Event Information

This exhibition contains objects from the British Empire and Commonwealth Collection based at Bristol Archives. It offers a multi-faceted look at the former British Empire, the Commonwealth, and its impacts on people today, through a unique selection of still and moving images selected by members of the community, alongside new contemporary commissions by Birmingham-based artists. Prompting debates about decolonisation of culture and the UK’s relationships with the rest of the world, this is a timely subject matter for audiences.

A series of interviews with the selection panel that were invited to choose objects to feature in the exhibition are available to listen to below. Find out more about their object choices, and reflections upon themes within the exhibition. 

MAC New Commissions

Three new sculptural works by Birmingham-based artists Carla Busuttil, Faisal Hussain and Mahtab Hussain will form part of the exhibition. These works were selected from an open competition called Our Place in the Commonwealth which invited artists to reflect upon what the legacies of Empire and the Commonwealth mean to them today, and have been specially commissioned by MAC as part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival.

Exhibition developed by Bristol Museums. Funded by Arts Council England and Bristol City Council, and the National Cataloguing Grants Programme for Archives. Special thanks to players of People's Postcode Lottery. Presented as part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival.

Listen: Interviews with the Selection Panel

Listen to a series of interviews reflecting on the themes of the exhibition and the objects selected for display. Transcripts of the audio interviews are available to download for d/Deaf or hard of hearing audiences.

Mahtab Hussain: Did We Make a Mistake Coming Here?