorf, focusing on the radical history of the Abbesses of Barking Abbey. Dating back to the 7th century, the exhibition will explore the role of female leadership historically, using the context of the Abbesses to explore past and current issues related to women’s power, identity and voice.
  • A newly commissioned girl’s empowerment programme for local young people age 11+. Led by Arc Theatre and launching in November 2023, it’s an extension of Raised Voiced, a drama and presentation skills group for students from schools and colleges across Barking and Dagenham, which inspires, encourages discussion on, and raises awareness of, issues challenging young women and girls today.
Barking women's museum girl empowerment programme
Art Theatre’s Raised Voice female empowerment programme

Barking’s Women’s Museum will be at 4-5 Barking Wharf Square

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