David Livingstone Birthplace

Highlighting Different Perspectives with the Scotland Malawi Partnership

We commissioned the Scotland Malawi Partnership to record talking head films, covering multiple perspectives on Livingstone’s complicated legacy. Over 30 films can be viewed on a touchscreen in the museum’s Legacy Space, where themes relating to the lasting impact of Livingstone's life and work are discussed.

The views of authors, academics, musicians, faith leaders, non-governmental organisation leaders, museum professionals, historians, and David Livingstone Birthplace Museum trustees and advisors are featured.

Contributors included author Petina Gappah, research scientist and community activist Sir Geoff Palmer, and the Chief Executive of the Scotland Malawi Partnership David Hopes Jones. Individuals in the films are from Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Scotland, and the USA.

Livingstone’s legacy means different things to different people. Through these videos, we intend to show a fuller version of Livingstone’s story by presenting both the positive and negative impacts of his life and exploring the human behind the iconic stories.

By presenting the facts and showing different perspectives and opinions, we hope to empower our audiences to make up their own mind about whether or not Livingstone deserves to be celebrated.

The topics covered in the films include:

  • Controversies surrounding Livingstone’s public statues
  • How his letters and manuscripts can be used to research Southern & Central African history
  • The impact of European missionaries on indigenous cultures and religions, and the complex legacy this left behind for people of all faiths
  • The continued importance of the Christian faith to the populations of many countries in Africa
  • The consequences of the lingering impact of European colonisation of Africa

We hope to add more content and opinions to this interactive in the years to come.

The footage was shot in person, in line with 2021 COVID regulations, and online via Zencastr online video recording software by Glasgow-based film-maker Alan Jones.

Please also see our other Projects information.


We are very grateful to our key funders the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Historic Environment Scotland and the Scottish Government for their support in helping us deliver the Birthplace Project.

National Lottery Heritage Fund
Scottish Government
Historic Environment Scotland
Note: Please note that David Livingstone Birthplace (and the David Livingstone Trust) is no longer part of National Trust Scotland (NTS). NTS members will therefore no longer receive discounted/free entry to the Birthplace Museum.

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