A former Ignite Yorkshire participant from Leeds has seen off national competition to win the first Association for Heritage Interpretation Young Interpreter Award as part of the bi-annual Engaging People Awards. The Award celebrates the work of an inspirational young person who is actively engaging people with their heritage, nature, culture or science.
The winner, Lihem, took part in a project called ‘Represent’ in October 2020. The ‘Represent’ project saw a group of young people working with Heritage Corner, Geraldine Connor Foundation, local artists and curators to learn about the untold, hidden narratives of international trading links and connections with Britain’s colonial past at Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills. The project was also shortlisted in the Untold Stories category of the same awards.
Before ‘Represent’ I had very little awareness of the importance heritage has on today’s society. Represent really helped open my eyes and encouraged me to start raising questions to the world around me. Thanks to Represent so many doors have been unlocked for me through other projects, like working with Leeds City Museum and the current project I’m doing at Harewood House.Lihem
Lihem’s contribution and skills as a young interpreter stood out because of her care to question, investigate and understand the stories waiting to be told in the museum collection. ‘Represent’ unlocked other opportunities in interpretation for Lihem. She has since gone on to work with Leeds Museums and Galleries and artist, Carmen Okome, to create exhibits for the ‘Global Leeds’ part of the Museum’s 200th Anniversary exhibition. Recently she joined a collection of young people working with Geraldine Connor Foundation at Harewood House on a British Museum programme called ‘Where We Are…’.
Marie Millward, Project manager for Ignite Yorkshire at IVE said : “We have worked with hundreds of brilliant young interpreters over the last three years of the Ignite Yorkshire project, but Lihem really stood out. She was keen to question why untold stories of trade and exploitation, that extend from Yorkshire across the world, were missing from Yorkshires’ industrial heritage. And she demonstrated real consideration for those she was working with in the process of telling difficult and potentially distressing stories. I am delighted that she has continued her interest in working on interpretation and has been recognised in the ‘Oscars’ of this field of work.”