Maritime Museum Project

Sam Castell-Ward


Our Young Leaders Forum spent five days at The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich to complete a pilot consultation project through creative responses to museum collections and their unique objects of inspiration. Their process in approaching the world of museum and voicing stories of disability was filmed by Chocolate Films. Sam, one member of the forum describes his experience in taking part in the museum-based project.

Image:  the youth forum working on their storytelling project, at the Maritime Museum. 

Other Young Leaders and I met Liz Porter, an established artist and storyteller at the introduction day in early March. Liz was keen on getting to know our creative backgrounds and introduced us to the idea of using objects and tell stories. Our experience of listening to Liz narrating stories helped us to establish an idea of what kinds of stories she would like us to create.

Image:  The youth Forum over at the Maritime Musuem. 

After looking for our personal insights from the museum, our focus was on choosing objects as an inspiration for our stories and finding a context for our stories. Each of us had to explore many ideas and produce some work between the sessions. I wrote a song with the title ‘The Sea of Negativity’ at home. When we got back at the museum, we all discussed how each of us was getting on with their creative pieces. As musician, I performed my song about perceptions of disability, which everyone was impressed with. The song enabled me to finally show my work to my fellow Young Leaders. It was a chance for others to see what I do with my music.

The use of the film was also part of the whole project. Chocolate Films joined us and had several conversations with us to get our views. When they found out what concepts we had come up with, we decided to film our final outcomes. At the day of planning the final filming, we heard that Kerry and Revell wouldn’t make the final filming. It was very good news that they secured jobs at the Southbank Centre, but we had one more day to finish the project.


At the end, we managed to come up with a film to show other people our pieces in looking on the representations of disability at the National Maritime Museum. Chocolate Films captured our individual pieces as well as some short talking heads parts introducing and explaining the project. Young Leader Lilly talked about her interpretations of two objects we saw in the Nelson Gallery. Jessica use her concept of aids to reflect on her objects. Edward and all of us gave our views to Harriet and Daniel from Chocolate Films.

We look forward to new ideas for the future. We would be interested in exploring the representations of disability in other museums, working more with artists such Liz and taking on other projects at any museum. One more issue we want to explore are employment opportunities. Many cultural organisations are happy for you to volunteer forever but we want to be offered paid work. We hope that the film gives people some new perspectives on disability.

Our young leaders spent five days at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London, responding creatively to various items in the museum's collection that represent disability. Film produced by Chocolate Films. Audio Described.

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Banner Image: The Youth Forum working on their project at the Maritime Museum.