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consent not to be a single being: Worlding Public Culture's London Gathering

A grainy black and white image showing the back of a man steering a boat downriver
  • Written byCat Cooper
  • Published date 25 November 2021
A grainy black and white image showing the back of a man steering a boat downriver
On a Suriname River by Ahron de Leeuw

Worlding Public Cultures London Gathering:

consent not to be a single being ­­­­

1-8 December
Online at Tate Modern
Online and onsite at Chelsea College of Arts

This December, the Worlding Public Cultures project at TrAIN, UAL's Research Centre for Transnational Art, Identity and Nation, will host a major international online conference and programme at Tate and Chelsea College of Arts.

It will explore the legacies of Caribbean thought on global art histories, public culture and activism, complementing Tate Britain’s new exhibition: Life Between Islands: British - Caribbean Art 1950s – now.


  • An international symposium with Tate Modern (1-3 Dec online)
  • Workshops and artist visits with the MA Fine Art programme at Chelsea College of Arts
  • Discussions and visits with Iniva (the Institute for International Visual Arts) and the Black Cultural Archives
  • A curated online audio and visual programme (1-8 Dec)

Programme details:

International Conference
1-3 Dec, online at Tate

consent not to be a single being: Worlding Through the Caribbean takes the Caribbean - and Caribbean thought - as a starting point to reconsider global histories of art and contemporary public cultures. Drawing on the foundational work of Caribbean thinkers Édouard Glissant, Stuart Hall and Sylvia Wynter, the symposium explores their impact on our understanding of the material, epistemological and ontological repercussions of these histories.

Addressing the contested public paces of universities, museums, and cultural institutions, this symposium thinks with and through Glissant, Hall, and Wynter to radically transform our ways of relating to the world around us. The event will include a keynote lecture by celebrated Black studies and Black feminism scholar, Katherine McKittrick, as well as 5 panels covering topics ranging from public culture, education, counter-histories, colonialism, world-making and the environment.

Speakers include Denise Ferreira da Silva, Gilane Tawadros, Julien Henriques, Roshini Kempadoo and Ada M Patterson.

Chelsea Programme
1-8 Dec online and 6-8 Dec at Chelsea College of Arts

In response to the main themes of the conference, TrAIN will host a series of research panels, artist workshops, institutional visits and student projects in collaboration with Chelsea's School of Fine Art and MA Fine Art programme and colleagues from the Worlding Public Cultures (WPC) project.

Students from Chelsea MA Fine Art will engage in experimental making and thinking sessions at Chelsea Cook House Gallery in response to the conference theme: 'consent not to be a single being'. The students will participate in studio visits and workshops by international artists working on issues around Caribbean identity, diaspora and activism.

International scholars and WPC researchers will be visiting Chelsea to participate in a series of student workshops, discussions and visits that will unpack the themes of the consent not to be a single being conference in relation to notions of worlding, decolonisation and critical art theories employed in their collective research.

This will include visits to Iniva's Stuart Hall Library based at Chelsea and the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton; to explore artistic and cultural archives relating to histories of Caribbean radical practices.

From 1-3 December, the international conference will be accompanied by a specially curated online programme of artists’ audio and film works that address the Caribbean in its archipelagic complexity, considering what emerges from the histories and oceanic entanglements left by the legacies of slavery and colonialism. It includes 2 new audio commissions, including an experimental soundscape by artist Ashley Holmes and a new episode of Ayesha Hameed’s Brown Atlantis radio show, with special guest Trinidadian writer and poet Shivanee Ramlochan.

The film programme includes recent work by Helen Cammock, Denise Ferreira da Silva and Arjuna Neuman, Jamilah Sabur, Rhea Storr and Alberta Whittle. The full schedule will be announced on the Worlding Public Cultures website. A selection of films will also be screened for MA Fine Art students at the Cookhouse Gallery 6-8 December.

The Worlding Public Cultures project

Led by TrAIN, Worlding Public Cultures: The Arts and Social Innovation is a collaborative research project across countries that is working to reveal public narratives from multiple regional perspectives about our globally entangled world.

It brings together an international cast of artists, curators, academics, activists and museum professionals, reflecting on how to support and strengthen ongoing initiatives on decolonisation and internationalisation of museums and universities in Europe, North America and the Global South.

WPC London Gathering Team

Prof Paul Goodwin – Director, TrAIN
Dr Maribel Hidalgo Urbaneja, WPC Post-doctoral Fellow
Rahila Haque – WPC PhD researcher, curator of Chelsea programme
Ewelina Warner – TrAIN Administrator and PhD researcher
Gabriele Grigorjeva – TrAIN Administrator, WPC project manager
Kelly Foster – TrAIN Knowledge Equity Associate, Chelsea programme workshop leader
Lynne Finn – UAL Research Management and Administration
Patricia Ellis – Director, MA Fine Art programme, Chelsea College of Arts
Dr Dave Beech – UAL Reader in Art and Marxism
Sophia Phoca – Dean of Fine Art - CCW


WPC’s Chelsea programme is kindly sponsored by Chelsea College of Arts, UAL and the Fine Art programme at Chelsea.