About this project

Harlesden Trailblazers is an audio-visual portrait of Harlesden, its history and its present. Created via a trail of plaques mounted at points around Harlesden High Street you will be able to access the tour here, including audio, videos, images, articles and archive material.

Colour photograph showing two young women looking at an historic document
Creative Researchers Suleqa and Rahima examining an historic deed

Through a series of workshops, held in autumn 2021, a group of young Creative Researchers undertook research into Harlesden at Brent Museum and Archives collections, including diverse oral histories. They also conducted interviews of their own with members of the local community.

Notes on white board paper with post it notes.
Mind-mapping from the Harlesden Trailblazer workshops

The young people discussed places, themes and subject matter about Harlesden that were important to them. Through discussion and research, they arrived at a selection of sites across Harlesden to celebrate. They drew on people’s lived experiences, and memories to highlight the rich history of Brent’s diverse communities.

Young woman and a young man looking at a computer
Atwain and Keziah listening to Oral Histories from London Borough of Culture 2020’s ‘No Bass Like Home’ project.

Harlesden Trailblazers takes history out of the museum.

Group of people in conversation in a park. They are looking in different directions and one young woman is pointing beyond the camera.
Harlesden Trailblazer team looking at sites in Roundwood Park

Through the project the young people felt they learnt research skills, interview skills and explored how to tell captivating stories about the past and the present. Some also shared how they had gained more confidence in speaking.

Brent heritage service learnt new ways of working with young people, practical experience of using technology to engage audiences and share physical and digital collections. This was a new way of working, which the team hope to expand to celebrate more places both in Harlesden and across Brent.

Two young women looking at an historic map, and another standing by their side
Reggae and Atoyah looking at an historic map, assisted by Feimata Sannoh.

Brent Museum and Archives have delivered Harlesden Trailblazers in partnership with Young Brent Foundation with funding from The Museum Associations Digital Innovation and Engagement Grant.

Young people walking along a path surrounded by grass on either side.

The Creative Researchers are:

Iqro Abdi

Keziah-Ann Abakah

Atwain Johnson

Leah McIntosh

Rahima Mohamud

Atoyah Moore-Dingwall

Reggae Nagra

Neo Ricketts-Collymore

Suleqa Warsame

They have been assisted by:

Lucy Parker (Brent Museum and Archives)

Feimata Sannoh (Brent Museum and Archives)

Camilla Churchill (Brent Museum and Archives)

Michael Appouh (Young Brent Foundation)

With special thanks to Chris Murray from Young Brent Foundation; Sarah Hawken from Brent Public Health; to all the interviewees, past and present who have worked with us and shared their stories; and to the young people for their hard work. Thank you also to photographer Rachel Lum for her wonderful work on shooting and editing the videos.