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Re-thinking the Indian Rebellion – Project Summary


About The Project

For six weeks, from March to April 2022, The Highlanders’ Museum brought together a group of Community Curators for the first time to take part in a brand-new project: ‘Re-thinking the Indian Rebellion, 1857 – 1858′.

As a museum, we have a responsibility to display our collection in a way that is representative of our community. The project aimed to bring the thoughts and opinions of our community inside the museum space, offering the chance to “have your say in our display”.

The Community Curators attended a six-week course of lectures and workshops, learning about the conflict, the display of colonial collections in museums, and how to write accessible labels for museum objects. As a group, they each selected their objects and produced new, researched labels for the objects on display from the Indian Rebellion – importantly, the group chose to refer to the conflict as the First War of Indian Independence, as they felt this better reflected the intention of the labels.

The Highlanders’ Museum would like to thank our Community Curators for taking part, and the researchers and museum professionals who helped bring the course to life: Dr Jim MacPherson, Dr Nicole Hartwell, Chris Berriman, and Sitakumari. 

Community Curators' labels on display in the Seaforth room
Community Curators panel in the museum entrance


This project had two primary aims:

1. To produce new, community-led, alternative interpretation for the museum displays focussing on the Indian Rebellion in the Seaforth and Cameron rooms.

2. To engage a new audience with the collection, including groups and individuals who may not usually visit the museum.

A few examples…

Scroll through the gallery below to read some of the labels that our Community Curators produced. These labels are currently on display alongside the existing interpretation.

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