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Imperial War Museums launch innovation hub, IWM Institute

imperial war museum

Imperial War Museums (IWM) has officially launched the IWM Institute, an innovation hub offering discussions, podcasts, debates, and original research projects.

Following a two-year pilot phase, IWM Institute bridges academic research and public engagement in order to offer a deeper understanding of war and conflict.

IWM Institute draws connections between the past and present, looking at how 100 years of history can provide a clearer understanding of today.

Imperial War Museums is also rolling out a new strand of museum programming and unveiling plans for new research offerings, initially digitally and at IWM London. Further plans will follow for IWM Duxford and IWM North.

IWM Institute’s first virtual festival ‘Refugee Nights’ debuted the first episode on November 17. Its programming for 2021 includes a new podcast called ‘Conflict of Interest’.

IWM Institute programming and projects in 2021

Conflict of Interest, which launches in February 2021, is a seven-part podcast that pairs IWM curators and witnesses to war with celebrity guests to explore contemporary conflicts.

Annual Lecture launches in March 2021 and invites speakers to discuss and find solutions to pressing conflict-related issues, with the inaugural lecture featuring David Miliband.

Hindsight in 2021 is a continuation of IWM Institute’s Hindsight in 2020, an online series that asks how we can responsibly use the past to better understand the present. Episodes are free and are streamed live on Crowdcast.

“When global issues feel insurmountable, it’s tempting to turn away and switch off, but the work of the IWM Institute enables us to go beyond the headlines to really explore and understand the impact of war on people and on the way we lead our lives.

“Based on rigorous research into war and conflict past and present, the IWM Institute will offer new, accessible and engaging ways of making sense of the world today,” said Gill Webber, executive director of the IWM Institute.

IWM Research Centres coming to London, Duxford, North

IWM Institute has created a network of up to 40 experts from the fields of arts and culture, technology, policy, media, and academia to form IWM Associates.

The institute will also be taking part in Festival UK* 2022, with partners including London Marathon Events, Welsh National Opera and National Physical Laboratory.

As above, plans are in development for improvements to digital access to IWM collections and for a new IWM Institute Research Centre at IWM London.

This will be the first of three centres at IWM London, IWM Duxford and IWM North.

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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