London's Migration Museum is interested in the Bulgarian migration
The Mayor’s Citizen Led Engagement Programme supports citizen initiatives for social integration. This programme gave our Bulgarian group in London the opportunity to conduct a series of group visits to different London institutions, growing our network of partner organisations. Our main aim is to increase the visibility of the Bulgarian diaspora in London and to offer an opportunity for citizen engagement with these institutions.
Our second group visit was to the Migration Museum Project.
The project for a Migration Museum is an ongoing effort to create the UK’s first migration focused museum in a permanent residence. The Migration Museum Project currently inhabits the Workshop space in Lambeth, within which different stories of migration to and from the United Kingdom are on display.
The Bulgarian diaspora in London is relatively new, however migration to and from London has existed for centuries. How are Bulgarians becoming a part of a migration hub like London? What are the stories of other migrants? What can we learn from their experiences?
A few years ago, the Migration Museum Project organised an inspiring event with famous Britons, who had arrived into the country as migrants. Some of these people had left their country of origin with a single suitcase. We hope the Migration Museum Project to someday have a similar event with people, originally from Bulgaria.
For this to become a reality Bulgarians in London need to show an active interest in the history of Bulgarian migration and to keep up the communication with the museum. This is why the London Bulgarian Association has the aim to collect information on the Bulgarian diaspora.
During the group visit we were introduced to Andrew Steeds, the museum’s programme manager and Sue McAlpin, the museum’s curator. Our gift to the museum was a set of photographs from our rose planting project in Golden Square in April 2018. We received a tailor-made guide around the exhibition space. The hosts confirmed that the Migration Museum is interested in the history of Bulgarian migration to London.
We are seeking contacts with Bulgarians, who have ideas and skills to organise exhibition and events for showcasing Bulgarian migration in London.
Author: Boyko Boev
Translation: Borimir Totev
Photos: Boyko Boev and Borimir Totev
The group visit of Bulgarians in London to London Met was part of the London Bulgarian Association's project aiming at connecting the Bulgarian diaspora with other Londoners which was supported by the Mayor of London.