26 November 2021

The RIX Centre at the University of East London (UEL) transforms lives by developing new technologies to achieve change for people with learning difficulties and their families.

Their purpleSTARS, a group of artists and technologists with and without learning difficulties based at the RIX Centre, are working together to make museums more inclusive. The goal is for everyone to make a personal connection and really enjoy their visits to museums, whatever their background or abilities.

The RIX Centre has partnered with the Museum of London's Talking Point gallery to create a new display featuring sensory elements from sounds to images and even smells, exploring the lives of Londoners past and present.

The project was initially started during the UK’s Covid-19 lockdown, and as part of this project, the purpleSTARS listened to recordings made over the past 80 years from the Museum of London’s oral history collection.

The exhibition also invites visitors to reflect on their own experiences of life in the capital. The purpleSTARS recorded visitors thoughts about these stories during video meetings and made connections to their own experiences as Londoners, using a RIX Wiki to capture this journey of exploration.

Ros and Lee, from the purpleSTARS group, said, "We picked out themes that are important and interesting to us like equality, cinema, style and travel. Then listening to some oral histories inspired us to come up with our own messages about equality and our own lives as Londoners."

The purpleSTARS then looked for images and objects from the museum that matched these themes and incorporated touch and smell into their displays to give people a multisensory experience of the stories that were emerging.

What does being a 'Londoner' mean to you?

The Talking Point: London is the place for me exhibit runs until 17 December 2021. Find out more and to book your free ticket.

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