By Webb Wright | Junior Reporter

June 21, 2022 | 3 min read

‘The Unfiltered History Tour’ provides a seldom recognized glimpse into global history.

Vice World News and Dentsu have been awarded the Radio & Audio Grand Prix at Cannes Lions Festival for their production of 'The Unfiltered History Tour,' which provides visitors at the British Museum with a new perspective on some of humankind’s most treasured — and contested — historical artifacts.

Traditionally, visitors to the British Museum — one of the largest and most renowned museums in the world — are presented with a varnished, whitewashed tour of history, told through the eyes of colonial Great Britain after it had taken priceless pieces of material culture from the far reaches of its global empire and returned them to London, where they have remained ever since.

Vice and Dentsu have created a new way to tour the British History Museum: rather than reading about the history of these artifacts from the point of view of the colonial powers who stole them, visitors can now learn about them from the descendants of the people from whom they were taken.

The daring campaign was launched entirely under the radar of the Museum — which presumably wouldn’t be immediately thrilled with the idea. “There’s a new tour at the British Museum,” reads text featured in a video spot for the campaign. “But the Museum doesn’t know about it. Yet.” The musical score to the video is both cinematic and slightly nerve-wracking, like that which might accompany a scene in a heist movie with highly-trained burglars descending down ropes from ceilings and maneuvering acrobatically around moving lasers.

In a visual demonstration of the Instagram filter-based tour, a hand extends a smartphone over the Gweagal Shield, a large, almond-shaped shield taken from Aboriginal Australia in the 18th century by the forces of Captain James Cook. An upper-class-sounding British woman’s voice, which had begun to describe Captain Cook, is suddenly replaced by that of an Australian — apparently Aboriginal — man, who says: “You are now looking at the Gweagal Shield, which was taken from my people.” In the background, viewers see illustrated images of war and genocide.

“Take a tour of the British Museum’s disputed artifacts,” the text in the video reads in a later scene. “Narrated by people from countries they were taken from.”

The Cannes Lions Festival began yesterday and will run through June 24.

Check out all the big winners at Cannes this year.

Modern Marketing Brand Purpose Brand Strategy

More from Modern Marketing

View all