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Call for proposals: Decolonising the Archives Research Residency Programme 2020

People looking at artworks in an exhibition
People looking at artworks in an exhibition
Image: Andrew Brooks, AHRC Black Artists & Modernism project, Speech Acts exhibition opening, Manchester Art Gallery. Image: Andrew Brooks
Written by
Cat Cooper
Published date
24 October 2019

Decolonising the Archives is a new collaborative initiative at University of the Arts London (UAL), developed by UAL Decolonising Arts Institute in partnership with UAL Archives and Special Collections Centre (ASCC).

We are pleased to announce a joint call for proposals for a series of research residency opportunities in 2020.

Decolonising the Archives builds on ASCC’s ongoing residency programme (2017- 2022), supported by the Museums, Galleries and Collections Fund, Research England), and UAL Library’s wider initiatives to decolonise the curriculum.

The collaborative partnership with UAL Decolonising Arts Institute seeks to place questions of decolonisation and decolonial praxes at the core of collections practice and research:

  • What does it mean to decolonise the arts?
  • How do we decolonise the curriculum and the university from within?
  • How can we work to dismantle and transform what we know and what we do?

The Decolonising the Archives Research Residency Programme will award bursaries of £6,000 to 3 postdoctoral researchers (including curatorial and creative practice-based). Researchers will be in residence part-time from January 2020, to spend the equivalent of approximately 20 days in residence over a period of up to 6 months. You will be based at one of three locations:

  • UAL Archives and Special Collections Centre and London College of Communication Library (LCC).
  • Central Saint Martins Museum & Study Collection (CSM).
  • Special collections at Chelsea College of Arts Library, including the African-Caribbean, Asian and African Art in Britain Archive.

You will have a further 3 months to write up and/or produce research outputs for publication and dissemination in autumn 2020. The residencies are opportunities to interrogate UAL’s archives and special collections through critical and creative research strategies that engage decolonial thinking/doing and questions of decolonisation.

Submit a proposal

We invite proposals that focus on a specific collection or aspect of a collection, and/or artwork(s) or archival object(s) held at ASCC, LCC Library, CSM or Chelsea Library.

We welcome approaches that challenge, for example, dominant narratives of identity, nation, culture, language, heritage, Britishness, whiteness, blackness, race, class, gender, sexuality, dis/ability, age, belief, feminism, modernism, radicalism, activism…; as well as the politics of institutional memory and archival silences.

For more information and to make a submission, read the Call for Proposals (PDF 113KB) or email: for more information.

The deadline for submissions is 14 November 2019.