London 2012 Stories of the World

Welcome the world

‘Stories of the World’ was the 2nd project of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad. The project was developed by LOCOG in partnership with Museums, Libraries and Archives. The brief was to create a project across as many museums and galleries in the UK as possible. Each venue created an exhibition that featured work chronicling how other parts of the world have impacted on its local area. The project was designed to welcome the world to Britain by using our rich collections to tell inspirational stories about the UK’s relationships with the world.

Engagement and aspiration

It was vital that a significant number of museum and galleries took the project on and had the right tools. To encourage this, we developed a ‘lead image’ that embodied the aspirations of the project and acted as a powerful launch. It was designed to be used by the individual venues as a place holder until their individual projects had been formed. For the launch, we set up and directed photo and film shoots across 14 regions. The launch set the tone and ambition of the project with the then poet laureate Andrew Motion introducing the film and launching the project.

Huge youth participation project

The launch was very well received with the key image used extensively. We worked with the venues to develop a set of tools to help maintain consistency and facilitate marketing, especially for some of the smaller galleries with restricted marketing resources and reach. Stories was the largest youth participation project ever delivered by museums in the UK with more than 1,500 young people recruited as curators. It brought collections to life and connected with new audiences through a process of reinterpretation, in partnership with young people and communities.