About the poem and video
The poem “pot” was published in Shamshad’s poetry collection “Megalomaniac”, Salt 2007 and included on the GCSE English Literature syllabus, AQA poetry anthology, 2022/3.
Dedicated to a Nigerian pot currently incarcerated in the Manchester Museum without charge or access to legal representation.
Photo: Shamshad Khan with Nigerian pot at Manchester Museum.
Photo credit: Kooj Chuhan, 2003
Below you can see the video of Shamshad performing the poem “pot”.
Filmed and produced by Kooj (Kuljit) Chuhan, 2003, as part of the Re-kindle project at Manchester Museum.
The poem and video were commissioned by Manchester Museum, 2003.
The video was updated in 2023 in line with the agreed text version of the poem for GCSE study purposes.
2023 additional video production by Ricardo at Sagitta Media based on the 2003 original video.
The pot and Manchester Museum
The pot is not currently on display at Manchester Museum. The Museum is considering having the pot back on display in the near future.
Manchester Museum acknowledges that its collections are part of living cultures. Recent work to decolonise the museum’s practices includes considering return, repatriation and restitution for certain objects. Dr. Njabulo Chipangura, Curator of Living Cultures at Manchester Museum, has contributed to discussions on provenance and biographical research of African collections. He is working on how this research can be done collaboratively with diaspora and source community members.
Ongoing research suggests that the pot could have had multiple purposes, including storage of grain. Notably, similar Nigerian pots have been used for storing palm wine.
Resources for study
AQA and other publishers and institutions have created resources that teachers and pupils may find useful to use.
Contact the author
Shamshad is available to visit schools to talk about her work. Please contact via email.
Copyright and credits
We would appreciate if you would credit us as follows:
text – copyright Shamshad Khan, “pot” from Megalomaniac”, Salt, 2007. Commissioned by Manchester Museum, 2003.
video – copyright 2023, Kooj Chuhan and Shamshad Khan. 2023 additional video production by Ricardo at Sagitta Media based on the 2003 original video. Commissioned by Manchester Museum 2003.