Manchester Museum

Our Shared Cultural Heritage (OSCH) is a youth-led programme that explores the shared cultures and histories of the UK and South Asia.

In partnership with Manchester MuseumGlasgow Life and UK Youth, we are working with 11-25 year olds to create new ways for museums and youth organisations to work together.

This youth-led project aims to:

  • enable museums and youth and heritage organisations to become better places for young people to explore identity and connect with others
  • change how museums and heritage organisations engage with and represent South Asian heritage 
  • open up new opportunities for young people, including new routes into careers in the heritage sector 

The programme is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund's Kick the Dust programme.

OSCH is designed to amplify the voices of young people of South Asian descent, but activities are open to a wide cross-section of young people aged 11-25 years old. Our aim is to support youth communities through the sharing of histories and new experiences to explore belonging and identity together.

Keep an eye on this page for opportunities to get involved in Our Shared Cultural Heritage.

Resources and Activities

Download the Heritage Activity Packs exploring British South Asian Heritage created by artists and young people across the UK

Over summer 2020, 18 artists and young people across the UK were awarded small commissions to create activity pages to inspire young people at home to explore British South Asian heritage. The resulting work is an inspiring and rich journey through living heritage as experienced through creative writing, recipes, textiles and fashion, puzzles, patterns, playlists, heirlooms, maps, mudras and photography.

Explore our South Asian Heritage Month activities and celebrations

Have a look at the events we hosted to celebrate South Asian Heritage Month, a month of activity to explore the shared cultures and histories of the UK and South Asia. 

Our Partners

The programme is delivered in Manchester and Glasgow by a consortium, led by British Council, in partnership with a large number of heritage and youth sector organisations:

  •  UK Youth: UK Youth is the UK's leading youth charity. They support a network of youth clubs comprising 4 million young people. They will bring expertise in engaging young people and youth leaders in new initiatives and support the development of a quality framework for the project.
  • Manchester Museums and Galleries Group: comprising Manchester Museum, The Whitworth, Manchester Art Gallery and The Gallery of Costume, and the secretariat of Museums Development North West. Our heritage partners across Manchester will bring vast South Asian collections and a strategic commitment to engaging young people in heritage in new ways.
  • Culture and Sport Glasgow: comprising Glasgow Life and Glasgow Museums. Our heritage, youth, arts and sports partners across Glasgow will support project delivery through vast South Asian collections. They also hold a strong commitment to building new models of youth engagement with heritage.

Our Values

  • At the very core of the project is the understanding that our cultural heritage is shared – that histories, traditions and expressions of people are connected in many ways through past and current shared experiences
  • The project’s aim is not to decide on what is right or wrong but to give space to explore different experiences, nuance and connections. We want voices that are often not given space to be shared and explored
  • We have an open definition of heritage and use it to broadly describe the ways people live and express themselves that have been passed on or influenced by previous generations
  • Cultural heritage can include intangible heritage (things that you can’t touch, such as languages, traditions, names, recipes, stories), and tangible heritage (physical things you can touch, such as objects, books, photographs and buildings

Connect with us!

I would like to speak to...   
British Council Isobel Cecil, Project Manager isobel.cecil@britishcouncil.org
Glasgow Life Shahana Khaliq-Lyon, Glasgow Coordinator shahana.khaliq-lyon@glasgowlife.org.uk
Manchester Museum Sadia Habib, Manchester Coordinator  sadia.habib@manchester.ac.uk 

To keep track of programme updates in Glasgow, follow: https://twitter.com/OSCH_Glasgow and Kelvingrove Museum's Instagram 

To keep track of project updates in Manchester, follow:https://twitter.com/OSCH_Mcr

You can also follow us on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/osch.youngpeople and read important commentary from young people involved in Our Shared Cultural Heritage on our blog https://sharedculturalheritage.wordpress.com/