Exhibition partnerships

Our hearts in the balance

Journey through the afterlife: ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead
November 2010

Our hearts in the balance – a reference to the ancient Egyptian belief that the hearts of the dead would be weighed in the afterlife – was a project connected to the British Museum exhibition.

Community events draw in those whom the British Museum might not normally reach, bringing groups into the Museum or working with them off-site. On this project, the Museum worked with three groups: Modernisation Initiative for End of Life Care, Rosetta Life and the National Theatre Studio. Using storytelling and music, the team worked with care home residents and their carers to develop a script addressing how we prepare for death and what we wish to leave behind.

On 27 November 2010, alongside a community evening preview of the exhibition – itself about death and the afterlife in Ancient Egypt – the group performed the work in the Great Court, the Wellcome Trust Gallery of Living and Dying and the Asia gallery.

The heart-felt connections between those participating, their carers, families and friends, and spectators who were welcome to watch made for a moving performance on an issue many are uncomfortable discussing. The night was a joyous rendering of the important ideas and beliefs the collection represents, not just for past societies but for all of us today.

Watch the performance 

Exhibition partnerships

A performance from the Our hearts in the balance project.