Remember Bhopal Museum

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Remember Bhopal Museum
Established 2 December 2014 (2014-12-02)
Location Senior HIG 22, Housing Board Colony, Berasia Road, Karond, Near Triveni heights Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India
Coordinates 23°17′34″N 77°24′02″E / 23.292665°N 77.400600°E / 23.292665; 77.400600
Type Memorial museum
Owner Remember Bhopal Trust
Website rememberbhopal.net

The Remember Bhopal Museum is a museum in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India that commemorates the Bhopal disaster. It collects and exhibits artifacts and records of the affected communities. The museum was opened on 2 December 2014, the 30th anniversary of the disaster.

History

The Bhopal disaster was caused by a gas leak that occurred at the Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) pesticide plant in Bhopal on 2 December 1984, and became the largest industrial disaster by death toll.[1]

In 2004, Yaad-e-Hadsa, a memorial museum, was created by survivors of the disaster.[2] Its exhibits, such as clothing and other belongings of those who had died, were donated by survivors. However, records of the origins of the exhibits were eventually lost by the organisers.[3] Rama Lakshmi, who is a journalist, museologist and oral historian, and Shalini Sharma, who is an activist and an assistant professor at the Tata Institute for Social Sciences, decided to collect accounts from the survivors directly to link with the donated objects, to be exhibited at a new memorial museum.[3]

In 2009, the Madhya Pradesh government and the Union Government made proposals to build a memorial of the gas tragedy, but the proposals failed.[4]

The Remember Bhopal Trust was formed in 2012 by survivors of the disaster and activists campaigning for restitution for the victims of the disaster. It was formed with the aim of helping sustain the memory of the incident, and to organise commemorative activities, with a focus on the concerns of the victims and survivors of the disaster.[5]

On 2 December 2014, the Remember Bhopal Museum was opened by the Remember Bhopal Trust. The museum is located in a converted flat near the site.[4] According to its curator Rama Lakshmi, it is the first museum in India focusing on a "contemporary social movement for justice". The project, which was the trust's first, is co-ordinated by Shalini Sharma.[6][7]

Exhibits

The museum exhibits artefacts, oral histories, photographs, protest songs and campaign posters that have emerged in the movement for justice for the victims of the Bhopal disaster.

The survivor groups have worked with Lakshmi and other museum professionals to design and create their own memorial museum, filled with posters, photographs, and artefacts, such as a small victim’s dress, a stopped pocket watch–donated by the families of victims and survivors. Survivors have given to the museum personal objects that are often their last tangible link to those who died because of the gas leak. Many others have recounted their harrowing tales of survival and struggle. The museum’s narrative is shaped by their stories and objects.

Administration

The central goal of the Remember Bhopal Museum is to focus on the voices and concerns of the survivors, as opposed to the government or the industry, in museum or memorial projects.

Rama Lakshmi, Washington Post's India correspondent (and also a museologist) is the curator of the Remember Bhopal Museum.[8]

The museum is housed in a rented building, owned by a disaster-affected family, around 2.5 km away from the Union Carbide factory.

The museum does not accept any government or corporate funds.[3]

References

  1. ^ "Bhopal trial: Eight convicted over India gas disaster". BBC News. BBC. 2010-06-07. Archived from the original on 2010-06-07. Retrieved 2010-06-07.
  2. ^ Sharma, Shalini (2014). "The Politics of Remembering Bhopal". In Convery, Ian; Corsane, Gerard; Davis, Peter. Displaced Heritage: Responses to Disaster, Trauma, and Loss. Boydell & Brewer. pp. 112–115. ISBN 9781843839637.
  3. ^ a b c Chari, Mridula (2014-11-30). "Thirty years later, a museum wants to change the way we look at the survivors of the Bhopal gas leak". Scroll.in. Scroll Media. Archived from the original on 2015-05-15. Retrieved 2015-08-12.
  4. ^ a b Dutta, Anup (2014-12-02). "Activists turn three-room flat into museum for Bhopal gas tragedy". Mail Online. Daily Mail and General Trust. Archived from the original on 2015-08-12. Retrieved 2015-08-12.
  5. ^ "About us - Remember Bhopal Trust". Remember Bhopal Trust. Archived from the original on 2015-08-12. Retrieved 2015-08-12.
  6. ^ Shaini, K.S. (2014-12-03). "The Museum of Memories". Outlook India. Outlook Publishing India. Archived from the original on 2014-12-06. Retrieved 2015-08-12.
  7. ^ Jennings, Gretchen (2014-12-07). "Remember Bhopal Museum: A Victory for Museums of Difficult History". Archived from the original on 2015-08-12.
  8. ^ https://www.saddahaq.com/objects-in-the-museum-are-not-just-of-that-night-but-of-the-last-30-years-of-their-struggle-rama-lakshmi

External links

  • Official website
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