The solo experience guides you through the library.
The solo experience guides you through the library.
Artists in conversion.
Artists in conversion.
Rivington Place, home to the Stuart Hall Library.
Rivington Place, home to the Stuart Hall Library.
Details of the exhibition.
Details of the exhibition.

On The Desert Island experience, Stuart Hall Library, London

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Kids in Museums trustee Rosemary Laryea reviews the solo audio experience which speaks to teenagers and young adults. 

On The Desert Island is a unique way of navigating through the collection of remarkable books shelved at the Stuart Hall Library, at London’s Iniva. The listener embarks on the experience, taking instructions from the narrator in between listening to excerpts of Sue Lawley interviewing Professor Stuart Hall for BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs.

I was immersed in my surroundings as a castaway on a desert island, trying to make sense of who and where I was. The 45-minute experience taps into the imagination under the watchful eye of Professor Stuart Hall.

Professor Stuart Hall’s interview and the narration helps to create an audio guide which imagines the Stuart Hall Library as islands with its bookshelves and contents as land mass to be negotiated. Using the library’s categorisation system that places exhibition catalogues according to their geographical location, the tour encourages the listener to wander between Great Britain and Jamaica as if they were part of an archipelago. On this physical journey, I followed Professor Stuart Hall’s conversation about identity and diversity 17 years ago in the context of Britain today.

Revisiting Professor Stuart Hall’s commentary On The Desert Island casts a curious light on today’s political, social and cultural realities where issues of sovereignty and the rise of uncontained xenophobia are as prophetic as he imagined: Stuart Hall states that he wishes that one day he will be accepted as Black and British in the same way as the Scots are accepted as Scottish and British. Professor Stuart Hall’s insightful commentary couldn’t be more relevant to the Britain we find ourselves in today.

At the end of the tour, this new artwork by Ting-Ting Cheng had me asking myself questions: “Who am I?” “What is my contribution to humanity?”

This audio led exhibition requires a level of competence and concentration and would, therefore, be suitable for teenagers and young people. It’s a great mechanism to sharpen the sensory skills!

Ting-Ting Cheng’sOn the Desert Island’ is on until 1st December 2017 at Iniva.

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