Our Decolonising Archives programme is a partnership with UAL Library, Archives and Special Collections that aims to explore institutional histories, memories and what it means to decolonise the University from within.
We welcomed our first researchers in residence in January 2020 to provide critical decolonial perspectives on collections practice. Meet the 4 researchers and read their research papers:
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.
In this paper she 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 at the UAL’s Archives and Special Collection Centre.
In dovetailing, the paper aims to expand on what is not in the archive and to deconstruct what is there.
- Read Elisa's paper on Decolonial Dovetailing (PDF 1.4MB)
- Listen to Elisa's podcast Episode 1: Decolonial Dovetailing with Alessandra Ferrini
- Read the transcript for Elisa's podcast Episode 1 (PDF 150KB)
- Listen to Elisa’s podcast Episode 2: Decolonial Dovetailing with Neelam Srivastava
- Read the transcript for Elisa's podcast Episode 2 (PDF 115KB)
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 at UAL’s Chelsea campus.
It shows anti-colonial disability justice narratives as already very much present in these archives, and all archives.
- Read Okka's paper Caption in Red Thread (PDF 582KB)
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.
In this paper 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).
The paper explores how the films prompt us to unlearn our seeing, thinking and feeling habits. It adopts intersectionality as both a 'provisional concept' and an 'analytic sensibility' (Carastathis, 2016).
- Ana's paper on Disorienting the Gaze (PDF 513KB)
- Listen to Ana’s podcast Ngozi Onwurah in conversation with Claudette Davis-Bonnick and Ana González Rueda
- Read the transcript for Ana's podcast (PDF 121KB)
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.
- Read Mohammad's paper on Listening Back to the Archives (PDF 1.9MB)