Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Miriam Halahmy's Pop Up Event at the Jewish Museum with the Elizabeth Garret Anderson School

At the beginning of July, our wonderful author Miriam Halahmy, took part in a literary event organised by Pop Up Projects, at the Jewish Museum in London.

This is the second year Miriam has partnered with the Pop Up Festival to teach an interactive class to students of the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School. This year, the focus was on Miriam's most recently released title, Stuffed, which deals with issues of identity, displacement, and the impact that fleeting choices can on our long-term futures.

The session focused on tying in the setting of the Jewish Museum - which was kindly opened up for the event by Senior Educator, Judith Vandervelde - with Stuffed, to create a fully immersive educative experience for the students.
The situation that Jess, one of the main characters in Stuffed, finds herself in with her family, resonated well with some of the object collections within the museum and allowed the group to focus on thinking about the emotional attachments people place on their own personal possessions, especially when forced to leave their home in a hurry.
The types of issues tackled by Miriam in her other titles in the Hayling Cycle, Hidden and Illegal, enabled Miriam and Judith to branch out and tie in more elements of the issues touched on by the museum exhibits, giving the students a good breadth of variety during the event.

We had a quick chat with Miriam following the event to gather some of her thoughts on the day:

What would you pack?
"I was invited to run a session at the Jewish Museum in July, as part of this summer's Pop Up festival, with a Y7 class of girls from Elizabeth Garrett Anderson school. To prepare for the session the English teacher asked the girls to read my third novel, STUFFED. 

"Together with Judith Vandervelde, Museum Education Officer, we planned a session around the theme of having only five minutes to pack and leave your home forever. This theme reflects exhibits in the Museum on the Kindertransport and also themes in my novels of the plight of asylum seekers in HIDDEN and the lost of the  home to bailiffs in STUFFED. 

Reading the drama script!
"The girls engaged with great enthusiasm with the session. They had all read STUFFED and some of them had read one or two of the other Hayling books. They loved reading out a drama script I had written, adapted from a scene from the book and had many interesting questions and observations, both in the classroom sessions and going round the museum. 

"An excellent morning with a lovely school and a wonderful London museum".

For more information about Miriam's titles in The Hayling Cycle, or to purchase a copy, please visit the Albury Books Fiction Store!

Great thanks goes to The Jewish Museum for hosting the event, and to Pop Up Projects for organising a lovely day out for everyone involved.

For more information about either the Jewish Museum or Pop Up , please visit their websites below:

The Jewish Museum

Pop Up Projects

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