Meet the traveling people

At Bohuslän's Museum, Sweden
Meet the Travelling people is a part of the permanent exhibition at Bohuslän´s Museum, a regional museum north of Gothenburg in the west of Sweden.
The aim of the project, Meet the Travelling people, was to produce a new part of the permanent exhibition depicting the culture and history of the Travelling people and that the exhibition should be produced in co-operation with representatives for the Travelling people. The exhibition opened in March 2012.

The participatory angle

In the exhibition, Meet the Travelling people, the narrative is built on knowledge of Travellers as well as outcomes and experiences from two previous projects, the excavation of the Travelling living site Snarsmon and the project Traveller´s Map. In the project group, consisting of eleven people, seven people represented the Travelling people. Collecting facts, pictures and objects another 25 people was engaged in the project, many of these travellers.

Connecting to European 20th century history

In the collective narrative of the 20th century history, both from a Scandinavian and a Swedish perspective, the Travelling people have been excluded from history in museums and schoolbooks. Among other things this has led to a low level of knowledge about the culture and history of the Travelling people. Though there are at least 30 000 travellers in Sweden who have been part of the Swedish society for at least 500 years, non-travellers have little knowledge of this Swedish minority. When the Travelling people have been represented in literature and research is has always been from an outside or authority perspective. This also means that many Travellers haven´t had contact with their own history.

How is it innovative?

The exhibition is the first permanent exhibition in Sweden depicting the Travelling people, their culture and history. It is also the first time that the Travelling people are a natural part of a larger narrative about the Swedish heritage in a museum. The project was built on co-operation between museum staff and Travellers from an association of Travellers. Through the content and the way the exhibition was produced the national minority of Travellers have been given the right to their own history.

Further information

Meet the travelling people (in Swedish): www.bohuslansmuseum.se/sv/Vastarvet/Verksamheter/Bohuslans-museum/Aktiviteter/Aktiviteter/

Contact

Kristina Lindholm: kristina.lindholm[at]vgregion.se