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UAL Decolonising Arts Institute

Girl picking up a book in the library
Girl picking up a book in the library
In the library at Camberwell College of Arts UAL, Photo by Alys Tomlinson

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.

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.

  • 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

    Explore our upcoming and past events.

  • 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.

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

    Browse our latest podcasts and publications.


  • Artwork: Album of souvenir cards
    1992 Trophies of Empire: The Trophy Cabinet South Atlantic Souvenirs and Trouble Card album Courtesy of Bluecoat
    Black artists in the North West of England

    Institute Research Fellow Dr Anjalie Dalal-Clayton published collections and exhibitions about the history of Black artists in England’s North-West.

  • A selection of portrait photos on a table shot from above
    Photo by Ileana J. Selejan
    Citizens of photography: the camera and the political imagination

    Institute Research Fellow Dr Ileana L. Selejan examines how citizens and communities engage with photography in their everyday.

  • A young man with one arm drawing in a sketchbook
    Fungai Benhura working in the Studio. BA Fine Art, Camberwell College of Arts © Alys Tomlinson
    How to make art in a pandemic?

    Institute Research Fellow Dr Khairani Barokka explores what discussions on “ableism” and “access” mean in the art world - particularly in the COVID-19 era.

  • Still image of Chinese Chippendale perofrmance
    Sensing Obscurity II: The Chinese Chippendales Erika Tan 2013
    Sensing Obscurity

    Institute Research Associate Erika Tan re-stages her work ‘Sensing Obscurity’ as part of the Performa Biennial in New York.

  • Close up of a man pressing a wire against his teeth
    Still from TEETH by Jennifer Martin. Courtesy of B.Dewitt

    Institute Research Assistant Ashleigh M. Barice co-curated TEETH through collaboration and discussion with UK-based immigrants.

  • Large scale painting of 4 sets of eyes created using 4 horizontal rows of bricks stacked on top of each other, with intense colours
    'Disposition', Acrylic on Bricks, 2021 by Joseph Ijoyemi, Chelsea College of Arts, UAL. Read about, share or buy this artist's work on the UAL Graduate Showcase:
    Decolonising Archives 2021

    Reflections from Dr Alice Correia, Dr Hannah Jones, Dr Nina Trivedi and Dr Michelle Williams Gamaker as they interrogate interrogate the UAL Archives

  • A collage based photographic image
    Twilight of the Unhomely © Fraser Hanley-Nicholls, London College of Communication, UAL. Read the story behind this artwork and share this student's work via the UAL Graduate Showcase:
    Decolonising Collections: Curatorial Research Network 2021

    Reflections from Harvey Dimond and Marenka Thompson-Odlum who are working across 3 major collections: Arts Council Collection, British Council Collection and Manchester Art Gallery Collections

Our people


Our network of academics from across UAL who are affiliated to the Institute and undertake temporary projects with us: