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UAL Decolonising Arts Institute

Installations with chairs and a screen
Installations with chairs and a screen
Installation shot of Revisiting the Work of Black Artists in Scotland through New Collecting in GoMA, Glasgow with collection works by Alberta Whittle, Maud Sulter and Barby Asante (2021). Courtesy Glasgow Museum

Challenging colonial legacies and disrupting ways of seeing, listening, thinking and making.

The UAL Decolonising Arts Institute seeks to challenge colonial and imperial legacies, disrupting ways of seeing, listening, thinking and making in order to drive cultural, social and institutional change.

We imagine the Institute as a decentred, disruptive, evolving and porous space. As the Institute grows, we aim to amplify local and global movements to decolonise and address the complex genealogies and geographies of postcolonial, decolonial and intersectional thinking and practice.


  • A side profile photo of a young boy wearing a helmet
    Larry Achiampong Relic 2 4K colour video with stereo sound 2019 © The Artist. Courtesy of Larry Achiampong & Copperfield London. Image courtesy of British Council Collection
    Transforming Collections: Reimagining Art, Nation and Heritage

    Find out how we're dissolving barriers between collections, surfacing patterns of bias and uncovering hidden connections.

  • Exhibition of an abstract castle
    Sonia Boyce, In the Castle Of My. Photograph by Rachel Deakin. Courtesy of MIMA

    See how we're catalysing artists’ careers and change in UK collections through 20 residencies, 20 commissions and 20 new acquisitions.

Our work

  • Gallery with placards made out of magazines
    Sonia Boyce, Devotional Wallpaper and Placards, 2008-2020. Acquired by the Contemporary Art Society for the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (MIMA) through the Rapid Response Fund, 2020.

    Read about Decolonising Arts Institute activities.

  • Students talking in the library
    Studying at the Library Group Zone, Central Saint Martins. Photo: John Sturrock
    UAL related activities

    Learn about decolonising activities across UAL.

  • 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
    Event recordings

    Explore our recorded events.

  • Girl wearing headphones at a private view event
    Credit: Ana Escobar Ana Escobar, Girl with headphones at a private view, London College of Communication, UAL
    Podcasts and publications

    Browse our latest podcasts and publications.

  • Pamphlets and booklets on a table.
    Image: Daniel Day, AHRC Black Artists and Modernism project, David Medalla Study Day. Image: Daniel Day
    About us

    Find out more about our vision and ambitions for decolonising arts.


  • Video screenshot of 3 pages of a zine on white and yellow paper, with handwriting, small illustrations and an image of a person in the centre
    Material by Dr Nina Trivedi her 2021 Decolonising Archives project: Lost Noise: Exclusions and Gaps in the Her Noise Archive.

    Decolonising residencies: discover a rich body of work from the 2021 researchers

    Outputs from Decolonising Arts Institute's 2021 researchers in residence: Dr Alice Correia, Dr Nina Trivedi, Dr Michelle Williams Gamaker, Harvey Dimond, Marenka Thompson-Odlum and Maybelle Peters.

  • A museum with ornate ceiling and artworks on the walls and on screen. There is a reflective black floor with white garden chairs place in front of the screen. A large metal chain runs along the floor between the chairs
    Installation shot of Revisiting the Work of Black Artists in Scotland through New Collecting in GoMA, Glasgow with collection works by Alberta Whittle, Maud Sulter and Barby Asante (2021). Courtesy Glasgow Museums

    20/20: Open call for artists’ expressions of interest

    The Decolonising Arts Institute has launched the first of 2 open calls for artists across the UK to take part in the 20/20 project. The programme will bring together 20 emerging or mid-career ethnically diverse artists who may identify as black, brown, or as people of colour, with 20 public art collections – leading to 20 new permanent acquisitions in museums and galleries across the UK.

  • Students on the floor painting
    Fungai Benhura painting, Camberwell College. Photo by Alys Tomlinson.

    Dr Khairani Barokka: ‘How to Make Art In A Pandemic?’

    Dr Khairani Barokka talks about the themes of her Art Monthly essay, published in June 2020 and follow-up radio discussion and podcast on Resonance FM, 8 June 2020 - and broadening the scope of what discussions on “ableism” and “access” mean in the art world - particularly in the COVID-19 era.

Our people


To find out more please get in touch: