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Hollywood comes to Ipswich as Christchurch Mansion hosts Black Panther exhibition

PUBLISHED: 06:00 24 February 2020

Chadwick Boseman in Black Panther. His costume will be on display at Christchurch Mansion   Picture: DISNEY/MARVEL STUDIOS/IMDB

Chadwick Boseman in Black Panther. His costume will be on display at Christchurch Mansion Picture: DISNEY/MARVEL STUDIOS/IMDB

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The global power of storytelling is explored with Marvel’s new Black Panther exhibition at Christchurch Mansion, Ipswich. We take a look at what visitors can expect to see.

Florence Kasumba, Danai Gurira and Lupita Nyong'o in Black Panther. Danai's costume will form part of the Black Panther exhibition at Christchurch Mansion   Picture: DISNEY/MARVEL STUDIOS/IMDBFlorence Kasumba, Danai Gurira and Lupita Nyong'o in Black Panther. Danai's costume will form part of the Black Panther exhibition at Christchurch Mansion Picture: DISNEY/MARVEL STUDIOS/IMDB

From folk hero to superhero, the story and legacy of T'Challa, the Black Panther, is being explored and celebrated in the high profile exhibition which will allow people to get up close and personal with the costumes, designs and artwork from the Hollywood blockbuster, as well as looking at his comic book origins as part of the Marvel universe.

Ipswich will be the only town in the UK to host this major exhibition which includes a display of sensational costumes worn by leading characters from the hit film Marvel Studios' Black Panther.

The outfits of T'Challa, Shuri and Okoye will be displayed as part of the new showcase event at Christchurch Mansion and will sit alongside artwork and items from Marvel comics as well as historic museum objects. From Masquerade to movies, carvings to cartoons, the exhibition highlights how the stories we know, shape the way we see the world.

The exhibition, Unmasked: The Power of Stories, will echo Black Panther's inspirational call to millions of people around the world to think about where they came from and who they want to be.

The team behind the Unmasked: The Power of Stories exhibition, celebrating Marvel's Black Panther film and the way stories are told to reflect global culture  Photo: Ipswich CouncilThe team behind the Unmasked: The Power of Stories exhibition, celebrating Marvel's Black Panther film and the way stories are told to reflect global culture Photo: Ipswich Council

Ipswich's communities are at the heart of this amazing and unique exhibition, encouraging visitors to think about how storytelling can be used as a tool to unite or divide people. From folklore to fake news, people have told stories for thousands of years.

Ipswich resident Eve Mordue is part of the team designing this exciting exhibition, she said: "We want to celebrate lots of storytelling habits from across the globe, but also get people thinking about the things they hear or read."

Phanuel Mutumburi, business and operations director for Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality, is part of the group working on the exhibition. He believes this is a huge opportunity for local young people to take inspiration and to harness the positive energy the show will bring.

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"Having representation on such an iconic film is as much for young black people as it is for others to see and understand them. This exhibition will contribute to shaping their sense of identity and provide opportunities for people to participate in many ways."

Carole Jones is Ipswich Borough Council's museums service portfolio-holder and she said the exhibition is a thrilling collaboration between museums and Ipswich's communities.

"We did not want to tell people how to get the most out of The Power of Stories - we want them to take the lead, to inspire each other and visitors with their stories and, hopefully, to bring new audiences to the mansion. This is what they have created.

"I want to thank the community for joining us on such an exciting project. I also want to thank Marvel Studios - being the only gallery to display these film costumes shows that our museums service has an international reputation with the support of Arts Council England and other partners."

Unmasked: The Power of Stories follows two epic exhibitions at the Mansion - Kiss & Tell: Rodin and Suffolk Sculpture and Ed Sheeran: Made in Suffolk. This latest extended event breaks more new ground by getting diverse Ipswich communities to interact with the very fabric of the exhibition.

Curator Melanie Hollis said three themes will be explored along with the experiences of local communities:

- How storytelling is used by to keep cultures alive and to influence thought and behaviour

- The film, the comic and the social context of Marvel Studios' Black Panther

- Comics as a form of storytelling.

Unmasked: The Power of Stories will be at Christchurch Mansion, Ipswich, from July 4, 2020 - January 31, 2021

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