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Decolonising Archives 2020: Explore the finished research

2 broadsheet newspaper pages side by side, with articles on Black style and culture and racial integration
2 broadsheet newspaper pages side by side, with articles on Black style and culture and racial integration
L-R: Tempo 2 newspaper, London College of Printing, UAL Archives and Special Collections Centre; LCC News - weekly newspaper, 2004, UAL Archives and Special Collections Centre
Written by
Cat Cooper
Published date
30 March 2021

Decolonising Archives is an ongoing initiative to introduce critical, decolonial perspectives on the archives and collections held by the University. It was launched in 2019 by UAL Decolonising Arts Institute in partnership with the Archives and Special Collections (ASCC) team.

Working to interrogate different aspects of our collections, the first postdoctoral researchers in residence took up their roles in January 2020: Dr Elisa Adami, Dr Khairani Barokka, Dr Ana S González Rueda and Dr Mohammad Namazi.  

Supported by Institute and ASCC staff to overcome limitations on physical access to our collections during the pandemic, they completed their projects at the end of last year.

We invite you to explore their findings via a rich body of research published in different formats: short authored e-papers, podcast episodes and videos of each the researchers presenting their projects, recorded at an internal symposium in December.

The 2020 research

Dr Elisa Adami - Decolonial Dovetailing: Potential Encounters and Archival Elisions in Thorold Dickinson’s Archive

Dr Elisa Adami recently completed her PhD at the Royal College of Art in London. Her project adopts film director Thorold Dickinson’s rhetorical device of dovetailing – the suturing or juxtaposition of images taken from different reels – in order to apply it to the director’s own archive held at the UAL Archives and Special Collection Centre, based at LCC.

Dr Khairani Barokka - Caption in Red Thread: D/deaf and Disabled Narratives in the African-Caribbean, Asian and African Art in Britain Archive

Dr Khairani Barokka (Okka) is a Minang-Javanese writer, artist and researcher from Jakarta, based in London. Using the Indonesian term ‘benang merah’, or red thread, indicating connections between, this work of creative nonfiction serves as a caption (one of innumerable possible captions) for the African-Caribbean, Asian and African Art in Britain Archive, held at Chelsea College of Arts.

Dr Ana S González Rueda - Disorienting the Gaze: Ngozi Onwurah's Early Films

Dr Ana S González Rueda completed her PhD at the University of St Andrews in 2019. She looks at Ngozi Onwurah’s early films The Body Beautiful (1990) and Coffee-Coloured Children (1988). She considers how they reflect on illness, sexuality and mother/daughter relations, and respond to 'the most tumultuous decade of Britain's domestic racial history' (Akala, 2019).

Dr Mohammad Namazi - Listening Back to the Archives

Dr Mohammad Namazi is an artist, educator and researcher based in London. The discourse between cultural memory and coloniality underpins his research project. Mohammad’s archival investigation aims to test the role of archives as the embodiments of a collective cultural representation. He reflects on his journey into the archive as a creative interloper, mirroring his journey as an Iranian artist in the UK.

More from Decolonising Arts Institute

Decolonising Archives continues for 2021. This month the Institute welcomed a fresh intake of researchers who will be working across our archives between now and November.