19 Princelet Street thumbnail

These are migrant streets
Visiting the Museum of Immigration and Diversity in London

by Luca Gefäller

Everything in the Museum of Immigration and Diversity seems to suggest that all colours will fade to sepia in an instant and a hostile immigration officer in an old-fashioned uniform will be waiting in the next room to note my name on a list, harshly ordering medical examinations. Instead, a friendly volunteer hands the visitors a pen to sign the guest book and points out that the exhibition starts on the lower ground floor and continues upstairs.

Museums now advocate causes such as social inclusion, combatting racism and advancing the rights of women, the disabled and the victims of children’s homes; reflecting the social preoccupations of the early 21st-century West. India’s and Sulabh’s concerns are rather more physical and didactic, and broader than merely the provision of sanitary facilities.