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Cornwall Museums Partnership

Talking Intern

Talking Intern is a podcast born from lockdown. Lockdown has been incredibly limiting to museums in some ways but has also offered the opportunity to start creative projects that, whilst not physical, are nonetheless impactful.

The idea was first presented to us by Cornwall Museums Partnership. Would the trainee curators like to create a podcast? I was pretty excited as I had been making my own podcast for a couple of years in my free time but this was something completely different. This relied on five hosts for one show and each of us recording in a completely different location, without being able to see each other or gauge the reactions or body language of the other four. It meant we had to really trust each other and foster an environment that was collaborative, not competitive. We also had to produce something professional sounding as we are not only representing ourselves as individual trainees in various host museums, but also as part of a network created by Cornwall Museums Partnership.

The pressure was on! However, I think it surprised us all how naturally we fell into recording. We managed to not talk over each other and almost always achieved the exact run time we wanted. Of course it helped that very early on we realised we needed a basic structure and order for the podcast so we would know what to expect.

So…what is the podcast about? Each episode, five trainee curators in museums across Cornwall answer three questions on a particular topic. Some of the topics we have covered so far have been starting out in the industry, what is a curator’s role during lockdown and what social history means to each of us. Who is it for? We intended this podcast to be for those starting out in their careers within the culture and heritage sector. But that doesn’t mean it won’t be of interest to anyone else within the sector.

We are in a sector of continuous change where discussions are being had on the diversity of collections and exhibitions, negotiating the repatriation of objects and exploring new ways for museums to become more accessible to all. We’re excited to carve out some time each week during our podcast recording sessions to reflect on how the sector can evolve to become a more inclusive space and how we might be able to contribute to these goals in our own work as emerging museum professionals

We have been given the opportunity by CMP to create a space for ourselves where we can offer our opinions, thoughts and reflections on the industry. As emerging museum professionals this has been so valuable. During our recording sessions, we don’t have to feel worried about not sounding intelligent enough, or not knowing enough; we can leave our imposter syndrome at the door! We are simply creating a supportive space in which to share our thoughts and hoping that listeners can either relate, learn or just enjoy.

-Sian Powell, Trainee Curator at Wheal Martyn China Clay Museum

You can listen to the Talking Interns teaser trailer here. The first episode will be released on Friday 21 August 2020.

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