In 2017, I began (Your) Mummy Stories as a platform to engage each and every one in the conversation on Egyptian mummies in museums. I wanted to know how individuals feel about, and interact with, Egyptian mummies in museums. I didn’t want to find this out through impersonal questionnaires filled in a hurry at the end of a museum visit – I know even I don’t really write more than two words on those. Instead, I wanted individuals to send me their story, their encounter, their criticism, their memories, fun, honest, concerned, engaged stories. I shared them on Mummy Stories because they were entertaining, heart-warming, important, engaging and crucial to today’s discussions on human remains in museums. I wanted to engage all of you in some form of participatory discussion that I felt did not (and possibly still does not) exist in museums. The result was beyond my expectations, and I thank you for this.
But why Egyptian mummies only? Well, this comes directly from my own research interest as a historian of Egyptology and a museologist. My research has always, and still is, focused on Egyptian mummies in museums. I am interested in bringing to light the complexities of engagements with Egyptian mummies in museums, and to demonstrate that these are multi-layered and embedded in a long history of engagements in and out the museum.
As Mummy Stories progressed, I received a number of queries to write stories about non-Egyptian mummies and had to refuse these simply because they did not fit the aim of this project which was to probe and share engagements with Egyptian mummies. However, the interest in writing more mummy stories could simply not be ignored.
So, in 2018, I have brought (Other) Mummy Stories to life to talk about these “other” human remains. It is not a way to differentiate Egyptian and non-Egyptian mummies (for that matter, Egyptian mummy stories will also be posted in this section) but rather a way to answer your queries to write about other human remains. Because, if Mummy Stories might be very useful to me, it is above all meant for you. It is your platform. Your stories. And hopefully we will change discourses along the way, by making sure your stories matter. I look forward to reading all the great memories, the concerns, the fun, strange and fascinating stories you have to share.
As always, this is not an academic platform; we welcome everyone (including academics!). A few lines to a few paragraphs, a picture (with link to original site if possible), a few lines about yourself and it will be posted on a Monday! Send these to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for being part of this great journey,
Dr Angela Stienne
Founder of Mummy Stories