2 Visions 2 Legacies Film

In spring 2021, three young co-curators living in Birmingham came together with filmmaker Scott Johnston to create a film about Joseph Chamberlain and Warrulan, an Aboriginal Australian. Both men are buried in the Jewellery Quarter, this film explores their legacies and how we might remember them and others like them.

Background to the 2 Visions 2 Legacies Project

The 2 Visions 2 Legacies project investigates the value of the Chamberlain Clock to the Jewellery Quarter and Birmingham’s history and this involves an exploration of the life of the man to whom the clock is dedicated. Joseph Chamberlain was Mayor of Birmingham from 1873 – 1876, and later went on to become Secretary of State for the Colonies. The Chamberlain Memorial Clock is dedicated to him and is a well known landmark of the Jewellery Quarter; Chamberlain is buried in Key Hill Cemetery. The team will also be producing the interpretation panel that is to be installed when the newly restored Chamberlain Clock returns to the Jewellery Quarter in spring 2021.

The project is also investigating the legacy of an Aboriginal immigrant called Warrulan who was laid to rest in an unmarked grave in Warstone Lane Cemetery. Born in Moorundie in South Australia, Warrulan was the son of Tenbury, who was a tribal elder and a guide for British colonial administrator Edward John Eyre. Eyre brought Warrulan to England in 1844 as an adolescent,  where he was educated at agricultural school before undertaking an apprenticeship with a saddle maker. Warrulan then worked for Middlemore Saddles in Birmingham but died of pneumonia aged about 19 years. The team is contributing a biography of Warrulan which will be displayed on a new interpretation panel, due to be installed in 2021.

Their stories are being explored by a team of Co-Curators, who are undertaking research which will inform the production of content and will be available on this website. In addition to the interpretation panels mentioned above, the team will be producing materials and events alongside a short film to help engage the public in understanding the lives and legacies of Warrulan and Joseph Chamberlain.

This project is jointly managed by the JQTH project and JQ Cemeteries and information relating to it will be available on both websites.

2 Visions 2 Legacies Co-Curators

Rahma Mohamed

Hi, I’m Rahma and I am a third year undergraduate student at the University of Birmingham. I am really looking forward to researching Warrulan as it ties in nicely with my dissertation that I am currently writing on the repatriation of certain museum objects. One of my chapters is focused on a Moai statue currently held in the British Museum, as the Indigenous community of Rapa Nui have called for its repatriation. This is an exciting opportunity to build on my knowledge on Indigenous communities and apply this to Warrulan’s life.

Undertaking research for the reinstatement of the Chamberlain Clock will also be interesting as we try to further illuminate the history of Joseph Chamberlain. Not only an important figure in Birmingham, his actions as Colonial Secretary had a global reach which deserves exploring.

Chelsea Mills

Hi, my name is Chelsea Mills and I’m excited to be leading the creative content production for the JQ Chamberlain Clock and Warrulan research projects! This means that I’ll be transforming the research into fun, interactive and accessible content for the public. History is a dedication to remembrance! The goal is to get the public to engage with balanced historical narratives about Warrulan and the Chamberlain Clock in innovative and memorable ways. To this end, we invite any feedback from you about what you liked AND did not like about the ways history has been delivered to you at places such as memorials, museums, landmarks, etc!

Salim Dabo

My name is Salim. I am 23 years old and I am currently studying Accounting and Finance at university. I am very interested in this project as I will have the opportunity to learn more about Warrulan and his life. It is very interesting to me to know how some of my ancestors lived their lives during times that were not as good as today. This project will allow me to gain more perspective and understand the views of Black and Aboriginal people during their lifetimes. I look forward to gathering information and using my own knowledge to paint a beautiful picture and make a tribute to Warrulan’s life, and learn more about the history behind the Chamberlain Clock.

Our Vision, Aims and Objectives

  • To tell balanced stories about historical figures who have impacted Birmingham and its communities, and the UK as a whole.
  • Using historical research to contextualise the historical figures and colonial legacies in the Jewellery Quarter.
  • To share the different perspectives of historical figures and the people that were impacted at the time.
  • To engage the public in an ongoing discovery about the colonial impact of these legacies on contemporary Birmingham society.

We will do this by:

  • Producing interpretation panels in the Jewellery Quarter to share the history of the Chamberlain Clock and Warrulan with visitors.
  • Sharing our research and findings with the public via social media, our website, a film and a programme of activities.
  • Consulting with a panel of community stakeholders, representatives and academic professionals throughout the process.
  • Exploring an extensive range of sources to ensure historical accuracy and the representation of different viewpoints and perspectives.

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