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UAL Decolonising Arts Institute

A statue in the middle of an exhibition
A statue in the middle of an exhibition
Sheffield Museums, Graves Gallery. Photo © Andy Brown

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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

    Learn about decolonising activities across UAL.

  • 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.


  • People stood looking at an instillation with various screens and colours
    Yu-Chen Wang, 2020-2022, 'If there is a place I haven't been to', installation view at Le lieu unique, Nantes (2022) and MoCA Taipei (2020).

    Transforming Collections: Reimagining Art, Nation and Heritage – Announcing the Practice Research Residencies

    Four artist researchers have been selected to undertake a 15-month virtual practice-based research residency as part of the Transforming Collections: Reimagining Art, Nation and Heritage project.

  • A photo of a gallery space. An exhibition on the wall reads
    Stephanie Dinkins, On Love and Data (installation view), Stamps Gallery. Michigan, 2021

    Transforming Collections, Rewinding Internationalism at the Van Abbemuseum

    Transforming Collections, Rewinding Internationalism aims to bring artistic, curatorial, art historical and museological practices into critical dialogue with machine learning development.

  • A corridor with both walls covered with artworks and the centre end wall has a digital display.
    Upper Gallery, Workshop block, London College of Communication, UAL. Photo by Ideal Insight

    Transforming Collections: Report on the first year

    With an open call for practice research residencies underway, the Transforming Collections project team have published their first report, documenting the approach and first year of activity on the Towards a National Collection (TaNC) Discovery Project.

  •  A colourful and fluid digital artwork with purple and pink shades against a black frame
    Clara Boulard: MRes Art: Moving Image, Central Saint Martins, UAL.

    Transforming Collections: open call for practice research residencies

    UAL Decolonising Arts Institute has launched an open call for artist practice researchers to undertake a series of virtual residencies as part of the Transforming Collections project. Open to mid-career or established yet institutionally under-represented artists, such as artists who identify as black, brown or people of colour.

  • An outdoor film scene of 4 people shot against a blue sky on a hillside. There is a town in the background. They are performing in pose.
    Yuen Fong Ling, “The Empty Plinth” (2022), workshop with participants exploring the decolonisation of public space, commissioned by SAFEDI Social Art for Equality Diversity and Inclusion (Manchester Metropolitan University, Axis, Social Art Network), and Sheffield Hallam University. Workshop leaders: Yuen Fong Ling, Nathan Geering; participants: Samara Casewell, Marcus Smith, Rebecca Solomon, Darwin Taylor, and Sam Underwood Doherty. Still from 3-channel film by Picture Story Productions.

    Announcing the first cohort of artists to the 20/20 project

    Eight emerging and mid-career artists with an extensive range of practices are the first of 2 cohorts to join 20/20: a national commissioning and network project led by Decolonising Arts Institute to directly invest in the careers of a new generation of ethnically diverse artists.

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